Last week, we took a look at the five best players at offensive and defensive positions in the SEC from the past decade.
If you need a bit of a refresher, here you go:
Today, we decided to take a look at the five best SEC head coaches from the past 10 years. They might not be the fastest guys or the hardest hitters, but they help put all those guys who are together to win football games ... and they get paid millions to do it.
The SEC has seen its fair share of legendary coaches inside its borders, and a few had recent impacts on the league -- and nation.
1. Nick Saban, Alabama (2007-present): No-brainer. Since taking over Alabama's program in 2007, Saban has an outstanding 100-18 record (.847) with four national championships and four SEC championships. He just won his fourth national title at Alabama, becoming one of just two coaches to win five or more national titles in his career (we didn't forget about that one at LSU). Saban resurrected Alabama's football program and already has a very deserved statue outside of Bryant-Denny Stadium. Thirty-one of his players have earned 35 first-team All-SEC honors in the past eight years, and he's coached two Heisman Trophy winners. Since 2007, Alabama has lost more than two games in a season just once (2010) and have won double-digit games in eight straight seasons. No current coach -- and few before him -- can touch Saban's resume.
2. Urban Meyer, Florida (2005-10): While his stint with the Gators was far too short, he brought the school back to national prominence with two national championships (2006 and 2008). Meyer also graced the SEC with the spread offense. Meyer went 65-15 (.813) in six seasons at Florida, capturing two SEC titles (three Eastern Division titles) to go along with his two national championships, and he became the first coach in modern history to win at least 13 games in consecutive seasons (2008 and 2009). Meyer also had a 22-game winning streak while at Florida. He coached Heisman winner Tim Tebow in 2007, who became the first player to pass and rush for at least 20 touchdowns. Health issues played a part in Meyer's untimely resignation following the 2010 season.
3. Les Miles, LSU (2005-present): In his 11 years as LSU's coach, Miles has won at least 10 games in a season seven times. He's comprised a 112-32 record that includes a national championship (2007) and two SEC championships. From 2006-15, Miles had a SEC-high 64 players drafted. Miles' quirky, somewhat maddening coaching style has caused him to receive criticism from inside and outside of the fan base -- and program -- but he's an impressive 59-27 versus SEC teams in the regular season, 42-23 versus top-25 teams, and 40-19 against SEC West opponents. And while Miles' anxiety-inducing coaching in tight games can be frustrating to watch, he actually has 24 fourth-quarter/overtime comeback wins at LSU.
4. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina (2005-15): The Head Ball Coach made his name during his successful decade of work at Florida in the 1990s -- where he won a national championships and six SEC titles -- but he also helped make South Carolina's football team relevant during his 10-plus seasons with the Gamecocks. Spurrier, who resigned during the middle of the 2015 season, went 86-49 (.637) to become the winningest coach in school history. He joined Bear Bryant as the only coaches to ever boast the most wins at two different SEC schools. Spurrier's Gamecocks won 11 games in three straight seasons, from 2011-13. Before Spurrier arrived, South Carolina had never had an 11-win season. He also coached in South Carolina's first SEC championship game in 2010. Heading into his final season with the Gamecocks, Spurrier went 15-15 against East foes Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. He was also 6-4 against Clemson.
5. Phillip Fulmer, Tennessee (1992-2008): OK, so Fulmer's career at Tennessee had an ugly ending in 2008, but he had three seasons fall within the past decade, so there's no way I could leave him off, right? After all, Fulmer went 152-52 in 17 seasons with the Vols. From 1995-98, Fulmer's Vols went 45-5 and won the national title at the end of a perfect 1998 season. Fulmer won two SEC titles in his 17 seasons. As far as the last decade is concerned, Fulmer went 24-15, capping his tenure with a 5-7 2008 season that featured losses to Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina by a combined 79 points. He did win 10 games and the East in 2007.
Just missed the cut: Gene Chizik, Auburn (2009-2012); Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss (2012-present); Dan Mullen, Mississippi State (2009-present); Gary Pinkel, Missouri (2001-2015), Mark Richt, Georgia, (2001-2015)