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Tuesday News and Notes: Rating the SEC Coaches and other Stuff

You know it's the off season and there's not much to write about when everyone has their coaching rankings up. This writer has his here. I can't really disagree with his assessment of Spurrier; the Ball Coach has a great legacy but really hasn't done anything in the past couple of years to validate putting him any higher than sixth. Some might say they wouldn't put Rich Brooks ahead of Spurrier, as the 'Cats really haven't had more success than us over the past few years. However, when you think about it, Brooks has resurrected a program from the grave of probation and has coached them to wins without the help of great talent, whereas Spurrier came into a situation with at least decent talent (the house cleaning in 2005 notwithstanding), has recruited more, and yet has been unable to produce many more wins than his predecessor Dr. Lou. Moreover, as the writer says, what's particularly damning for Spurrier is that what little success we've had over the past two years has come due to defense, and that's not what Spurrier's here for. Not saying I necessarily agree with the assessment of Spurrier-Brooks, but I can see the logic.

One point about this ranking I would have to disagree with, though, is putting Houston Nutt at third while Les Miles is down at seventh. The column claims that

In 2007, LSU won the National Title. They won that title in spite of their coach. Les Miles did everything he could to prevent them from winning the crystal football. But, vastly superior talent covered up Miles' coaching mistakes enough to make them the first two-loss team ever to win the National Title.

This seems patently false to me. Some of Miles's decisions were pretty wacky, but some of those same decisions helped the Tigers win games. I guess what the writer could be saying is that those decisions only worked because the Tigers had talent. However, this still seems off to me; the Tigers still would have lost the game to Florida if not for Miles's gambling. Now, I'm not saying Les is the best coach in the league. He clearly makes some strange decisions from time to time. But he's also a good recruiter running a powerful program and did win a national title. Has Houston Nutt done anything like that? And is Houston Nutt any less apt to make decisions that seem to cost his team games?

Also, check out Year 2's take on conference championship games. SEC fans are fond of crowing about our conference because it started the championship game craze, but as Year 2 points out, there may be good reasons for other conference to avoid the format. And check out this column about Tarence Kinsey. With the Cavs looking well nigh unstoppable right now, I'd say Kinsey will have a championship soon. And as usual, check out Around the Bases at TSK.