Here's an interesting preseason look at the SEC from Vegas Insider.
---Is hotshot frosh quarterback Mitch Mustain really going to be the starter from day one at Arkansas? That sounds like suicide. I know his high school coach is the offensive coordinator, but there are bound to be adjustment issues for the both of them. I'd rather get the OC seasoned first and then let him work Mustain into the offense instead of screwing the kid up from the word go.
---The author lists some interesting upset possibilities (Fresno State over LSU, South Carolina over Florida again, Arkansas over LSU). Hmm...
---Author Brian Edwards ranks the SEC coaches from 1-12 as Spurrier, Richt, Tuberville, Fulmer, Shula, Meyer, Nutt, Miles, Orgeron, Croom, Brooks, Johnson.
My list would go something like this:
I'm a little biased towards scheme on either side of the ball and ability to win outside the SEC.
There isn't a better coach within the conference than Georgia's Mark Richt, for example, but in bowl games he's taken talented teams and lost to West Virginia in his own backyard, barely beat a bad Purdue team and barely beat an imploding Florida State team. There's room for improvement still.
Florida's Urban Meyer has had two Oasis in the desert coaching experiences and is on his way to making the Gators great again. Ironically, his vaunted offense has been held back as the team gets used to his schemes and he works towards finding appropriate personnel to run it (frosh Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin are a great start, once they get the hang of things).
South Carolina's Steve Spurrier's still got it, and has won national games before at Florida, but the bowl collapse against Missouri is worrisome.
Tennessee's Phil Fulmer was great once but he doesn't have his act together anymore. We'll see if he falls by the wayside in the next 2-3 year or reinvents himself somehow.
Arkansas' Houston Nutt's an inventive guy and wins some games he shouldn't (Texas!), but also bungles some good opportunities.
I hold LSU's Les Miles in similar regard.
Auburn's Tommy Tuberville is a guy who has improved over the years and is at the peak of his career. He makes great coaching hires and recruits well and put together a pretty good team in 2004.