Auburn capped off its 2016 football season with a Sugar Bowl berth, where it got handled by Oklahoma 35-19. While the Tigers didn't finish the season well (losing three of their final four games), there were plenty of bright spots along the way, including a 7-2 mark in early November.
Derek Mason's Vanderbilt Commodores finally reached a bowl game in 2016 after getting hot at the end of the regular season. Vandy hammered Ole Miss 38-17 and knocked off rival Tennessee 45-34 in its last two games to reach the postseason.
Ranking the college football and basketball head coaching tandems for the Power 5 conferences is no easy assignment. But that’s what Athlon Sports has set out to do this offseason, as spring practice is just starting around the nation for all 130 teams and tournament time is approaching for teams on the hardwood.
The future was not looking very bright for the South Carolina Gamecocksaround this time last year. First-year head coach Will Muschamp inherited a questionable roster from a team that had compiled a record of just 3-9 the year prior.
While the SEC is considered college football’s best conference, the coaching ranks aren’t particularly deep on the gridiron. Alabama’s Nick Saban ranks as the best coach in the nation, but the next few spots are up for grabs. A similar situation plays out on the hardwood.
Recruiting is the foundation for winning national championships, competing for CFB Playoff berths or winning at a high level in college football. While recruiting rankings aren’t 100 percent accurate, there is plenty of truth in the rankings and evaluations by the experts. It’s no secret what a program needs in order to win big at this level.
Recent history shows that if you want to win in the NFL, you need to have a solid-if-not-elite defensive line to do so. Recent history also shows that if you are looking for elite defensive linemen in the college ranks, the Southeastern Conference is a great place to start.