There are a lot of great coaches in the SEC right now. Nick Saban is the best of all time, Lane Kiffin just had a historic season at Ole Miss, and Kirby Smart did what Mark Richt couldn’t do — he led Georgia to a national championship.

Mark Stoops at Kentucky might be the most underrated coach in the nation, while Josh Heupel at Tennessee took over a complete train wreck and surpassed expectations by winning seven regular-season games in his first year in Knoxville. Sam Pittman at Arkansas is another coach that doesn’t get enough love.

And then there are the coaches who receive a bit too much hype. The coaches who are good, but not quite deserving of all the praise they receive.

Here are who I believe are the three most overrated head coaches in the SEC.

3. Shane Beamer — South Carolina Gamecocks

Shane Beamer had a pretty good first season at South Carolina, going 7-6 overall and 3-5 in the SEC. And considering it was his first year as a head coach, he should be applauded. But I still think he’s a bit overrated. I don’t know if it’s his famous last name or the fact that his press conferences can be funny, but it seems like the national media is a bit higher on Beamer than they would be with most coaches in the same situation.

While the Gamecocks had some good wins in 2021, let’s not forget that they were throttled by Tennessee and Texas A&M and they barely beat ECU, Troy, and Vanderbilt at home. South Carolina could’ve easily gone 5-7 last year with some bad losses.

2. Brian Kelly — LSU Tigers

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LSU Football Head Coach Brian Kelly speaks to media following the first spring practice under him. Thursday, March 24, 2022
Lsu Spring Practice 03 24 22

As soon as Brian Kelly was hired at LSU, I started hearing how a national championship was all but automatic down in Baton Rouge. And maybe that will be the case, considering two coaches who can’t find a head coaching job now managed to win a natty at LSU (Les Miles and Ed Orgeron). But have we forgotten that Kelly was on the doorstep of being fired from Notre Dame just a few years ago after going 4-8?

Kelly had plenty of talent at Notre Dame (routinely landing top 10 or top 15 classes), but he couldn’t get over the hump while playing against inferior competition. Does he think it’s going to be any easier in the SEC?

1. Billy Napier — Florida Gators

There’s no one more overrated in the SEC right now than Billy Napier. When I look at Napier, I see the definition of a career group of five head coach. There’s nothing about him that makes me think he can succeed in the SEC. Sure, he had success at Louisiana, but how many group of five head coaches have we seen fail at a Power-5 program? Some succeed, but most don’t (Scott Frost was supposed to be a sure thing and he’s been a disaster at Nebraska). Napier was only a highly sought-after coach because he spent time at Alabama. Remember, Clemson’s offense didn’t take off until they fired Napier as the offensive coordinator and hired Chad Morris.

Napier is receiving a ridiculous amount of hype because of his time with Saban and the fact he’s now at Florida, a media darling that’s constantly propped up by national analysts. We already know Napier isn’t a fierce recruiter. And that could ultimately be his downfall in the SEC.

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