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ESPN ranks college football head coaches by their playing careers

Stoops >>> Saban.

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

This week marks the unofficial kickoff to the college football season for the SEC, as media days are underway in Birmingham.

To give fans some more to talk about, ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg took on a tall task of ranking all 130 FBS head football coaches based on their playing careers. In what shaped up to be a crazy list, Kentucky’s Mark Stoops came in at a solid position at 67th according to Rittenberg, after a solid career in Iowa City for the Hawkeyes. Here is the excerpt from his rankings:

67. Mark Stoops, Kentucky Wildcats: Stoops followed his older brothers Bob and Mike to Iowa, where he, too, played defensive back. He earned three letters from 1987 to 1989, had two interceptions and played for four Hawkeye bowl teams.

When it comes to coaches in the SEC, Stoops came in sixth overall.

Here is the full list of the SEC head football coaches:

3. Josh Heupel, Tennessee (QB, Oklahoma)

13. Kirby Smart, Georgia (DB, Georgia)

15. Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M (QB, Samford)

28. Sam Pittman, Arkansas (DE, Pittsburg State)

53. Ed Orgeron, LSU (DL, LSU/Northwestern State)

67. Mark Stoops, Kentucky (DB, Iowa)

71. Nick Saban, Alabama (DB, Kent State)

73. Dan Mullen, Florida (TE, Ursinus College)

89. Clark Lea, Vanderbilt (FB, Vanderbilt)

101. Shane Beamer, South Carolina (WR/LS, Virginia Tech)

106. Bryan Harsin, Auburn (QB, Boise State)

111. Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss (QB, Fresno State)

126. Eliah Drinkwitz, Missouri (LB, Alma High School)

129. Mike Leach, Mississippi State (Rugby, BYU)

This list is a whole lot of fun to look at, and hey it’s always nice to say that Nick Saban isn’t number one at something.

If you have an ESPN+ account you can see the full list here.