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Blog...Coaching SEC Football Is Tough

College Football News
Posted Dec 5, 2008


The high profiled faces involved with running these programs that fill the massive playing stadiums with the populated masses, fight with each other weekly to outwit and over power each other.

By: BE Coleman

The south, where college football is still king and runs roughshod over NASCAR each fall season. It allows no one man to be immune from the word imperfection with the multimillion dollar coaching contracts awarded for one reason; to win and to win big consistently.

Among the glittering glass high rises that dot the large southern city skylines, finds cathedrals are built for the masses to enjoy their one true passion on fall Saturdays - the south’s collegiate playing field.

The nation has been enamored with the mysterious southern football culture since men like Warner, Wade, Neyland, Dodd, Butts, McClendon and Bryant set in place the winning traditions that are revered by all mankind.

There is one mantra the prideful south lives by in everyday life, which carries over onto the collegiate football field; win or leave. In the SEC, you will win consistently or you will leave on your on accord, or will face the embarrassment of dismissal.

The old adage, it is tough at the top has never been truer in all sense of the phrase, that brings a rebirth in the southern cultural identity where football rules the day.

The high profiled faces involved with running these programs that fill the massive playing stadiums with the populated masses, fight with each other weekly to outwit and over power each other.

Each holds a hand of cards they themselves pull from the deck to wield their might in the belief and hope, they hold the better hand when the day ends. The SEC coaching turnover occurs yearly and if things are going very well, it happens every 2.8 years.

In 2008 three coaches leave the mighty conference that had been household names across the nation. Tommy Tubberville, the latest to depart, left on his own accord at Auburn in school press releases.

In Knoxville and Starkville saw Phillip Fulmer and Sylvester Croom ushered out for many reasons, both with the belief they were doing the right things. When the door was opened for the broom to sweep clean any remnants, this pair of coaching names were sent on their way.

When 2009 enters, it will see a total of 34 faces to have entered, or been present in 1998 at the dozen member institutions of the SEC. In 12 seasons, counting ’98 up find the tenure rate for a SEC head coach is now 2.83 years in the new millennium.

SEC Football Deans don’t last more than one or two seasons upon being named the conference dean. Fulmer was the Dean in 2008, with Tubberville his successor that followed for five days as the Dean.

Fulmer had 16 seasons as a head coach with one added as an interim to mark 17. Tubberville had a combined 10 years at Auburn and 4 more years at Ole Miss. It now leaves Ole Miss current head coach Houston Nutt, as the SEC Dean.

Nutt has 11 seasons combined at Arkansas and Ole Miss. South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier had spent 11 seasons at Florida, before he left for a failed 2nd attempt coaching in the NFL for 4 years. He came back in ’05 and now has 15 years total.

Tubberville and Fulmer met in 04 for the conference crown, while Fulmer guided Tennessee back in 07, but when both men hit 7 loses at universities that had been among the top of all of college football, decisions came forth.

Croom was never able to elevate Mississippi State back to their one lone conference championship appearance in ‘98, after the Bulldogs had found the solution against Spurrier and his strangle hold at Florida with then SEC Dean Jackie Sherrill.

Outside Fulmer, saw no one coach had stayed at one university for more than 11 seasons as a head coach. To stay in the SEC, a coach has to present a conference title every 3 to 4 years to its representative school.

In 08, the SEC boasted 12 proven coaches to begin the playing season. By seasons end, it finds it only has 9 accomplished coaches heading into bowl season. It only took less than 2.8 months in ’08 for Fulmer, the SEC Dean to be found leaving.

The next coach facing heat in the mighty SEC, can be found in Baton Rouge. Going from national champion to 7-5, puts the focal point upon Les Miles. The remaining seven conference programs are all on the rise while Auburn, Mississippi State and Tennessee will be given time to restructure.

The adages, life is rough on the bottom, is beset by the phrase life is tough at the top has never been truer. It is rough and tough; week in and week out in the SEC coaching offices.


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