Ranking the head coaches in the SEC

Who is the top dog in the SEC among head coaches entering the 2024 college football season?
Kirby Smart, Brian Kelly, SEC football
Kirby Smart, Brian Kelly, SEC football / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
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Mark Stoops
Mark Stoops / Jeff Faughender/Courier Journal / USA

9. Brent Venables, Oklahoma

Venables proved to have Oklahoma on a good pace last season, improving by a mark of four wins year-over-year in 2023. After a disappointing start to his tenure in Norman, winning just six games in 2022, Venables and the Sooners won double-digit games in 2023. Oklahoma also beat their rival Texas for the first time in Venables tenure in Norman.

The SEC schedulers didn't do Venables and the Sooners any favors this year. Oklahoma faces the Tennessee Volunteers, Ole Miss Rebels, Mizzou Tigers, LSU Tigers, Alabama, and Texas in SEC play this upcoming season.

8. Eli Drinkwitz, Missouri

Mizzou and head coach Eli Drinkwitz exploded onto the scene in the SEC East in 2023. The Tigers won 11 games, including a double-digit Cotton Bowl victory over the No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes last season.

With Drinkwitz and the Tigers returning most of the starters on both sides of the ball from last year's squad, the ceiling is high for this team again in 2024.

7. Mark Stoops, Kentucky

The Kentucky Wildcats football program and Mark Stoops have become synonomous with each other. Stoops holds the record for all-time wins in the Kentucky program as the head coach. He has posted winning records with Kentucky in seven of the last eight campaigns.

6. Josh Heupel, Tennessee

Tennessee didn't reach the heights in 2023 that it did in 2022 under Josh Heupel, winning two fewer games while finishing with a .500 record in conference play last season. But Heupel and the Vols have still won 20 games since 2022, tied for the third-most of all SEC teams.

Heupel has the squad in place to be a contender in the SEC again in 2024, led by uber-talented redshirt freshman quarterback Nico Iamaleava.