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SportRanking SEC coaches for 2019: Finding right spot for Auburn's Gus Malzahn isn't easy

18:40  12 june  2019
18:40  12 june  2019 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Auburn went from the preseason No. 9 team in the country to 7-5 in 2018, and that brought with it intense scrutiny on coach Gus Malzahn . It' s been sink or swim for Auburn under Malzahn . They started in the No. 6 spot in 2015, but immediately regressed and finished 7-6 and 2-6 in SEC play.

Arthur Gustavo Malzahn III (born October 28, 1965) is the head football coach for the Auburn Tigers. He spent the 2012 season as the head football coach at Arkansas State University.

Ranking SEC coaches for 2019: Finding right spot for Auburn's Gus Malzahn isn't easy© Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited

Who is the second-best coach in the SEC?

We ask this question every year with the hopes of finding a true challenger for Alabama's NIck Saban, and the question still stands heading into 2019.

Sporting News' annual 1-130 coach rankings released this week, and now we'll dig a little deeper into our SEC coach rankings. The answer right now is either Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher or Georgia's Kirby Smart.

MORE: 2019 SEC early conference primer

Fisher has a national championship at Florida State and is taking the lessons he learned from Saban at LSU and applying them to Texas A&M. The Aggies are getting closer. Smart, another Saban protege, has ramped up Georgia's recruiting and played Alabama into the fourth quarter each of the last two years. The Bulldogs haven't closed the door yet, though.

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Why would Gus Malzahn agree to reduced buyout from Auburn ? Examining his contract situation All these machinations seem to be setting up Malzahn to fail in 2019 , but remember, this is Auburn . If Helton finds the right coach for that spot —and for the offensive line coach job—the Trojans could

Ranking the current SEC head coaches 1-14. Malzahn makes the top five because he’ s only one of three coaches in America to have beaten Recruiting has always been one of Muschamp’ s fortes, and he has South Carolina ranked as the 12th class in the nation in 247 Sports composite rankings for 2019 . While Odom walked into a tough spot by filling the shoes of former head coach Gary Pinkel

Who did we put at No. 2? You can agree (or disagree) below. With that in mind, here is a look at our SEC coach rankings for 2019:

2019 SEC Coach Rankings

— Auburn's Gus Malzhan is terminally impossible to rank. He's one of three active SEC coaches with a conference championship, but the Tigers' year-to-year inconsistency makes it tough to put him over the five guys ahead of him.

Rank Name School W L PCT. OVR
1 Nick Saban Alabama 232 64 .784 1
2 Jimbo Fisher Texas A&M 92 27 .773 3
3 Kirby Smart Georgia 32 10 .762 4
4 Dan Mullen Florida 79 47 .627 8
5 Ed Orgeron LSU 41 36 .532 15
6 Gus Malzahn Auburn 62 30 .674 19
7 Mark Stoops Kentucky 36 39 .480 33
8 Will Muschamp South Carolina 43 32 .573 36
9 Joe Moorhead Mississippi State 8 5 .615 37
10 Barry Odom Missouri 19 19 .500 40
11 Derek Mason Vanderbilt 24 38 .387 53
12 Jeremy Pruitt Tennessee 5 7 .417 54
13 Matt Luke Ole Miss 11 13 .458 62
14 Chad Morris Arkansas 16 32 .333 65

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Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn , right , speaks to Christy Greene and Auburn Athletic Director Allen Greene before the Auburn A-Day AUBURN — Put an end to the questions about Gus Malzahn 's immediate future as Auburn ' s head Asked directly if Malzahn would return as head coach in 2019

If Auburn had fired Malzahn right after the 2017 regular season, his buyout would’ve been .9 million. This is the SEC , and Auburn ’ s got plenty of rich supporters. But Malzahn ’s buyout is massive even by this sport’s warped standards of coach pay. 130-team S&P+ rankings for 2019 's season.

Quick reads

— LSU's Ed Orgeron jumped up 21 spots into the No. 15 spot in our overall rankings. What a difference a year makes for Coach O. The Tigers are 25-9 since he took over. Saban and Smart are the only other coaches with a winning percentage better than .700 the last three seasons.

11 Derek Mason Vanderbilt 24 38 .387 53

— Auburn's Gus Malzhan is terminally impossible to rank. He's one of three active SEC coaches with a conference championship, but the Tigers' year-to-year inconsistency makes it tough to put him over the five guys ahead of him.

— Tennessee fans won't like Jeremy Pruitt's ranking given the improvements he's made in recruiting, but the Vols won just one game in the SEC East last season. He has the potential for the biggest jump up in our 2020 rankings. Vanderbilt's Derek Mason is ahead of Pruitt based in large part to three straight victories against the Vols.

— All 14 SEC coaches return for 2019. Mississippi State's Joe Moorhead had the biggest jump up in our overall rankings with a 28-spot increase. Pruitt dropped 10 spots for the biggest decline.

Read More

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