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THE THREE MILLION DOLLAR MEN - WEEK 5

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LET’S TALK ABOUT THE SADDER, POORER HALF OF THE SEC

Six SEC West teams played last week. They all won, and their average margin of victory was over 31 points. The closest thing we got to intrigue in the division was Texas A&M leg wrestling South Carolina to a 7-7 tie in the first half. So rather than run through the list and say “ok I guess everyone’s fine for now,” we’re going to switch our focus.

Every* SEC East coach makes at least $3 million. No, it’s not SEC West money, but these teams aren’t SEC West good, are they? The biggest difference is that three of the seven coaches in the East are in their first year, which theoretically reduces their chances of getting canned.

Fuck theory. Let’s make up some numbers.

JIM MCELWAIN

Why McElwain shouldn’t get fired: Florida nearly quadrupled its margin of victory year over year against Vanderbilt. That’s an advanced statistic and if you question it you’re a luddite who doesn’t really understand football.

Why McElwain should get fired: Not including the SEC Championship last year, McElwain’s coached Florida in 11 conference games so far. Over those games, Florida’s averaged 5.23 yards per play and 22.5 points scored on offense. Through Will Muschamp’s first 11 SEC games, those numbers were 5.45 yards and 18.3 points. In seven of those Muschamp games, UF was held below 30 points. The same’s been true of nine McElwain games.

Firing chances: 0.2

KIRBY SMART

Why Kirby shouldn’t get fired: Mark Richt got 15 seasons before he was shown the door. The least Georgia can do is give Kirby Smart a third of that.

Why Kirby should get fired: He’s not even halfway through the start of his first year and Kirby Smart has already

  • beaten an ACC team convincingly
  • barely avoided an upset against an FCS team at home
  • gotten thumped by an SEC West team
  • blown a winnable game against a division rival

This is a Mark Richt cover band, and they are playing nothing but the hits. (Still on the list:

  • trash lower level SEC East team so everyone thinks you’ve fixed things
  • lose to a Florida team that decides to run nothing but Maryland I or some shit
  • win bowl game and achieve final record that masks the lack of any real achievement

Firing chances: 0.3

MARK STOOPS

Why Stoops shouldn’t get fired: Bowl eligibility is still out there, if you squint. It requires Kentucky to beat Vanderbilt, Missouri, and Austin Peay, and then get an upset over one of Mississippi State/Georgia/Tennessee/Louisville. Oh, there’s also the total buyout of $18 million that Kentucky would have to swallow.

Why Stoops should get fired: Right, I sort of just assumed Kentucky could beat Vandy and Mizzou, which ignores that Stoops is 1-2 against both schools. If you’re not going to eat a stupid contract, you’re not really serious about being a college football team.

Firing chances: 0.4

BARRY ODOM

Why Odom shouldn’t get fired: What were your expectations for Missouri entering this season? TRICK QUESTION YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE HAD ANY. As long as Barry Odom is making sure everyone’s wearing matching uniforms and getting fed, that’s success in year one.

Why Odom should get fired: Take out two sacks and a kneeldown, and LSU ran the ball 49 times against Mizzou. 23 of those went for first down or TD — and this was without Leonard Fournette. Sure, Ed Orgeron’s team played great on defense, but they didn’t enjoy especially great field position. They just marched and marched and marched, with six touchdown drives that started at or inside the LSU 25.

Firing chances: 0.2

WILL MUSCHAMP

Why Will Muschamp shouldn’t get fired: Everything I say below is exactly what you knew you were getting when you hired Will Muschamp. You bought this car after it was recalled because the engine shuts off if you go over 35, so you don’t get to be mad that highways are now off limits to you.

Why Will Muschamp should get fired: South Carolina held Texas A&M’s offense to season low totals in yards and points; they stopped Kentucky on 9 third down attempts out of 13; they nearly kept Mississippi State off their half of the field for the entire second half after going down 24-0. And they lost all three games because the offense is total trash. Like, measurably worse than Boston College trash. The Gamecocks are almost a yard per play below last year’s South Carolina squad and over a touchdown behind in points per game. They’re terrible in the red zone, work at a numbingly slow pace, and cannot pick up big chunks of yardage.

Firing chances: 0.1

BUTCH JONES

Why Butch shouldn’t get fired: He broke the Florida streak and has Tennessee on pace to play in the SEC Championship for the first time since 2007. How? That’s the kind of question that turns you off processed meats forever. Just enjoy your ignorance and your chicken nuggets.

Why Butch should get fired: Every time Tennessee starts slowly and looks like shit in the first half, Vol fans take to Twitter and work some feelings out. The suspicion that Butch is merely Jacked Dooley refuses to leave their minds, and if the bottom falls out for Tennessee at some point? They will unleash that dormant anger.

Firing chances: 0.0

DEREK MASON

Firing chances: 0.6. Sorry, but I’m not wasting time on Vanderbilt football, and neither should you.

*Derek Mason probably doesn’t make three mil, but we don’t know for sure so you can’t prove this column’s central conceit is inaccurate.

TOTAL NUMBER OF SEC EAST COACHES DUE TO BE FIRED: 1.8. This number’s not going to hit 2 unless Kentucky tacks a buyout surcharge onto basketball season tickets.