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Which SEC coach could you take in a bare-knuckle fistfight?

We’re absolutely not saying you should, but if you could ...

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Early on Monday morning, the SEC Network’s Peter Burns tweeted out the following image.

These rankings are, we assume, in response to the near dustup that occurred before halftime between Florida and Vanderbilt on Saturday, and the very angry words exchanged between Florida coach Dan Mullen and Vandy skipper Derek Mason

This little fracas and Burns’ rankings up there got us thinking: of the SEC’s 14 head football coaches, who would you least like to get into a fistfight with? A confrontation prompted by anything so petty that it leads to out-and-out knuckles getting thrown, presumably in the back parking lot of Kinnard-Stockard at 3:32 a.m. CT.

And so, as the premier fictional pugilism blog on the web, we set out to rank, from least likely to most likely, which SEC coach would legitimately whip our ass in a fistfight given a level sparring surface. From highest to lowest likelihood in order, these are the SEC coaches that we could actually, probably, maybe(?) hang with.*

14. Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M

With a name like Jimbo, one might be tempted to think he would be skilled in the arts of scrappin’. While he very well may be, we forget that our man Jimbo is sitting on a guaranteed pile of $75 million. He’s not messing that up by fighting poor people.

13. Kirby Smart, Georgia

There’s no time for fighting when you’re busy convincing five-star recruits to come to Athens because it’s the home of R.E.M., Drive-By Truckers, The B-52s, The Black Crowes, and Widespread Panic.

(very Kirby Smart Voice)

“Croots love the Panic, man.”

Also, our guy looks about as menacing as an adorable mini-pig.

NCAA Football: Georgia at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

12. Joe Moorhead, Mississippi State

Granted, Moorhead has spent time around James Franklin, who once was ready to throw down with rageaholic Todd Grantham. But at this point, all we really know about Moorhead is that he’s turned Nick Fitzgerald into a poor man’s Nick Fitzgerald.

11. Dan Mullen, Florida

Before you could even get your fists up in ready boxing position, as if you knew what you were doing, Mullen would vanish, already searching for an NCAA investigator to do his fighting for him.

(Ed. note: rageaholic Todd Grantham must be tied to a nearby tree and banned from participating.)

10. Chad Morris, Arkansas

We don’t know a whole lot about Morris’ temperament at this point, but given that his name is Chad, I would be rea-

/blindsided by a folding chair to the back of the head

9. Gus Malzahn, Arkansas

Normally, you might fear someone who is made up of 27 percent Waffle House, but Malzahn hasn’t darkened the door of that fine establishment since [checks notes] September 29th.

8. Nick Saban

We initially thought Saban would be much higher in these rankings, given the WEST VIRGINIA in him, but then we recalled something written for McSweeney’s years ago.

Your average 12-year-old boy is about 5 feet tall, weighs in the area of a buck-fifteen, and has developed little muscle mass.

I am 21, approximately 6 feet tall, tip the scales at an even 180, and have a moderately athletic and muscular build.

Judging on these statistics and what I assume would be a natural ferocity that would spring forth in a moment of physical danger, I estimate that I could beat up seven 12-year-olds before they overtook me.

7. Mark Stoops, Kentucky

As a triumvirate, the Brothers Stoops could run the streets as they saw fit. However, isolated from one another, their individual powers, though still dangerous, amount to some grappling until they became too winded to hold on.

6. Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee

The former Two-A-Days star may not know what asparagus is, but his shaved head knows HOW TO WHIP YOUR ASS. Also, he’s in a very bad place right now and just sorta wants to funnel that drab ire in one direction: namely, your dentition.

5. Matt Luke, Ole Miss

As an undersized former college football center who blocked players much bigger than himself, Luke knows all sorts of ways to WRECK YOUR SHIT.

From the 1997 Egg Bowl, on Ole Miss’ two-point conversion to win the game, here’s how he gave his quarterback time to throw:

You do not want that in your life, because you value your tibia and fibula.

4. Barry Odom, Missouri

We cannot recall a single thing Barry Odom has ever done on a sideline, but we know that Barry Odom looks like a strength coach who got a head coaching job, who went to a pro wrestling summer camp as a teenager.

NCAA Football: Texas Bowl-Texas vs Missouri Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

IMPORTANT LIFE SURVIVAL LESSON: Give strength coaches wide berths.

3. Ed Orgeron, LSU

Our initial instinct for this ranking was to list Coach O as the coach most likely to whip our ass in a fistfight straight-up, but NOT SO FAST, MY FRIEND.

/quietly scans over LSU’s offensive output despite the Tigers’ high ranking and upset of No. 2 Georgia last week.

Coach O’s punching weight has certainly declined since the days of WILD BOYZ, tunnel-jumping, and full-pad, tackling-to-the-ground scrimmages during weather delays against [squints] Wake Forest?

The current version of Coach O delegates significant responsibilities to his coordinators and focuses on keeping his players motivated. WHY SO REASONABLE, ED? It’s almost like he wouldn’t even try to fight his neighbor* over something really dumb.

Who took the mean factor out of DA COACH O?


Les Miles.

*Not neighbor in the Biblical sense but his actual neighbor. That is a thing that happened.

2. Derek Mason, Vanderbilt

He quite obviously works out, and he’s been at Vanderbilt long enough that he has seen some shit, man. Is it even possible to calculate how much rage those never-ending scenes of horror have created in him? Fam, you do not want a tussle with Derek Mason.

1. Will Muschamp, South Carolina

You want any piece of this?


Didn’t think so. Run far, far away, you little cockroach.