SEC bloggers Chris Low and Edward Aschoff square off in another round of Take Two. We both think we're right, and on that rare occasion that we do happen to be wrong, we'd never admit it. We'll leave it to the readers to make the final call. Of course, SEC fans aren't known for having a lot of strong opinions.
Today's Take Two topic: Who in the SEC has done the best coaching job to this point?
Take 1: Edward Aschoff
I’m going to go with Auburn’s Gene Chizik. With the talent that he lost on both sides of the ball from last year’s national championship squad and the wealth of youth that he’s having to coach up this year, that 4-1 record is very impressive. I didn’t think the Tigers would have four wins to this point and I certainly didn’t think that this team would play with the resiliency it’s had. I was dead wrong and I think Chizik’s players are really buying into everything he’s telling them.
He knows this squad isn’t the most talented and he knows that the growing pains can be frustrating, but all he’s told his players is to play for four quarters and not to quit until the game clock reads 00:00. The Tigers do that and have done it well four times. You don’t see young players consistently do that on their own. Chizik is a major reason for that and he’s a major reason why Auburn is undefeated in SEC play.
Take 2: Chris Low
Not a bad choice, Edward, and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin deserves a shout-out as well. But I’m going with The Hat. Yep, the Mad Hatter. I get it that Les Miles can be a bit cartoonish at times, and some of the clock management snafus aren’t easily forgotten on the Bayou. All that said, the guy has a real want to achieve victory. And even though the constraints of the legal system looked like they might impede this LSU team’s progress at one point, here the Tigers are perched at No. 1 in the polls and eager to pursue the field once again and enjoy the spoils of victory.
OK, seriously, Miles has done a terrific job in light of the bar brawl back in August and all the negative attention and distractions that came with that whole mess. I realize some people will say, ‘How can you pick Miles with all that talent?’ Here’s how: He lost his starting quarterback (Jordan Jefferson) for four games, one of his starting receivers (Russell Shepard) for three games and one of his best offensive linemen (guard Josh Dworaczyk) for the season. Not only that, but the Tigers had to make the transition from Steve Kragthorpe to Greg Studrawa as offensive coordinator after Kragthorpe announced in August that he had Parkinson’s disease. It’s time to give The Hat his due. He may eat grass, but he can also coach. His players love playing for him. He’s assembled a stunning collection of talent, and if you haven’t noticed, the Tigers are playing lights out right now. Who else in college football has three wins over three Top 25 opponents away from home?