SEC Football: Power Ranking SEC Most Hated Head Coaches
The SEC is loaded with coaching talent and every season that brings a new coaching change to the ranks seems to reload the conference with additional talent.
Good coaches tend to have strong personalities, which often leads to a lot of heated discussions with media. Opposing fans tend to hate rival coaches, but when they are big winners with quick retorts and harsh tones, it makes the hate worse.
Looking at all fourteen coaches in the SEC, this is a power ranking breaking down the hate factor for each coach. Whether it is media cringing before interviews or fans disliking a winner, the hate is always thick in southern football.
Best of the Rest
The SEC has plenty of new coaches taking over teams this fall. They haven’t had the chance of making much an impression, be it favorable or notorious. However, their rivalries with other teams in the conference immediately make them marked men.
Guys like Georgia Bulldogs' coach Mark Richt have been around forever, but he is the incumbent “nice guy” in the league and is really tough to dislike.
Ole Miss' Hugh Freeze and Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin are fast risers, thanks to their success on the field and the recruiting trail. That said, they have a ways to go before they make it to the top of the most hated coaches group.
Here is a look at the bottom eight:
No. 14: Mark Stoops, Kentucky Wildcats
No. 13: Bret Bielema, Arkansas Razorbacks
No. 12: Gus Malzahn, Auburn Tigers
No. 11: Butch Jones, Tennessee Volunteers
No. 10: Gary Pinkel, Missouri Tigers
No. 9: Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M Aggies
No. 8: Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss Rebels
No. 7: Mark Richt, Georgia Bulldogs
No. 6: James Franklin, Vanderbilt Commodores
James Franklin is working hard to put Vanderbilt among the best teams in the SEC East but, along the way, he is rattling a lot of cages.
Most recently, Franklin called out Nick Saban, referring to him as “Nicky Satan” in front of a group of high schoolers. Franklin said to the crowd "I think his name is Nicky Satan. You guys have probably heard of him before. I'm going to outwork him."
His Vanderbilt teams have also become very scrappy and challenge for wins in every contest that they find themselves in on Saturdays. This program is on the rise thanks to the edginess of the head coach, but he is not making friends on his climb with the Commodores.
A few more off-the-cuff comments will vault him up this list before the end of 2013.
No. 5: Les Miles, LSU Tigers
Les Miles has become known as the mad hatter since guiding taking over the head coaching job LSU Tigers in 2005.
He has guided the Bayou Bengals to 84 wins in eight seasons, and consistently has this team in the Top 10. He has taken the Tigers to the BCS National Championship game twice, winning one of them.
He always has graceful comments for his competition, but Miles is a go-for-it-on-fourth-down type coach. He plays to win no matter what the situation that his team finds itself in.
There have been fake field goals and fake punts, long passes on fourth down for touchdowns and two-loss title winning seasons.
Through it all, Miles has been labeled as lucky and may be scrutinized more by his fan base than any other group following disappointing losses.
He is a solid coach who will always finds ways to win. As long as he pulls off the magic, Miles will be hated.
No. 4: Dan Mullen, Mississippi State Bulldogs
Dan Mullen has quietly become one of the most hated coaches in the SEC. He is one of the most undercutting coaches during interviews, and has even cut off one interview with the media because a reporter asked about an injury.
Mullen is a relentless recruiter, but he has lost a lot of ground to Hugh Freeze over the past year. He has also lost every big game that he has coached in, leading to questions about his future leadership for the Bulldogs.
If he continues to pitch fits and walk out of interviews Mullen’s stock on this list will rise. Unless he has a major turnaround this season in Starkville, he will become the most hated man in Mississippi with the Rebels on the rise.
This is a tough year for Mullen and it may be time for him to start trying to make as many friends as possible.
No. 3: Will Muschamp, Florida Gators
Will Muschamp has become affectionately known as “Boom” over the past few years for his explosive sideline antics during ballgames. He has the same approach to interviews and the recruiting trail. He is always extremely intense and focused on his task.
During a recent interview before the SEC Title game, he was asked about comments that Nick Saban made in reference to the loser of the SEC being left out of the BCS. Muschamp’s response?
"Well, I can switch and go to Atlanta if he doesn't want to go to Atlanta and play the Dawgs. Be careful what you ask for, Nick."
Alabama fans are very protective of their new legendary coach, so comments like these don’t fall on deaf ears in Crimson Tide land.
As Will Muschamp continues to notch wins, he will continue to be one of the most disliked head men in the SEC. His sideline demeanor and tendency to call out other coaches is funny, but it leads to a lot of hate directed toward the explosive Gators leader.
No. 2: Steve Spurrier, South Carolina Gamecocks
Steve Spurrier is the king of call-outs. He absolutely loves to take subtle shots at opposing coaches and teams and spending what seems like a half-century in the SEC gives him the license to talk as much as he wants.
Spurrier wins and his on-field success make up for the off-the-field chatter that comes every offseason.
He is one of the greatest personalities in the SEC and has always found a way to coach a team to success. There is a level of respect that comes with his success, but there are also many disgusted opponents and fans throughout the SEC.
His most recent call-out happened at SEC Media Days this past year when he called out Nick Saban and the Tide.
Every year, he seems to ratchet up his comments and the longer his tenure lasts in the SEC, the better we all are for it.
No. 1: Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide
Was there a doubt who the No. 1 coach on this list would be?
Nick Saban is undoubtedly the most hated coach on this list. There are a number of reasons that he takes the first spot in the power rankings, but the main one is simply that he wins.
His Alabama teams have won three national titles under his watch. Heading into the 2013 season they are an early favorite for a three-peat.
The Tide consistently pull in the top talent in the country and Alabama dominates on the gridiron nearly every Saturday.
There are also the pot-shot comments at the media that come out from time to time, leading to additional frustration from those that already hate him. Nothing Saban does outside of winning draws more attention and frustration from around the country.