The SEC is heralded for its depth, speed, size, and quality of play, top to bottom, more than any other conference in college football. While so much of the talent level and performance is attributed to the players on the field, the men on the sidelines are the cream of the crop.
1. Urban Meyer - Florida
The University of Florida coach can argue that he has been more successful than any coach in the last few years. As Urban Meyer enters his fifth year in The Swamp he has already produced a Heisman trophy winner, and taken two BCS national titles.
Meyer has one of the best winning percentages of active coaches with a 44-9 (.830) record. He has also been spectacular in SEC play as he has taken 24 of 32 contests in the conference for an .750 percentage.
Things are lining up for the Gators to post yet another double digit win season and contend for another national championship. Meyer will likely stand as the SEC's best coach for several years to come.
2. Steve Spurrier - South Carolina
Steve Spurrier has enters his 17th year coaching in the SEC and has never produced a team with a losing record. Spurrier's overall record as an SEC coach is 150-49 (.753)
The Ol' Ball Coach can brag over the youngsters with six SEC championships and the same number of SEC Coach of the Year awards. Throw on top of that a national title with Florida and Spurrier has almost everything needed to be the No. 1 ranked coach.
The only tarnish to Spurrier's legacy is the lack of success he has had at South Carolina since his return from the NFL. He has only won 28 games in four years with no signs of improvement as he enters his fifth year with the Gamecocks. Spurrier needs to get his team in the national spotlight again for him to be recognized as the SEC's best coach.
3. Les Miles - LSU
The Bayou Bengals are proud of The Mad Hatter running the show in Death Vally. Since taking over the job in 2005, Les Miles has gone 42-11 (.792) overall and an SEC record of 23-11 (.676).
Miles is most noted for his 2007 season in which their team won the SEC West, SEC championship, and went on to play in the BCS national championship game. The Tigers sent Ohio State home with their second straight title game loss.
LSU is looking to reload after a disappointing season in 2008. With his work ethic, and the level of commitment he demands from his players, Miles has the tools around him to be recognized as one of the nation's premiere coaches for years to come.
4. Nick Saban - Alabama
Love him or hate him, Nick Saban has been one of the SEC's best coaches when his entire body of work is examined. Between his previous coaching position at LSU and his current sideline patrol at Alabama, Saban has racked up 67 wins against 24 losses for a .736 winning percentage.
He has taken home two SEC championships and has won one national title game in his SEC coaching days. In 2003 and 2008, Saban won several different Coach of the Year awards solidifying his status as an SEC best.
Entering his third year at Alabama, the Tide are looking to once again contend for an SEC championship. Saban has the defensive mind to shut down the other high-powered offenses in the division, which could put them in Atlanta playing for another SEC title.
5. Mark Richt - Georgia
The Bulldogs coach has been stellar in his seven years in Athens, Georgia. With an overall record of 82-22, Mark Richt has a .788 winning percentage. He has been solid in SEC play as well with a record of 48-19 (.716).
Richt has taken his Bulldogs to the SEC championship game four times in seven years, which is quite a feat considering the other teams in the East. Twice Georgia has taken the SEC Title, and, while it has never made a BCS national title game, it flirted with being selected after an 11-2 season in 2007.
The biggest factor against Richt's prestigious reputation is the inability to get Georgia to a national championship game. Richt is the only coach on the list who has not taken that step but he has built a strong foundation for future teams to be more relevant nationally.
Is the SEC Coaching Staff the Best Ever?
Perhaps no other conference can ever boast the level of coaching talent that the SEC can now. When has college football seen so much success and so many great football minds combined into one conference? The SEC will be exciting to watch in 2009 as the conference will trot out some of the best head coaches in the history of college football.
For more articles and discussion, visit ACC SEC Football. "Stand Up for Your Team."