Alabama Football: From an unbiased source the best and worst SEC coaches

Kevin Jairaj/CFP Images/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Jairaj/CFP Images/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports /

Every preseason, CBS Sports takes on an impossible task. The task is ranking from No. 1 down, all the FBS head coaches. Alabama football fans have enjoyed the rankings many times, thanks more to Nick Saban than CBS.

It is hard to not appreciate the efforts of the CBS rankings’ voters. Accurately ranking 133 head coaches is the goal, but it is one impossible to achieve. No one individual can possibly know enough about 133 college football programs and their head coaches.

When fans are parched for college football information, the ranking is useful for consideration and debate.

This post is not intended to debate. The exact ranking provided by the CBS voters is used to categorize the 14 SEC head coaches into five tiers of worst to best.

Where Alabama Football stands in SEC Head Coach Tiers

Typical formats present the worst first and count down to the No. 1. This post does the opposite and as it should be, it begins with Nick Saban and Alabama Football at No. 1. That is No. 1, not just in SEC head coaches but No. 1, overall.

SEC Football Head Coaching Tier 1

  • No. 1 – Nick Saban; Alabama Crimson Tide
  • No. 2 – Kirby Smart; Georgia Bulldogs
  • No. 6 – Brian Kelly; LSU Bengal Tigers

Talking about the top two spots, Tom Fornelli elaborated,

"There was an outside chance Smart might have overtaken Nick Saban after winning his second consecutive national title, but while Georgia may be the premier program in the country, all those rings on Saban’s fingers still carry too much weight to overcome. How much longer will that be the case? If Georgia wins a third straight title in 2023, I wouldn’t expect Smart to remain in second."

Those words may cause heartburn for Alabama football fans, but there is little room to debate the status Smart should earn with a three-peat.

SEC Football Head Coaching Tier 2

  • No. 14 – Lane Kiffin; Ole Miss Rebels
  • No. 16 – Josh Heupel; Tennessee Volunteers
  • No. 18 – Mark Stoops; Kentucky Wildcats

Six of the top 18, FBS head coaches coming from the SEC is no small tribute.

SEC Football Head Coaching Tier 3

  • No. 20 – Jimbo Fisher; Texas A&M Aggies
  • No. 26 – Hugh Freeze; Auburn Tigers

SEC Football Head Coaching Tier 4

  • No. 40 – Shane Beamer; South Carolina Gamecocks
  • No. 42 – Sam Pittman; Arkansas Razorbacks
  • No. 43 – Billy Napier; Florida Gators

SEC Football Head Coaching Tier 5

  • No. 51 – Eli Drinkwitz; Missouri Tigers
  • No. 56 – Clark Lea; Vanderbilt Commodores
  • No. 68 – Zach Arnett; Mississippi State Bulldogs

Arnett has to be the lowest-ranked SEC coach due to what is a major rebuild in Starkville. Clark Lea might deserve a higher ranking, but coaching in Nashville is like playing basketball in ankle weights. It is difficult to fairly rank Lea.

dark. Next. Not buying no Playoff for Crimson Tide

It was not easy, but the temptation to editorialize about Jimbo and ‘The Reverend’ was avoided.