by Pat Dooley
This just in — Nick Saban will be the next coach at Notre Dame.
Come on, let’s get the rumor started. Saban will leave because he can’t coach without Julio Jones and he has close ties to the Midwest. He doesn’t want to coach against Urban Meyer and is afraid his team will end up in yearly BCS battles with Utah.
Sources close to me have confirmed this is true.
Just kidding, of course. Last I saw, Notre Dame has a coach. Let’s move on to some opinion with actual substance. And I’d love to hear from you on this. Rank the SEC coaches from 1 to 12. And while we’re at it, let’s rank the top 10 national coaches. Hey, it’s summer. That’s when we do these kinds of things.
1. Urban Meyer: No-brainer. Two NC’s in four years. SEC record during that span — 24-8 but 2-0 in the SEC title game.
2. Nick Saban: He’s won a national title and if not for Tim Tebow would have played for a second last year.
3. Mark Richt: He’s won a championship in the league and 22 of 32 games. Needs to get the Dogs over the hump.
4. Les Miles: Last year’s collapse (3-5 down the stretch) showed how important it is to have a good quarterback.
5. Houston Nutt: Got it done at Arkansas and wasted little time to turn around Ole Miss.
6. Steve Spurrier: Has won more games over four seasons than any previous S.C. coach.
7. Rich Brooks: I’ve totally flipped on this guy. You get Kentucky to three straight bowl games and you’ve done something.
8. Bobby Johnson: I’d love to see him at a place where football was important.
9. Bobby Petrino: Hey, it’s based on results and Petrino was 2-6 in the league in his first season.
10. Lane Kiffin: I rank him the highest of the first-year coaches because of his amazing recruiting class. But until you win a game in the league, you can’t be ranked ahead of those who have.
11. Dan Mullen: I really don’t know if he’ll be a good head coach, but if he can do it in Starkville they’ll raise a statue.
12. Gene Chizik: Nobody has more to prove in this league than the Auburn coach.
OK, how about nationally?
1. Meyer: If you had one game with a month to prepare and you picked anybody else to be your coach for that game you’d be making a huge mistake.
2. Pete Carroll: The reality is that if Carroll were coaching in a different league that had a championship game, the Trojans would have played for three or four more national titles.
3. Bobby Stoops: I know he has had a problem winning BCS games, but the Sooners are in contention every year.
4. Jim Tressel: Unfairly maligned because of the back-to-back losses in NC games, Tressel knows what he’s doing.
5. Mack Brown: Got the monkey off his back and had a legitimate argument to be in the title game last year.
6. Nick Saban: He may be on the verge of dominating the SEC West.
7. Frank Beamer: Just keeps winning but a notch below the top six.
8. Jim Grobe: The Wake Forest coach could take your team and beat his and vice versa. And yours are usually better than his.
9. Richt: See SEC rankings above.
10. Miles: Ditto.