Twitter has changed the game in college football. Save Nick Saban, every SEC coach resides on Twitter. Rule changes in college football now allow coaches to either retweet or like different recruits’ tweets. Teams can’t afford to fall behind.
Many of these coach accounts are simply run by athletic administration or PR teams, but likes give us insight into the minds behind the account. While some coaches simply like mainstream athletic department tweets, others keep it open for more personal use.
Here’s what we can learn from each coach’s Twitter likes.
Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss
Freeze has just 15 likes in five years on Twitter, and all of them match his personality pretty well. He liked two tweets from his daughters and several others while he worked in the Oxford and Ole Miss communities. Freeze also liked several tweets in reference to former players.
— jordan freeze (@FreezeJordan) June 15, 2014
Barry Odom, Missouri
The new Mizzou coach has tweeted just 176 times since starting his Twitter account in late 2012. Over that time, he has only liked three tweets. Two of the tweets are his own. Odom’s only other like is an inspirational quote from The Rock – from April 2012.
"Work like they won't – so you can accomplish what they can't" #FinishStrong
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) April 27, 2012
Kirby Smart, Georgia
Smart is one of the newest coaches to Twitter. He only joined the platform after getting his job with Georgia in December 2015. Since then, Smart has only liked 14 tweets. He has quickly taken ownership of the job, liking tweets about Georgia players in the NFL that he did not coach.
✊?gon miss playin for ya coach pic.twitter.com/XsPeOURRUG
— Minkah Fitzpatrick (@minkfitz_21) January 18, 2016
Mark Stoops, Kentucky
Stoops has tweeted 914 times since starting his account in 2012 soon after getting the Kentucky job. However, Stoops has liked just 14 tweets over the years. Most are just tweets that have to do with either his team or former players. We also have our first porn bot like.
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_AJC) June 19, 2013
Middle of the road
Gus Malzahn, Auburn
Malzahn has a vanilla account and generally keeps it to just supporting his own athletic department. Some are from the Auburn athletic department, while others are assistants and other Auburn personalities tweeting out news.
Happy #WarEagle Birthday to Byron Cowart!
— Auburn Football (@FootballAU) May 20, 2016
Les Miles, LSU
Miles has liked just 36 tweets, but that could be changing soon. The longtime LSU coach has liked 17 recruit tweets since it became legal on Aug. 1, including going back and liking old tweets from a few players committing. It will be interesting to see whether we see more likes from Miles heading forward.
— taylor (@tsjennin) April 29, 2015
Dan Mullen, Mississippi State
Mullen’s account is pretty cut-and-dry. There is a decent mix of current players combined with team news and miscellaneous tweets. He did like his first recruit tweet on Aug. 1 – the official offer of 4-star safety C.J Avery. Could that become a trend for Mullen?
Bret Bielema, Arkansas
Bielema is one of the most entertaining coaches in the SEC, and his Twitter likes doesn’t disappoint. Though there are plenty of normal team-related likes. However, there’s a couple of incredibly random ones too. The one that jumps out is a tweet about Kanye West’s “Famous” video. Another is a People Magazine like about The Bachelor. Bielema also likes going through and liking random replies and tweets.
— People Magazine (@people) August 3, 2016
No coach has embraced the new rules anywhere near as well as Butch Jones. The Tennessee leader has liked dozens of tweets since liking recruit tweets became legal on Aug. 1. Eighteen of his most recent likes are either kids getting offers or committing to the school. It should come as no surprise, considering Jones has retweeted over 100 recruit tweets since the rules went into effect. Jones will almost certainly be one of the most active recruiting coaches on Twitter heading forward.
— Brandon Gaddy (@bgaddy97) August 5, 2016
Will Muschamp, South Carolina
Though Muschamp has liked 83 tweets, only 15 have come since he took the job at South Carolina. Most of Muschamp’s likes are actually team likes of Auburn players and coaches, when he was defensive coordinator at the school. He also used to like unrelated NFL tweets, but has quieted down since moving to USC.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) July 31, 2014
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
Though Sumlin can come off crusty to the media, he likes many fans’ tweets to him on Twitter. He took extra time to like several tweets from people wishing him well after his father died. There are even several likes from the women’s event on July 27, when the controversial slides were shown.
— Kellie Deegear (@kdeegear) June 15, 2016
Jim McElwain, Florida
Not counting McElwain, SEC coaches average just 57 likes per account. The Florida coach has liked 906 tweets, nearly six times as many as the next coach. McElwain makes an effort to show love to fans who tweet at him, as well as supporting his current and former players.
— Abel Varnadore (@AV_15) March 27, 2016
Nick Saban, Alabama
Saban does things just a little bit different in Tuscaloosa, Ala. It should come as no surprise that the Alabama coach is the only one in the SEC without a Twitter account. Almost every coach has a Twitter account to interact with recruits and improve their profile. For obvious reasons, Saban has decided that is not necessary. Lane Kiffin is the much more relevant follow for Alabama fans.