Daily Football Fix: Jinxed SEC award?


Kirby Smart had better be careful.

The Georgia coach was named SEC coach of the year by the Associated Press after last season and rightfully so.

But that’s a bit of a kiss of death unless you’re Nick Saban.

Saban has won it four times, three at Alabama, and is still employed. It hasn’t been so great for some of the other coaches.

* Terry Bowden, Auburn: SEC COY in 1993 and fired in ’98.

* Mike DuBose, Alabama: Coach of the year in 1999 and fired after the following season.

* Phillip Fulmer, Tennessee: Coach of the year in 1998 but this poison took awhile because he wasn’t let go until 2008.

* Houston Nutt, Arkansas: He won the award twice in 2001 and 2006 and a year after the latter award stepped down at Arkansas in the middle of controversy. A few days later, he emerged as the coach at Ole Miss, which fired him in 2011.

* Mark Richt, Georgia: Winner in 2002, unceremoniously dumped in 2015.

* David Cutcliffe, Ole Miss: Shared the award with Saban in 2003 and was fired after the next season.

* Sylvester Croom, Mississippi State: The SEC’s first African-American head coach was the winner in 2007 and was fired a year later.

* Gene Chizik, Auburn: Coach of the year and a national champ in 2010, he was gone two years later after an 0-8 SEC mark.

* Les Miles, LSU: He won the award in 2011, was almost fired in 2015 and then was canned early in the 2016 season.

* Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M: The coach of the year in 2012, he was dismissed last season. By the way, he shared the award in the coaches’ vote with Will Muschamp of Florida, who lasted only two more seasons.

* Jim McElwain, Florida: Winner in 2015, lasted only 21 more games before being fired.

Now, Dan Mullen won it in 2014 and is still employed, but at another school by choice. Steve Spurrier won four times, three at Florida, and is still employed at UF as a consultant.


  1. Only underscores the old adage: football coaches are hired to be fired. It’s a matter of, “What have you done for us lately, mister?” This is why Cutcliffe, a solid coach and good soul, turned down Tennessee to stay at Duke, whose rather small array of football fans regard him as one of the best in the country. I think this is partly why Spurrier moved in from UF, wanting to leave while he still lived UF (his word in 2001). I listened into a Spurrier media conference at South Carolina about 2013 as I drove through that state on a business trip. He was taking questions about how soon he would be retiring, shy he hadn’t been more successful there. All these guys put up with plenty of sniping. It’s a job for the tough-minded. A sense of humor undoubtedly helps.

  2. Clyde, exactly right. What have you done for us lately. Fulmer should have never been fired, Miles neither. Tennessee may finally be turning around but LSU I’m not sure. Cutlcliffe may not want to be a part of Ten. nightmare. Be a hero where you are while it lasts. I think the Vol program is going in the right direction it just might take longer than the fans and alum are going to give Pruitt. This will test Fulmer’s resolve. They can get good jus t not as good as long as we still beat them. My own reality.

    Mush and Mac had lucky seasons with a roster they didn’t recruit.
    Richt was a good coach just lost to us a few times too many. Seems there was more going on than we know. But he couldn’t get them to the big dance. I’d bet if Smart has a few rough seasons his head will be on the block.
    Schools (because of the money) won’t sit with a coach for 20-30 years through the highs and lows. I’d bet even Saban would be gone if he slipped too many years. Bryant 20 some years, Bowden, 30 some years are a thing of the past.

      • Abbreviation only not name calling. He is passionate about the game to the point of being detrimental to coaching. 11 wins over 500 as HC. 10-13 last two years at UF doesn’t exactly scream great. I am not down on the guy just my interpretation of their performances. First did better with the recruits he inherited, second did better with 1sts recruits.

    • You guys–Clyde and 65–have covered it pretty well. This is a much tougher subject than seen at first blush! I can only add that it’s probably a good idea to remove the “by their own misconduct” coaches first. That would probably account for Bowden, Nutt, and DuBois–depending on your viewpoint. Then the blatantly stupid firings–Fulmer, Miles, and Richt come to mind–and then try to explain the remainder based either on “jinx” or other rational cause.

      Champ is probably in a special category all by himself, so I’d give David points for standing up for him (were it up to me to award and deduct points). Mac, however, well….I’ll let that go and just say that if 65’s comment about “luck” pretty much explains it all for me.

      Nobody has mentioned Croom yet, but I’d opine that brave guy accomplished exactly what he was asked to and set out to do. Maybe a jinx, but probably not when you really give it some thought.

  3. Orlandogator77—I admire your wish (and effort) to write one-sentence paragraphs. Pat D. is a master of the mannerism; but if you compared your three-sentences = three paragraphs offering the other day with Dooley’s, you would see that your’s are too wordy. You’ve got to reduce the number of sentences in a paragraph down to one, but you must also try to reduce the number of words in the lone sentence. Dooley sometimes writes one-word paragraphs. The only way you can beat that is write no-word paragraphs. You might be able to bring that off by putting four spaces between paragraphs. Give it a try–it might work.

    You’re thinking that if you did that, there would be no substance to the paragraph, no meaning, no cognitive component, nothing but vapor. You would be right, but that doesn’t matter. Look over some of Dooley’s stuff and you’ll see what I mean, and at the same time see that none is necessary.

    If you really want to beat Dooley at his own game, see if you can write an entire posting with no sentences and no words. You would be successful, in my opinion, if you got a vigorous response from other bloggers, some agreeing with you, some disagreeing. Tampagator comes to mind.

    In the meantime, take a look at Dooley’s penchant for catchy openings. We’ll turn our attention to that after you work on word-paragraph structure for a while. Good luck!

    • Now THAT is classic Leland, only from the devilish mind of…..well….Leland. If I didn’t know better, I would actually think you used to be old Charley Reese from the Orlando Sentinel fame. But I have it on good authority that he didn’t like Krystal hamburgers at all, so we can eliminate that name for now.

      I’m going to give no-word paragraphs a try myself. They’re going to be, from now on, all digits. Then the reader can try to interpret what I’m saying, and depending on their individual math skills, I’ll pronounce them right or wrong and give them a good tongue lashing just to make it interesting. Of course, the latter will have to be in all digit format too, which I haven’t quite figured out yet……

      • 6 maybe CEOI? Not sure how many know that or if it still is used.
        Maybe ‘Mab’ you ‘U’ we can talk like the younger set. You’re Ur (used for Your and You are). I can’t even type like that.



        “.” wordless sentences.

        Go Gators!

        • Wow, I hadn’t thought of that term in years, 65. I got to 3ID in August ’82, and we used them even though we had installed VINCENs on all the VR46s and 47s……but that was because every time you hit a bump in an M151 (worse in an M113), the damn thing would go out and you’d have to try to reload with a red lens only. With SINGARS and PCM shots now, I suspect that handy little booklet has gone the way of the do-do bird. What we’ll ever do in a CBR environment I wouldn’t hazard a guess, but EMP if nothing else is the great equalizer! Thanks for the memories! (I can’t type like that either)

          • Had to hump the VINCEN in Panama with PRC77. Mike Foxtrot of all Mike Foxtrots. And the thing still worked half the time. I am not sure who we were protecting with that contraption.

      • Gator 6–thanks for your comments. And I think digital paragraphs make a lot of sense especially on this site. But that’s not why I’m writing–it was your mention of Krystals in connection with Charlie Reese (who is not I, and I not him) that resolved my conflict about telling you that I had four of them for lunch today. I didn’t want to tell you because I knew you didn’t have a Krystal near you. Anyway, I got everything ready then beat it down there and got four of them ($3.21) and got back home in less than 10 minutes. Everything was ready including a big glass of unsweetened ice-box tea steeped with a sprig of spearmint. Boy, howdy.

        And something else–I watched the noon news while I ate. They have a reporter on there by the name Patty Pan. A grown woman named Patty Pan. How would you like to be called Patty Pan? Know what I mean? And that reminded me of that football player who they call Tyrod Taylor. I just don’t know what to make of these kinds of things.

        • It has to be a stage name, but if her last name is indeed Pan, it would have been snappier had she come up with some variant of “frying” for a first name. But who am I to make fun of names, even in light hearted jest? My middle name of Henderson has morphed, over the years to “Hen”. I suspect that my men in the Army even called me that behind my back–as I’m equally convinced they were only following me out of curiosity anyway. Hen? Really? Anything would be better….Biff….Slats….Turk even…..anything but Hen!!!!

  4. Maybe we have too many awards. Because some of these are just where someone did well in a short burst. Sure we live the 100 yard dash but sustained excellence is what the fans want. In any given year a coach can benefit from luck including injuries but short term reward is sort of tainting the pool a little imo

  5. Saying that winning the award is the kiss of death is like saying that everyone that has eaten tomatoes has eventually died. The SEC is where most coaches want to be. Few leave on their own accord and many are fired because of the rabid fans at SEC schools that feel they should win a national championship every other year. Georgia is no exception. So much winning goes on in the SEC that every fan base in the league says “why not us?” As Mveal2006 pointed out, it is the consistency that fans seek the most and the coaches that give consistent winning get to win multiple awards as Steve Spurrier and Nick Saban have shown. The other coaches won it because they had a great year. The trick is to recruit well enough and get the breaks you need to string along enough good seasons while you seek the opportunity to pass another team for the championship even if it is only for one year.