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THE FOUR MILLION DOLLAR MEN: WEEK 1

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HANDSOMELY PAID AND REAL POORLY PLAYED

The SEC West is the only Power 5 division which hasn’t had a new coaching hire since 2013. It is also the only Power 5 division in which every coach makes $4 million annually*, per USA Today’s 2015 coaching salary database. That makes the SEC West college football’s housing bubble. Our job this season is to figure out where it’s going to pop.

*Bret Bielema makes $3,960,666, but we’re betting he sweats through $40,000 worth of track suits in a year.

So we’ll be ignoring all other hot seats and focusing solely on this question: week to week, how many of the SEC West’s coaches should be shown the door before the start of the 2017 season? All of them? Almost all of them? Just Dan Mullen? Let’s begin.

NICK SABAN

Why Saban shouldn’t get fired: He coaches the reigning national champion, has won four title at Alabama, and started the year by giving USC their worst opening week loss in program history.

Why Saban should get fired: Look, if Nick Saban’s not pleased with the way his team played, why should Crimson Tide fans? Besides, isn’t he just riding Lane Kiffin’s coattails at this point?

Firing chances (between 0 and 1): 0.1. Nobody’s truly safe and you’re deceiving yourself if you think otherwise.

GUS MALZAHN

Why Gus shouldn’t get fired: While I don’t necessarily agree that the better team lost, Auburn’s defense held Clemson to 5.12 yards per play. That would have been the lowest average for Clemson across all of last season.

Why Gus should get fired: Auburn’s offense, however, only put up 3.69 yards per play - the lowest in a game since 2012. You remember, the season where they opened with a loss to Clemson and wound up firing their coach. The signs are there! Ignore them at your own peril.

Firing chances: 0.4

BRET BIELEMA

Why Bret shouldn’t get fired: The Razorberts are 1-0; over half of the division isn’t. When you’re less than a year removed from a 16-12 loss to Toledo, ugly wins will do just fine.

Why Bret should get fired: You needed a fourth quarter comeback (on fourth and goal) against a Skip Holtz team that didn’t even have the services of beloved college football hero Jeff Driskel. /blood drips slowly from edges of eyes

Firing chances: 0.2

KEVIN SUMLIN

Why Sumlin shouldn’t get fired: 100,000 AGGIE FANS TRYING TO BREAK JOSH ROSEN’S RIBS USING ONLY THE POWER OF SOUND

Why Sumlin should get fired: With 8:20 left in the game and a 15 point lead, Texas A&M intercepted UCLA. UCLA managed to send things to OT all the same because, on their next three possessions, the Aggies:
- did not get a single first down
- went 0/5 passing the ball
- only drained three minutes off the clock in total

Firing chances: 0.2

LES MILES

Why Les shouldn’t get fired: If the goals for LSU this year were some combination of beat Alabama/win the division/contend for a playoff spot/win 11 games, all of those are still technically on the table. Plus, y’all already spent that money on marriage counseling last year.

Why Les should get fired: If all that’s required from a quarterback to beat LSU is a 61% completion percentage, no more than two interceptions, and zero passing touchdowns? Hooooooooooooboy y’all might be real fucked.

Firing chances: 0.7

DAN MULLEN

Why Mullen shouldn’t get fired: It was always going to be an adjustment facing life without the greatest quarterback in school history, and this isn’t a thing if Mississippi State’s kicker just hits a 28 yard field goal to win the game.

Why Mullen should get fired: 2009 was Dan Mullen’s first season in Starkville. It was also South Alabama’s first season as a football team. Like, at any level. At all.

Firing chances: 0.6

HUGH FREEZE

Why Freeze shouldn’t get fired: The first half of the Florida State game.

Why Freeze should get fired: The second half of the Florida State game.

Firing chances: 0.4

TOTAL NUMBER OF SEC WEST COACHES DUE TO BE FIRED: 2.6, but it’s early! I feel like we can easily hit 4 at some point this season.