Southeastern Conference fans love nothing more that arguing about who the best coach in the conference is. Alabama fans especially love it since their guy, Nick Saban, is pretty clearly the winner of that argument with his five national titles.
However, there is one reasonable coaching metric that doesn’t list Saban at the top. That is each coach’s winning percentage against the gambling spread. This list was compiled by friend of The State David Purdum, who covers sports gaming for ESPN. With a tip of the hat to Purdum’s work, in the non-Saban category, a coach’s record ATS is probably as good an indicator as any of coaching acumen.
Essentially, the percentages listed below tell whether a coach’s team is exceeding public expectations or not. In all, there are seven conference coaches on the good side of the ledger. Wondering where South Carolina’s Will Muschamp falls? Take a look at the list below:
Auburn’s Gus Malzahn 57.38 (35-26)
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Alabama’s Nick Saban 56.32 (147-114)
Florida’s Jim McElwain 55.93 (33-26)
Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason 55.55 (20-16)
Tennessee’s Butch Jones 53.78 (64-55)
Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen 52.63 (50-45)
Arkansas’ Bret Bielema 51.90 (68-62)
LSU’s Ed Orgeron 49.02 (25-26)
Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin 48.15 (52-56)
South Carolina’s Will Muschamp 43.86 (25-32)
Kentucky’s Mark Stoops 43.75 (21-27)
Missouri’s Barry Odom 41.67 (5-7)
Georgia’s Kirby Smart 41.67 (5-7)
Ole Miss’ Matt Luke 0.00 (0-0)