Two years ago, I wrote a FanPost asking if Nick Saban vs. Les Miles would become the next big coaching rivalry. In that FanPost, I linked a Rivals.com article that suggested Saban vs. Chizik was likely to become a modern day Hayes vs. Schembechler.
After you've stopped laughing at that idea, you should realize that a plurality of RBR readers felt that, indeed, Gene Chizik was the most likely coach to rival Coach Saban.
Now that the Southeastern Conference has experienced tremendous turnover in the coaching ranks, I feel it's appropriate to conduct another survey. I have included the coaches from our chief division and conference rivals along with some promising upstarts within the SEC.
Kevin Sumlin had a successful first year in the SEC and was the only coach to best Nick Saban in 2012.
Les Miles' LSU team has faced the Crimson Tide thrice in the last two years, winning once in Tuscaloosa and losing twice within Louisiana. By far, the games between LSU and Alabama in the last two years have had the highest stakes of any between two rivals.
Hugh Freeze is better than his predecessors, and Ole Miss fans were pleasantly surprised after only losing to Alabama by 19 points last September.
Will Muschamp had his team in the exact same position following the 2012 regular season as Nick Saban had the Crimson Tide after the 2011 regular season. Things didn't quite work out the same.
Bret Bielema likes to run the ball.
Butch Jones will have an opportunity to prove he can be successful without Brian Kelly setting the stage.
Gus Malzahn was, like, shut up!
Which SEC coach do you think emerges as Saban's chief "rival" in the near future?
Kevin Sumlin (18 votes)
Les Miles (71 votes)
Hugh Freeze (3 votes)
Will Muschamp (9 votes)
Bret Bielema (1 vote)
Butch Jones (1 vote)
Gus Malzahn (3 votes)
None of the Above (I have explained myself in the comments.) (13 votes)
119 total votes