Tennessee Vols head football coach Jeremy Pruitt is well regarded among his peers, but that doesn’t mean he’s viewed as one of the top coaches in college football by the media.
The Post and Courier, which is based in South Carolina, recently ranked all 28 ACC and SEC head coaches.
It should come as no surprise that Dabo Swinney and Nick Saban were at the top.
But from there, it gets a bit weird.
Dan Mullen, who has never reached the College Football Playoff was ranked No. 3 ahead of Kirby Smart (No. 4). Jimbo Fisher, who has won a national championship, rounded at the top 5.
So where did Pruitt land?
Well, you have to scroll down the list quite a ways, all the way to No. 24.
Pruitt came in just ahead of Chad Morris and Geoff Collins. He was ranked behind first time head coach Manny Diaz (No. 19).
You can find the whole list here.
I can understand Pruitt not being among the top 10 on the list, but to put him all the way at No. 24 just seems silly. Sure, Pruitt has a lot to prove. But he managed to take a program that was beyond rock bottom and beat one of the best Kentucky teams ever. Pruitt also led the Vols to their first SEC West road win (against Auburn) since 2007. I’d say that’s worthy of top 15 status, considering Tennessee’s 2018 squad wasn’t exactly rife with talent.
It seems like the Post and Courier is ranking Tennessee and not Pruitt. Based on what the Vols have done in recent years, No. 24 would be fair.
But Pruitt is without a doubt a better coach than Steve Addazio and Dave Clawson.
Perhaps they’ll get it right next year.
Featured image via John Reed/USA Today Sports