Mizzou head football coach Gary Pinkel is no stranger to awards and accolades, but when it’s for something this special, it’s certainly worth noting.
Pinkel has been named to the preseason watch list for the prestigious Dodd Award, the piece of hardware given annually to the best college football coach in the FBS.
Last year, Alabama coach Nick Saban won the award, bringing it back to the SEC for the first time since 1989 when Bill Curry won the award at Alabama. Pinkel will attempt to build a streak and keep it in the toughest conference in college football.
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His path won’t be a cakewalk, however. Of the 23 other coaches on the list, seven others are from the SEC. They are:
- Hugh Freeze (Ole Miss)
- Gus Malzahn (Auburn)
- Dan Mullen (Mississippi State)
- Mark Richt (Georgia)
- Nick Saban (Alabama)
- Steve Spurrier (South Carolina)
- Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M)
Seeing how Pinkel is the reigning SEC Coach of the Year, it’s safe to say he’s got some momentum rolling as far as national attention and respect. Being on the list can mean different things to different guys, but when you’re a legitimate threat to win the award like Pinkel certainly is, it makes it that much more interesting.
Among the other candidates Pinkel is honored alongside, six are previous recipients of the award, including Bill Snyder from Kansas State who is a two-time winner.
The SEC’s eight overall selections ranked highest among FBS conferences, doubling both the Pac-12 (4) and the Big 12 (4).
The Dodd Award is named after the late Bobby Dodd, who spent 22 years as the coach of Goergia Tech. Previous winners of the award include legends such as Bo Schembechler, Tom Osborne and Bobby Bowden. Officially, the award comes from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation, which is under the direction of the Peach Bowl.