12. Bobby Johnson - Frequently gets credit for doing more with less, but after he still couldn't break through the five win ceiling with the best team he has fielded yet he drops to the bottom.
11. Sylvester Croom - Sly pulled off a miracle last season, and by all accounts he's doing things right in Starkville and is a great guy. But he won with defense and special teams and his brand of west coast offense has yet to do anything more than produce a couple of good power backs. With Ellis Johnson gone, I doubt State will make another trip to the postseason, and he's still at the bottom of the barrell.
10. Rich Brooks - I feel like Brooks should be higher for what he's done with UK the past few years, but you can argue that it was a happy confluence of talent that built those results and that he hasn't built a program that can sustain that success.
9. Steve Spurrier - I hate putting him this low, as well, but his offense just isn't what it used to be and, like Croom, his best teams have won with defense, something he all but ignores.
8. Bobby Petrino - Jury is still out, but he gets at least this high on rep alone. It will be a tough year (or maybe few years) for him until he can get the right personnel into Arkansas.
7. Houston Nutt - Did more with less at Arkansas, and has some talent to work with at Ole Miss. Won't set the conference on fire, but will be a pain in the neck for the rest of the division and is going to ruin a lot of people's seasons before he's done.
He scares me.
6. Phil Fulmer - He's pretty well worked the Vols backwards to the middle of the conference, so in the middle of the poll he goes.
5. Les Miles - He strikes me as the kind of huckster car salesman that's damn good at selling himself first, even if his product isn't all that you expect it to be. But hats off to him, he's sustained the success level at LSU, is still keeping the blue chip recruits rolling in, and has done well so far as assistants go.
4. Tommy Tuberville - Has reverted back to the 9 win mean that had boosters on a plane to Louisville, and you have to wonder what the Auburn faithful would be thinking of him if it weren't for the six win streak over Alabama.
3. Nick Saban - He's walked back into college football, completely reshaped the culture of one of (if not THE) most obstinate fan bases in the country in his own image, landed a top recruiting class and assembled an amazing staff despite a reputation for being an utter tyrant, all in one (7-6) year. Name me another coach that could have done the same?
2. Mark Richt - Has really grown into the role of elite head coach and could be at number 1 in next year's preseason poll if the Dawgs live up to their potential.
1. Urban Meyer - His offensive system is brilliant, and as soon as he can build up the depth on defense (which he will, since he's an insane recruiter) there is no telling how terrifying they will be.