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If Les Miles leads his LSU Tigers to win over Georgia to win the SEC Championship, he will deserve to win the 2011 SEC Coach Of The Year Award.
Miles overcame off-the-field issues and the suspension of his starting quarterback at the beginning of the season to lead the Tigers to an impressive undefeated regular season.
Games against highly ranked Oregon, West Virginia, Alabama and Arkansas made for a tough schedule and makes the unbeaten run even more impressive.
If LSU loses to Georgia in the SEC title game, I would consider Georgia head Coach Mark Richt for the award, after leading his Bulldogs back from an 0-2 start to a 11-2 record and an SEC title.
However, in the event of a LSU loss in Atlanta, I will have to cast my Coach of the Year vote for Vanderbilt Head Coach James Franklin.
The first-year head coach lead the Commodores to a 6-6 record, which qualifies them for a rare bowl invite.
Vanderbilt was just 2-10 a year ago and had low expectations going into 2011.
Franklin changed all of that by instilling a new attitude in Nashville and having his team believe they can win.
As a matter of fact, Vanderbilt had nice wins over out-of-conference opponents Connecticut, Army and Wake Forest this season, beating those teams by a combined score of 109-to-59.
The Commodores also hung tough in the SEC with blowout victories over Ole Miss and Kentucky, and losses to top 10 nationally ranked Georgia and Arkansas by just five and three points respectively.
It is an outstanding job of turning a program around in just one season, and Franklin deserves recognition.