In many ways, Jeremy Pruitt is starting from the bottom. He’s taking control of a program that has hit historic lows over the past decade, fresh off their first ever four win season.
Athlon Sports gave Pruitt another hole to dig out of today, ranking him 13th of 14 coaches in the Southeastern Conference. I’m sure that ranking is really keeping him up at night.
This ranking was expected with Pruitt being a first year head coach in the SEC. There are plenty of unknowns around this program, roster and Pruitt himself. It’s tough to place a value without seeing the product on the field first. But it’s the offseason, so we’ll entertain it.
Pruitt was ranked last among SEC newcomers in the article from Athlon. Jimbo Fisher (2nd), Chad Morris (8th) and Joe Moorhead (9th) all appeared ahead of Tennessee’s first year head coach. Matt Luke — who isn’t technically a newcomer — was the lone name behind Pruitt.
Florida’s Dan Mullen, who former Tennessee athletics director John Currie was in contact with during the infamous coaching search, checked in at No. 4 overall. It’s going to be fascinating to compare Tennessee’s trajectory to Florida’s over the next five years.
No surprise, but Nick Saban was the clear No. 1 for Athlon. Kirby Smart landed at No. 3 after guiding the Georgia Bulldogs to a national title appearance. Kentucky’s Mark Stoops was surprisingly high at 7th.
You can check Athlon’s full list here.
What do you think about their list? My only gripe is ranking Moorhead and Morris so far ahead of Pruitt. Let us know your thoughts below.