SEC Country approval rating: Where does your coach sit heading into the season?

As the season begins, it seems fans are the most optimistic, and approving of their team’s coach.

In the August SEC Country approval poll, 9 of the 13 SEC coaches that have multiple appearances in the poll recorded new high marks.

For some of these jumps, there are explanations. Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, who had the biggest jump among any coach, named Jarrett Stidham the starting quarterback and landed a handful of 4-star recruits. Florida coach Jim McElwain and Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen also saw big jumps after landing star recruits.

The only coaches that didn’t post new highs were Nick Saban, who had the highest approval rating in the conference again, Ed Orgeron, Mark Stoops and Derek Mason. They have approval ratings over 80.

Saban once again had the highest approval rating among any SEC West coach, while Will Muschamp is now the top dog on the SEC East side.

RELATED:  February poll |  March poll numbers  |  April poll numbers  |  May Poll Numbers  |  June Poll Numbers | July Numbers

Of course, these numbers are likely to change once the season begins next week. Especially Malzahn, Kevin Sumlin and Butch Jones, who each have tricky schedules in September.

Matt Luke also made his debut in the poll. He came in with an approval rating of 82, which was nearly six points higher than Hugh Freeze’s finishing mark.

1.  Nick Saban, Alabama: 97.3

Saban continues to be a cut above every SEC coach, though this time he wasn’t the lone coach in the 90s.

February approval rating: 97.4
March approval rating: 97.2
April approval rating: 97.8
May approval rating: 97.4
June approval rating: 97.2
July approval rating: 97.3

2.  Dan Mullen, Mississippi State: 93.7

After landing a 5-star recruit for the Class of 2019, Dan Mullen saw a jump in his approval rating.

February approval rating: 84.1
March approval rating: 89.0
April approval rating: 89.1
May approval rating: 90.4
June approval rating: 89.7
July approval rating: 88.1

3.  Will Muschamp, South Carolina: 90.1

His approval rating numbers continue to rise. South Carolina fans are excited for this coming season.

February approval rating: 83.1
March approval rating: 83.7
April approval rating: 84.7
May approval rating: 88.7
June approval rating: 84.8
July approval rating: 87.1

4.  Mark Stoops, Kentucky: 87.1

Stoops may have lost his spot as the top coach in the SEC East, but Kentucky fans are happy to have him.

February approval rating: 85.0
March approval rating: 84.7
April approval rating: 86.4
May approval rating: 89.1
June approval rating: 85.5
July approval rating: 87.3

5.  Jim McElwain, Florida: 86.3

After landing 5-star QB Matt Corral, McElwain has his highest approval rating among Florida fans.


February approval rating: 85.9
March approval rating: 85.0
April approval rating: 85.2
May approval rating: 83
June approval rating: 84.5
July approval rating: 82.5

6.  Ed Orgeron, LSU: 85.1

Orgeron didn’t see a huge jump, but if he wins big in his first year, LSU fans will be happy.

February approval rating: 84.2
March approval rating: 91.4
April approval rating: 89.5
May approval rating: 91.5
June approval rating: 69.6
July approval rating: 86

7.  Kirby Smart, Georgia: 83.9

Kirby Smart has big expectations heading into Year 2. But most Georgia fans feel comfortable with Smart leading the way.


February approval rating: 79.7
March approval rating: 75.7
April approval rating: 79.7
May approval rating: 77.7
June approval rating: 74.1
July approval rating: 80.2

8.  Derek Mason, Vanderbilt: 82.3

Vanderbilt has a couple of tricky non-conference games. Fans will be interested to see if he can build off his first bowl appearance.

February approval rating: 75.6
March approval rating: 75.5
April approval rating: 75.5
May approval rating: 78
June approval rating: 84.4
July approval rating: 84.2

9. Matt Luke, Ole Miss 82

He’s yet to coach a game, but Ole Miss fans seem pleased that an alum is leading the Rebels through this troubling time.

10.  Butch Jones, Tennessee: 77.1

The Vols continue to kill it on the recruiting trail, as Tennessee has the No. 1 class in the SEC.

February approval rating: 65.5
March approval rating: 60.2
April approval rating: 66.6
May approval rating: 74.4
June approval rating: 76.1
July approval rating: 73.4

11.  Barry Odom, Missouri: 72.2

After a few tough seasons, Missouri fans are starting to feel comfortable with where the program is heading.

February approval rating: 71.9
March approval rating: 67.7
April approval rating: 70.9
May approval rating: 72
June approval rating: 71.2
July approval rating: 69.6

12.  Gus Malzahn, Auburn: 70.9

Malzahn has passed Bielema for the first time and received the highest bump of any coach in the ratings.

February approval rating: 57.9
March approval rating: 57.6
April approval rating: 65.1
May approval rating: 64.1
June approval rating: 62.9
July approval rating: 64.6

13.  Bret Bielema, Arkansas: 68.8

After posting his lowest approval rating in July, he followed it up with his highest one yet.

February approval rating: 68.7
March approval rating: 66.6
April approval rating: 67.2
May approval rating: 66.2
June approval rating: 66.2
July approval rating: 65.7

14.  Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M: 64.7

Despite being in last for the sixith-straight month, Sumlin posted his highest rating yet.

February approval rating: 59.5
March approval rating: 54.7
April approval rating: 51.7
May approval rating: 52.5
June approval rating: 58.6
July approval rating: 62.7

About the numbers

The SEC Country approval rating poll is designed to give an indication of fan happiness over a period of time.

Our formula is based on the percentage of respondents who select each answer. We multiply that percentage by the following factors: 1 (strongly approve), 0.67 (approve), 0.33 (disapprove) and 0.0 (strongly disapprove). In other words, if 50 percent of respondents select “strongly approve” and 50 percent select “approve,” the formula would be (50 x 1) + (50 x 0.67) = 83.5% approval rating.

The post SEC Country approval rating: Where does your coach sit heading into the season? appeared first on SEC Country.

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