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Greg McElroy ranks top five SEC coaches entering 2023 season

On3-Social-Profile_GRAYby:On3 Staff Report02/23/23

With the college football offseason upon us it’s officially talking season and there’s plenty of prognosticating to be done in the coming weeks and months. How about the top five SEC coaches going into 2023?

That’s a ranking that ESPN’s Greg McElroy took a stab at on the Always College Football show on YouTube.

He provided his top five SEC coaches ranking, so let’s check it out below. We’ll include parts of McElroy’s justification for each ranking below as well.

Top Five SEC Coaches going into 2023

1. Nick Saban, Alabama

Overall: 189-27 (.875)
SEC: 109-18 (.858)

Quotable: “I, for one, am still going to have Nick Saban at No. 1. Not because I think he’s necessarily better but it’s hard to ignore seven national championships, consistently getting his team to play at a pretty high level. … He still has his team within striking distance every single year and has since 2008.”

2. Kirby Smart, Georgia

Overall: 81-15 (.844)
SEC: 48-9 (.842)

Quotable: “That is a closer margin (with Saban) than probably ever before. That margin used to be significant. It was Nick Saban then everybody else. I think Kirby Smart has now joined the fray at the top of the college football world. He doesn’t take a back seat to anybody else not named the GOAT, Nick Saban.”

3. Brian Kelly, LSU

Overall: 10-4 (.714)
SEC: 6-2 (.750)

Quotable: “To see how much that team improved throughout the course of the season was remarkable. He had two freshman tackles. He had a defender, arguably his best defender, was a true freshman. He had a receiver that was a headache his entire season. He had so many different challenges that he had to overcome this year and yet the team continued to improve.”

4. Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss

Overall: 23-13 (.639)
SEC: 14-11 (.560)

Quotable: “Look at what Ole Miss lost off of the 2021 team. The fact that they were even ranked where they were at any point last year is a testament to what Lane Kiffin was able to replenish.”

5. Josh Heupel, Tennessee

Overall: 18-8 (.692)
SEC: 10-6 (.625)

Quotable: “Like Lane Kiffin, it’s one thing to break through, it’s another to sustain. But I am cautiously optimistic that he’s going to be able to sustain into the upcoming season. … If you look at what Tennessee brings back, they should be in the mix. Not saying to win the SEC East, but they should be at worst No. 2 in the SEC East.”