8. Houston Nutt (Ole Miss): By most objective standards, last year’s 9-4 record was a bitter disappointment after pundits had Ole Miss ranked in the top 10 team and the Rebels made it up to No. 4 before the wheels came off. Still, most seem content with Nutt for now (don’t forget he replaced Ed Orgeron!). But standards in Oxford are pretty low, considering the school is the only SEC West member who has never been to Atlanta and it hasn’t won a league title since 1963.
9. Dan Mullen (Mississippi State): A protégé of Urban Meyer, Mullen has the Bulldog Nation fired up — and for good reason. Not only did Mullen beat his biggest rival last year, Ole Miss, he hasn’t let the Rebels fans forget it. On the rubber-chicken circuit this spring, Mullen has refused to mention State’s top rival by name, calling Ole Miss “that school up north.”