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Where Sam Pittman ranks on best/worst list of Power Four college football coaches

On a personal level, everyone seems to agree that they like Sam Pittman.

The Arkansas coach is affable, down-to-earth, and seemingly well-liked among his coaching peers.

But nice guys don’t always finish high in the running when it comes to rating the best coaches in college football.

Case in point, CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli and a team of panelists from 247Sports recently ranked all 68 Power Four coaches from top to bottom. Pittman checked in at No. 56, one spot behind California’s Justin Wilcox and one spot ahead of Cincinnati’s Scott Satterfield.

That’s a steep drop compared to this time a year ago when the Razorbacks were coming off a 7-6 season and 55-53 triple-overtime victory over Kansas in the Liberty Bowl.

A year prior to that, Pittman guided Arkansas to a nine-win season and a victory over Penn State in the Outback Bowl.

Notes Fornelli:

“While Pittman is a personal favorite of many of our voters as a human being, he’s heading in the wrong direction in these rankings. Pittman drops 16 spots after going 4-8 last season and 1-7 in the SEC. Only one other coach fell further in our rankings this season, and Pittman enters 2024 on one of the hottest seats in the SEC.”

Among the soon-to-be 16 SEC head coaches, Pittman falls behind Florida’s Billy Napier (No. 47), South Carolina’s Shane Beamer (No. 46), Oklahoma’s Brent Vanables (No. 34), Auburn’s Hugh Freeze (No. 33), and Texas A&M’s Mike Elko (No. 32) in Fornelli and crew’s 26-68 rankings.

Of the SEC coaches Pittman is ranked ahead of, only first-year Mississippi State coach Jeff Lebby and Vanderbilt’s Clark Lea rate below the Arkansas coach.

Eight SEC coaches rank in Fornelli’s top 25, including Georgia’s Kirby Smart at No. 1.

Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire