The Big Ten is laughing at the SEC right now. And they may not be wrong for doing so.
The Week 5 display from Tennessee coach Butch Jones (41-0 loss to Georgia) and LSU coach Ed Orgeron (embarrassing home loss to Troy) sort of opened the door for criticism from around the country.
Columbus Dispatch columnist Rob Oller was ready to deliver his blow on Monday night. In a column that defines the “us vs. them” mentality of the Big Ten and the SEC, the writer who works for the paper that covers Ohio State as its local team went after the league with “SEC speed” puns and direct shots at the coaching hires made in recent seasons.
The Southeastern Conference is having more than a bad hair day. The entire season is looking bed-head messy.
Louisiana State football coach Ed Orgeron resembled a baggie floating in the ocean while explaining how the Tigers lost to Troy on Saturday. Tennessee coach Butch Jones was similarly deflated after the Vols lost to Georgia by 41 points.
These are tough times in wide swaths of the south, where “SEC Speed” is offset by coaching slippage.
And the Big Ten loves it.
The column goes on, but you’ll have to go read the rest over there.
Oller brings Yahoo! Sports columnist Dan Wetzel into the discussion to support his argument, which is this: The Big Ten has been getting most of its head coaching hires right lately, and the SEC has been doing it all wrong.
The proposed cause? Nick Saban’s dominance.
The alleged turning point? Urban Meyer’s decision to leave Florida and later coach at Ohio State.
Vanderbilt housed one of the nation’s top young coaches in James Franklin, who won nine games with the Commodores in back-to-back seasons in 2012 and 2013. The SEC had ample opportunity to lock him down at one of its major institutions. Instead, he has a conference title and Rose Bowl under his belt at Penn State with eyes on the College Football Playoff.
While Michigan was hiring alumnus Jim Harbaugh to replace failing head coach Brady Hoke, Missouri was hiring alumnus Barry Odom to replace legendary coach Gary Pinkel.
Schools like Minnesota and Purdue have jump in on the nation’s top young Group of 5 coaches in P.J. Fleck and Jeff Brohm, while programs like South Carolina and LSU have focused on retread hires of Will Muschamp and Ed Orgeron, who both already have failed as head coaches in the SEC at previous stops.
Mark Richt and Les Miles? Fired because they couldn’t beat Saban. Steve Spurrier? Retired because he couldn’t keep up with Saban any longer.
Even the good coach that the SEC seemingly stole from the Big Ten is on the receiving end of criticism. Bret Bielema’s move from Wisconsin (68-24 record) to Arkansas (27-28) has been anything but seamless, and the Razorbacks fan base that once was thrilled Bielema had arrived to make them forget Bobby Petrino now is wondering what things would be like if their former head coach would’ve never hopped on that motorcycle.
After a while, it adds up.
Five weeks into football in the SEC, it is clear that an increasing portion of the league’s fan bases are simply unhappy with the performance of its head coach. And after years of touting the nation’s top crop of teams, it may be time that we recognize this columnist could be right.
We may have to take our medicine.
The post Big Ten columnist rips SEC decision-making: ‘The best coaches are settling in the north’ appeared first on SEC Country.
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