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SEC Power Poll: Preseason Poll/Special Coaches Edition

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As an Ole Miss-oriented blog, the Red Solo Cup is a part of the SEC Power Poll. The Power Poll is a power ranking of the SEC football teams put together by the gentlemen at Garnet and Black Attack. The Power Poll aims to deliver a somewhat accurate and undeniably entertaining poll for all of the SEC football fans in cyberspace.

This week, for the preseason poll, we and the other Power Poll voters have ranked the SEC's head coaches. Our ballot with commentary is as follows.

EDITORS NOTE: Six RSC contributors voted to compile this ballot. For each vote, a ranking was assigned a corresponding point value. Thus, the coach with the lowest total number of points once the votes were tallied "won." It's like golf, therefore my boy Spurrier digs the hell out of it. The ballot is formatted thusly: Coach (number one votes, if any) - total points - highest ranking - lowest ranking. Capiche?


1. Urban Meyer (3) - 10pts - 1 - 3
In the SEC, you've gotta be good at pointing and mysteriously staring. Les Miles has got it. Saban's workin' on it. Houston Nutt is, well, Houston Nutt. But nobody comes close to Urban Meyer in pointing at shit and looking angry. Observe:
I have no idea what happened before that photograph was snapped, but whatever it was, I'll be certain to not make that mistake again. If you're somehow still wondering why is Urban on top of our list, take the following into consideration: He wins, and wins big. He's got swagger and is pretty much a badass. He knows how to be tough on his players and get results. His wife and daughter are hot. He's willing to be innovative to win, and knows how to play cutthroat without making dumb decisions, Les Miles style. He's got a fratty name.
Seriously, if you wouldn't take him as the head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels in a heartbeat then you're either a bad Rebel or a terribly, terribly ignorant college football fan.

2. Mark Richt (2) - 14pts - 1 - 4
We're Mark Richt fans here. He appears, at least, to be a super classy guy in a profession where it is hard to be good and still have a conscience. He's not the conference's best X's and O's guy, but he has proven to be a super motivator and recruiter. He also has had established success without any interruption. He's not perfect though. He seems to likes Jesus a lot but lets the Odell Thurmans of the world get away with just about anything. Georgia's disciplinary record sends a pretty odd message: "You any good at football? Cool, then you can do whatever you want and face a strict suspension against a I-AA school." Honestly though, that's my kind of morals. Who cares how great your football players are as people? Get out there and win, dammit.

3. Tommy Tuberville (1) - 18pts - 1 - 5
Does anyone else find it interesting that, of the 6 first place votes, half of them went to coaches who haven't won a national championship? Granted, Richt seems poised to win one this season and Tubs was on the receiving end of a royal BCS screw-job, but the fact still remains that neither have actually won a national title. Despite this, Tubs comes in at third for a number of reasons. First, he's the biggest reason for Bama's disappointing slew of seasons which, on the Plains of Alabama, makes him absolutely unflappable. Seriously, who loses to State and makes their fan base forget about it? He's perhaps the best evaluator of talent in the SEC and has rightfully garnered a reputation as a player developer both at Ole Miss and at Auburn. He's ballsy, but not stupid and, while he's not the conference's ballsiest guy (Les Miles takes that title), his keen wit coupled with his guts have truly earned him the "riverboat gambler" moniker. Furthermore, he surrounds himself with a great staff and his defenses are usually fantastic.

4. Steve Spurrier - 22pts - 2 - 6
He's one part fratter, one part cranky old guy, one part gypsy snakecharmer, and all man. If this were the 1990's, he'd be number one by a mile and a half. That's for damn sure. The press conferences alone put him in the upper echelon of SEC coaches. He's the cockiest, snidest, most shit-talkin' head coach in a conference known for cockiness, snideness, and shit-talkin'. A quick Google search yields some fantastically hilarious Spurrier quotes. Also, he's a total chick magnet.
Go get 'em, Steve.

Aside from his brash nature, he's an incredibly accomplished player and coach. He won himself a Heisman before coaching another Heisman winner. He revolutionized the passing game at Florida. He won an ACC Championship at Duke (and, until this season, voted for Duke in every coaches preseason poll for the hell of it), which leads us to believe that he could take anyone, Ole Miss included, to some damn lofty heights. Granted, he's yet to do amazing things at South Carolina, but that job may be more difficult than the Ole Miss job. Think about it. He's in a state with less high school talent; has a possible national title contender in Clemson down the road; and is forced to compete with UGA, Tennessee, and Florida year-in and year-out. While it most certainly won't be immediate, good things are to come for the Gamecocks.
Oh, and he's a helluva golfer. That's gotta count for something.

5 (tie). Miles - 38pts - 4 - 10
As has been said, this guy has huge balls. He takes big gambles, makes EA Sports style play calls in the clutch, and is a dick to the media (but it's in a bizarre way that makes you a tad bit envious). Up until recently, he wouldn't have been ranked so high, but now that he's got a national title to back up his smack talk he's earned this ranking. He recruits really well and has really done an excellent job of motivating the LSU fanbase. To boot, he's not a bullshitter. He told everyone that he wasn't going to Michigan, despite all the rumors to the contrary, and lived up to his word. He even kicked Ryan Perrillouzzxxrrzr, one of LSU's most heralded recruits ever, off of the team for a few dozen counts of thuggery. One of our contributors thew him down at number 10 but is yet to yield his reasoning. I'm certain we're all a bit curious as to why anyone would say he's the 10th best coach in the SEC, but my guess is envy/hatred.

5 (tie). Nick Saban - 38pts - 5 - 8
Him being tied with Les Miles at 5th is likely to piss off both the LSU and Alabama fan bases. But here's a little secret... we at the Cup don't care what they think. "Wah wah wah, RTR Tiguh Bait(eux)" is all I ever hear out of them anyway.
Alright, now, back to the show. Most of us are still waiting on the year two verdict. No matter how you slice it, he had a bad first season at Bama by his standards. However he did recruit well and could have Bama turned around (which nowadays means perhaps beating Auburn) in a couple of seasons. To boot, he has spawned the most bizarre line of "omg we love our coach" apparel outside of Colonel Nutt t-shirts. While he has yet to impress at Bama, he turned LSU into a dynasty and won a BCS title with the Bayou Bengals. In short, he calls a decent
game, motivates well, and cheats, errrrr, recruits like a sumbitch. He has everything one can want in a head coach aside from the fact that he's a huge douche. HUGE douche. HUUUUUUUUUGE. DOUCHE.

7. Houston Nutt - 40pts - 4 - 8
While some may not agree with this ranking, I can't say it's too homerific. Sure, having him as the 4th best coach in the conference might be a stretch, but 7th or 8th isn't so much. At Ole Miss we are certainly excited about the future of our program under Nutt, but this excitement is chiefly due to the misery caused by Hurricane Orgeron. Nutt isn't the conferences best recruiter, nor is he the best X's and O's guy, but he is certainly one of the best, if not the best at motivating his players. Nearly every Arkansas team he assembled beat a team or two that they weren't supposed to beat and he always manages to get a lot out of a little. Arkansas fans will say things like "he boned a weatherlady" and "he tried to break Mitch Mustains feet by giving him odd fitting shoes" but just ignore them. They're not really in the SEC anyway, right? We like the guy because, at Ole Miss and especially in Oxford, we want our coaches to have this sorta "old guy who sits in the front row of church" persona. You know, the guy who makes sure to shake everybody's hand and tell little kids how much they've grown? Yeah, that guy. Houston Nutt is that guy.

8. Phillip Fulmer - 48pts - 5 - 11
Tennessee won the SEC East last year. Has everybody in the whole world completely forgotten this? In fact, in his 15 full seasons as Tennessee's head coach, his Volunteers have finished either first or second in the SEC Eeast all but twice. The fact that Fat Phil is so low on this list, despite having won a national championship and having over a dozen successful years at Tennessee says worlds about the coaching depth in our conference. Furthermore, look at the range of votes he garnered. His highest vote was 5th while his lowest was 11th. Whiskey Wednesday, the gentleman who ranked Fulmer 11th reasoned his choice thusly:
"He probably should be higher, but his playcalling bores the shit out of me, and everybody knows that David Cutcliffe was the glue holding it all together, right? Right? Seriously, though, he won a BCS title, but he might be the worst head coach to win one in our time."
He's also a snitch which, in the views of a few, makes him a terrible, terrible human being.

9. Bobby Petrino - 51pts - 6 - 12
Oh WOW! You won a lot of games in the CUSA and the Big East! That's just thuper duper! Seriously though, he was crap in Atlanta and his potential for success at Arkansas is more limited than it was at Louisville. His competition, both on the field and in terms of recruiting, is at a level he hasn't truly experienced and Arkansas fans will feel some growing pains. Certainly, he is an excellent X's and O's guy, but in this conference he'll prove to be in the middle of the pack as far as that is concerned (Meyer, Spurrier, Richt, and Tuberville all have him beat by a mile). Ryan Mallett should prove to be an immediate boost to Arkansas and the Petrino system after he is waits out his transfer year and, if he can recruit the types of players he'll need for his system, a trip to Atlanta is possible. Hopefully he can do this before either a.) he bolts off to who-knows-where or b.) he's hanged in Fayetteville.

10 (tie). Rich Brooks - 61pts - 7 - 12
Rich Brooks does indeed think this is bullshit. We've got him all the way down here with *cringe* Vanderbilt! He fielded two successful Kentucky teams but, for a guy who won the Paul W. "Bear" Bryant award for taking Oregon to the Rose Bowl in 1994, he hasn't done much in Lexington. Granted, it's a basketball school and Kentucky isn't exactly rife with top notch high school football talent. I dunno, despite Andre Woodson, beating #1 LSU, and all that jazz, the guy's just not terribly impressive. One Man to Beat, the actual journalist here at the Cup, had this to say:
I met him at SEC Media Days, and I thought he was a huge dick to the media. While the media are usually not as intelligent as a coach, you still have to be PR savvy.
I know that it may seem hypocritical for us to praise Spurrier and Miles for babytalking the media while reprimanding Brooks for the same, but he's seriously gotta back up his talk before he can expect anybody to be cool with it.

10 (tie). Bobby Johnson - 61pts - 9 - 12
Oh, Bobby. The ghost of Jay Cutler will forever haunt you. And no, I don't mean a furtive bloggeur with too much time on his hands. Literally mean the specter of what was, at one point, the best quarterback in the SEC. Think about it while we waltz backwards in time. Tebow at Florida (9 wins) and Andre Woodson at Kentucky (8 wins) last year. Leak at Florida the year before that (13 wins, national championship). Cutler at Vanderbilt (5 wins) before that. Jason Campbell at Auburn (14 wins, SEC title, BCS bastard child) and David Greene at Georgia (10 wins) before that. Eli at Ole Miss (10 wins) before that. Et cetera, et cetera, et al, et al.
You see what I'm saying, Bobby. You are literally the only coach in the SEC who cannot win with the conference's (arguably) best quarterback. Sure, I guess if he wanted to and got the chance, he'd go bowling at any other SEC school, but I seriously doubt he'd win big.
I will say this, though: he's a real class act which is what Vanderbilt demands. His players play very hard for him and he fields competitive teams that just don't have what it takes to get over the hump.

12. Sylvester CroomS - 66pts - 10 - 12

Boooooooo! Hisssssss! RATTLE-RATTLE KER-CLACK CLACK KER-KLOW! Hey, nuh-uh, somebody get that shit outta here! This is a damned Ole Miss blog, not a slaughterhouse. Gah, like locusts they are.
Anywho, where were we? Oh yes! Coach Croom is the worst coach in the SEC, and there are a few reasons why. First of all, he's done nothing more than ride the backs of an amazing good luck streak and an above-par defense (yeah, he's an offense guy who runs a terrible offense). True, State did beat Auburn and Alabama; but they only scored 4 touchdowns between both games, 2 of which were defensive. True, State did beat Kentucky, but Kentucky had 10 turnovers. TEN! I'm sure we'll get some comments like "hell yEah we did!!11 and we beet ur ass 2 lol!!" Yep, you did State. Congrats! But remember, we were shitty last season. You beat a shitty football team by a field goal. All of this raises the question of what, besides last season, has Sylvester Croom really accomplished in Starkville? Another reason we dislike Sly Croom is his "character" nonsense. He always makes sure to point out the shortcomings of other teams and their players while completely ignoring his own. He really is a low class guy who's been given a free pass from the media (psssst... it's because he's black). What other coach talks about character after tons of arrests and gets away with it? What coach talks shit about other teams' players' academic issues and gets away with it? Yeah, some Ole Miss players stole some pillows. That's pretty awful. I mean, I'd forive a guy if he assaulted a cop or, I dunno, maybe fired a gun on a college campus within a year of the Virginia Tech shootings but Grand Theft Pillow?! I think NOT!
Truthfully though, I can't decide what's worse. Croom's bullshit, or the folks in Starkghanistan who just lap that nonsense up. RANGY RANG CLACK RATTLE KERCLACK!
Unfortunately, this likely means we at The Red Solo Cup are a bunch of bigots. Koo-koo-ka-choo.


So, whaddaya think? Agree? Disagree? Let us know.