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How the media views SEC coaches

The Mobile Register did a survey of regional media that covers the SEC, and asked them to rate the conference's head coaches in four different categories.

PRESENCE - "Does he have the charisma and gravitas to impress fans and recruits."

1. Urban Meyer, Florida; 2. Nick Saban, Alabama; 3. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina; 4. Mark Richt, Georgia; 5. Tommy Tuberville, Auburn; 6. Les Miles, LSU; 7. Sylvester Croom, Mississippi State; 8. Houston Nutt, Ole Miss; 9. Phillip Fulmer, Tennessee; 10. Bobby Petrino, Arkansas; 11. (tie), Rich Brooks, Kentucky, and Bobby Johnson, Vanderbilt.

MEDIA SAVVY: "How well does the coach understand the media and use the media to his benefit?"

1. Spurrier. 2. Tuberville. 3. Meyer. 4. Richt. 5. Nutt. 6. Croom. 7. Fulmer. 8. Johnson. 9. Tie, Brooks, Johnson. 10. Miles. 11. Saban. 12. Petrino.

FRIENDLINESS AND ACCESSIBILITY: "Is he a nice guy and can you get in touch with him?"

1. Tuberville. 2. Nutt. 3. Croom. 4. Johnson. 5. Spurrier. 6. Richt. 7. Brooks. 8. Meyer. 9. Fulmer. 10. Miles. 11. Saban. 12. Petrino.

PUBLIC SPEAKING: "Is he a silver-tongued orator or mumbler?"

1. Spurrier. 2. (tie), Richt, Meyer. 4. (tie), Tuberville, Croom, Nutt. 7. Saban. 8. Johnson. 9. Brooks. 10. Miles. 11. Fulmer. 12. Petrino.

They then offered blurbs on each coach.

TUBERVILLE: Has a national reputation for friendliness and accessibility. Usually stuns visiting writers with his personal attention. More active on the radio circuit than most coaches.

NUTT: Folksy and friendly, he proved his savvy by engineering a seamless departure from Arkansas last year. Survived two controversy-riddled years without alienating much of the media. That's tough to do.

I guess one way not to alienate the media is to fuck 'em.

CROOM: Accessible, willing to talk and eager to sell the program. Like Nutt, can have the cadence of a preacher from the podium.

More like a street corner preacher because no one is listening.

JOHNSON: Doesn't get swamped with media at Vandy; Earns points for dry one-liners at Media Days.

SPURRIER: A universal media favorite because of his willingness to shoot straight and not delve into coach-speak clichés. Still has a witty streak, too.

Probably goes a long way in explaining how he still has a reputation as a great coach.

RICHT: Scores high in the nice-guy category; Known for honesty and integrity.

Number one on ChrisApplewhite's Top Ten Nicest Coaches.

BROOKS: Lost in the shuffle at a basketball school, he can be surprisingly funny and engaging at times.

MEYER: Exudes intensity, but in a less frightening way than predecessor Ron Zook. Polished presence is straight from coaches' central casting. Not usually a quote machine.

Ron Zook was frightening? Must be some former Pi Kappa Phi members in the media.

FULMER: Can be a bore from behind a microphone and has had frequent run-ins with local media.

Joe Don Baker without the quiet dignity.

MILES: Funny and sort of goofy at times, he has connected well with demanding LSU fans.

LSU fans get one of their own as coach.

SABAN: Not always easy on reporters, but when he does talk, it's usually interesting. Fans are star-crossed during Year 2 of his Alabama honeymoon.

Reporters are scared he'll send a blitz package if they ask an impolite question.

PETRINO: After job-changing controversy at his last two stops, Petrino might be the least-accessible coach in the league. Can have a dry sense of humor, but reporters don't get to see much of

Fortunately coaches in a state where the ability to read and write is considered 'elitist.'