RANKING COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACHES

Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

July 4th, 2018, 6:35 am #1

Ask a coach how much rankings matter in college football, and they'll likely say they don't — if they even bother to answer you at all.

That said, rankings are still fun, so Sporting News decided to compile a list ranking all 130 FBS coaches. It's a summer rite of passage with the same familiar name at the top: Alabama's Nick Saban remains the standard, even for title-winning coaches in Dabo Swinney, Urban Meyer and Jimbo Fisher.

How did we rank those 130 coaches? We look at career accomplishments, factoring in what they've achieved in recent years. When it got tight, we picked the coach we’d take in a head-to-head matchup. It’s not a perfect science, but it’s ours.

And don't worry, there aren't 130 slides to click through — but we have to build the tension with a countdown. The Big Ten has six top-25 coaches, followed by the SEC, Big 12 and Pac-12 with five apiece. The ACC has three, with an independent coach rounding out the group.


Here are Sporting News' top coach rankings ahead of 2018:


130 - 101


130. Steve Campbell, South Alabama (NR)
129. Sean Lewis, Kent State (NR) 
128. Dana Dimel, UTEP (NR) 
127. Mike Bloomgren, Rice (NR) 
126. Brent Brennan, San Jose State (NR) 
125. Chad Lunsford, Georgia Southern (NR)
124. Billy Napier, Louisiana (NR) 
123. Mike Jinks, Bowling Green (120)
122. Mike Neu, Ball State (121)
121. Jay Norvell, Nevada (128)
120. Brad Lambert, Charlotte (116)
119. David Beaty, Kansas (106)
118. Mark Whipple, UMass (127) 
117. Turner Gill, Liberty (NR) 
116. Everett Withers, Texas State (118)
115. Matt Viator, Louisiana-Monroe (117)
114. Scottie Montgomery, East Carolina (110)
113. Nick Rolovich, Hawaii (94)
112. Tony Sanchez, UNLV (109)

111. Mike Sanford Jr., Western Kentucky (115)
Record: 6-7
Lowdown: The former Notre Dame offensive coordinator broke in with a 6-7 record in his first season, but the Hilltoppers were 5-1 before a late-season slide. Expect the second-year coach to learn from those lessons. He'll move up. 

110. Tim Lester, Western Michigan (129)
109. Lance Leipold, Buffalo (122)
108. Willie Fritz, Tulane (98)
107. Joe Moglia, Coastal Carolina (124)
106. Chris Creighton, Eastern Michigan (101)
105. Chuck Martin, Miami (Ohio) (96)
104. Doug Martin, New Mexico State (126)
103. Frank Wilson, UTSA (99)
102. Bob Davie, New Mexico (75)
101. Sonny Dykes, SMU (NR)

100-71

100. Luke Fickell, Cincinnati (90)
99. Matt Wells, Utah State (97)
98. Shawn Elliott, Georgia State (119)
97. Randy Edsall, Connecticut (84)
96. Josh Heupel, UCF (NR)
95. Philip Montgomery, Tulsa (69)
94. Bobby Wilder, Old Dominion (83)
93. Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee State (91)
92. Geoff Collins, Temple (114)
91. Jay Hopson, Southern Miss (100)
90. Major Applewhite, Houston (113)
89. John Bonamego, Central Michigan (102)
88. Mike Bobo, Colorado State (86)
87. Herm Edwards, Arizona State (NR)
86. Jonathan Smith, Oregon State (NR)
85. Kalani Sitake, BYU (52)
84. Lovie Smith, Illinois (56)
83. Chris Ash, Rutgers (81)
82. Terry Bowden, Akron (103)
81. Dino Babers, Syracuse (63)
80. Craig Bohl, Wyoming (73)
79. Rod Carey, Northern Illinois (76)
78. Skip Holtz, Louisiana Tech (62)
77. Jeff Monken, Army (92)
76. Troy Calhoun, Air Force (57)
75. Blake Anderson, Arkansas State (77)
74. Doc Holliday, Marshall (87)
73. Seth Littrell, North Texas (112)

72. Mario Cristobal, Oregon (NR)
Record: 27-48 (0-1) 
Lowdown: Oregon opted for continuity with Cristobal, saving the Ducks valuable time in another coaching search. Cristobal still needs to improve the recruiting of a program looking to regain its spot in the upper tier of the conference. 

71. Tom Allen, Indiana (89)

70-51

70. Rocky Long, San Diego State (74)
69. Jeff Tedford, Fresno State (88)
68. Justin Wilcox, Cal (82)
67. Butch Davis, Florida International (80)
66. Matt Luke, Ole Miss (NR)
65. Joe Moorhead, Mississippi State (NR)
64. Matt Rhule, Baylor (48)
63. Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech (59)
62. Chad Morris, Arkansas (93)
61. Jason Candle, Toledo (95)
60. Derek Mason, Vanderbilt (67)
59. Neal Brown, Troy (79)
58. Scott Satterfield, Appalachian State (55)

57. Bill Clark, UAB (125)
Record: 14-11
Lowdown: It wasn't just about bringing UAB football back. Clark led the Blazers to arguably their best season in program history, an 8-5 campaign that resulted in their first bowl berth since 2004 — and all after a two-year hiatus. UAB won four one-score games along the way. Clark kept all that together in impressive fashion. 

56. Mike Norvell, Memphis (71)
55. D.J. Durkin, Maryland (54)
54. Barry Odom, Missouri (70)
53. Mark Stoops, Kentucky (65)
52. Steve Addazio, Boston College (68)
51. Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia (49)

50-26


50. Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh (36)
49. Mike MacIntyre, Colorado (31)
48. Frank Solich, Ohio (61)
47. Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech (35)
46. Dave Clawson, Wake Forest (58)
45. Ken Niumatalolo, Navy (41)
44. Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee (NR)

43. Lane Kiffin, Florida Atlantic (85)
Record: 46-24 (11-3) 
Lowdown: Kiffin ranks third among Group of 5 coaches on this list, and he'll get a shot back at the Power 5 before all is said and done. The Owls are coming off an 11-win, championship season in Conference USA. What will Kiffin do for an encore? 

42. Bryan Harsin, Boise State (51)
41. P.J. Fleck, Minnesota (39)
40. Larry Fedora, North Carolina (27)
39. Dave Doeren, North Carolina State (53)
38. Kevin Sumlin, Arizona (42)
37. Jeff Brohm, Purdue (66)
36. Ed Orgeron, LSU (47)
35. Willie Taggart, Florida State (46)
34. Matt Campbell, Iowa State (60)
33. Charlie Strong, South Florida (38)
32. Will Muschamp, South Carolina (50)
31. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia (44)
30. David Cutcliffe, Duke (32)
29. Mike Leach, Washington State (26)

28. Scott Frost, Nebraska (43)
Record: You probably want Frost higher on this list after he led UCF to an unbeaten 2017 season. His next challenge is to resurrect alma mater Nebraska, one of college football’s most storied programs, back to life. Give him time to do that, and he'll be in the top 10 before you know it. 

27. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa (25)
26. Bobby Petrino, Louisville (13)

25. Kyle Whittingham, Utah
Last year: 20 (-5)
Record: 111-56
Lowdown: Whittingham is a by-definition solid coach who has kept the Utes on the national radar after moving up to the Pac-12. He has only had two losing seasons as head coach, but the expectations should be a little higher now. Utah can’t go 7-6 again in 2018 for Whittingham to stay here. 

24. Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech
Last year: 23 (-1)
Record: 45-31 (19-8 at Virginia Tech)
Lowdown: Fuente has reestablished stability in Blacksburg, but the Hokies were 1-3 against ranked teams last season — the only win coming against West Virginia in the opener. The classic Miami-Virginia Tech rivalry will be reinstalled in the ACC Coastal in 2018, and Virginia Tech needs to win a few of those games. 

23. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
Last year: 28 (+5) 
Record: 87-65
Lowdown: Northwestern is coming off its third 10-win campaign in six seasons, including consecutive bowl victories in 2016-17. The program also has some exciting new facilities. A lot of that credit belongs to Fitzgerald, who has spurned other offers with the relentless drive to build up his alma mater. The addition of Clemson transfer quarterback Hunter Johnson will only elevate expectations in Evanston.

22. Tom Herman, Texas
Last year: 18 (-4)
Record: 29-10 (7-6 at Texas) 
Lowdown: Herman led Texas to a 7-6 record and a bowl victory in his first season, a modest move in the right direction for a program with great expectations for the future. Herman has lived up to the hype on the recruiting trail, and that could be the difference in those close games down the line (the Longhorns had four one-score losses last season). They're closer to contention than some critics think. 

21. Dan Mullen, Florida
Last year: 19 (-2)
Record: 69-46 (0-0 at Florida)
Lowdown: Mullen made the move from Mississippi State to Florida, where the expectations will be higher at a proven blue-blood program. Mullen had a winning record in seven of nine seasons in Starkville, but won 10 games just once — a bad loss to Ole Miss in 2017 kept the Bulldogs from meeting that threshold a second time under Mullen. That 10-win bar will be part of the ramped-up expectations now. 

20. Bill Snyder, Kansas State
Last year: 12 (-8)
Record: 210-110
Lowdown: Snyder turns 79 in October, but he hasn’t lost his touch with a program he has built through two separate stints. The Wildcats have made eight consecutive bowl appearances, including victories in the last two. That includes a winning record in the Big 12.

19. Chip Kelly, UCLA
Last year: NR  
Record: 46-7 (0-0 at UCLA)
Lowdown: Kelly is the hardest Power 5 coach to rank. On one hand, he’s a proven winner at the college level whose high-octane offense dominated the Pac-12 in his previous stint with Oregon. On the other, we haven’t seen Kelly on a college sideline since 2012. Will anything have changed during that five-year layoff?  

18. Clay Helton, USC
Last year: 24 (+6)
Record: 27-10 
Lowdown: Helton’s no-nonsense approach has been exactly what the Trojans have needed. He has led USC to a Pac-12 championship and back-to-back New Year’s Day Six appearances, but high-profile losses to Alabama and Ohio State show the program what’s it’s going to take to break through to the next level. A Playoff appearance is the next logical step.  

17. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
Last year: 14 (-3)
Record: 122-56 (69-34 at Notre Dame)
Lowdown: Kelly won 10 games at Notre Dame in 2017, but his is a job where big losses far outweigh big wins (especially true in the College Football Playoff era). Notre Dame finished 3-3 against ranked teams last year, but chances are you remember those losses (Georgia, Miami, Stanford) a lot more than the wins (N.C. State, USC, LSU). 

16. Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma
Last year: 45 (+29)
Record: 12-2
Lowdown: This ranking might anger some Oklahoma fans, given Riley displayed poise from the outset — which was proven in an early-season victory at Ohio State in 2017. The 34-year-old coach is a brilliant play-caller coming off a Big 12 championship and Playoff appearance in his first season. We expect him to crack the top 10 soon enough, but he'll have to do it without Baker Mayfield at quarterback.

15. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State Last year: 15
Record: 114-53
Lowdown: Gundy enters his 14th season in Stillwater coming off a third 10-win season in four years. He has been a target for SEC coach openings in recent seasons, but Gundy has stayed the course at his alma mater. There’s an opportunity to take that next step — the only nit-pick is, for all his success, Gundy has led Oklahoma State to a 2-11 record against rival Oklahoma. 

14. Paul Chryst, Wisconsin
Last year: 22 (+8)
Record: 53-26 (34-7 at Wisconsin)
Lowdown: In three seasons, Chryst has led Wisconsin to three 10-win seasons, consecutive Big Ten West titles and a 13-1 record in 2017 (the program's best all-time). The reason he isn’t higher on this list: The Badgers are 2-4 the last two years against those top four Big Ten East coaches, including in the Big Ten championship game. Can he lead the Badgers to victory against Michigan and Penn State in crossover games this year?

13. Gus Malzahn, Auburn
Last year: 16 (+3)
Record: 54-25 (45-22 at Auburn)
Lowdown: You know the drill by now. Malzahn’s stock fluctuates with each season, and that often depends on whether Auburn wins the Iron Bowl. He’s one of three active coaches with an SEC championship, and the Tigers were the best team in the country at home last year, as evidenced by two wins against No. 1 ranked teams in Georgia and Alabama in a span of three weeks. Problem is, they travel for those games in 2018.

12. James Franklin, Penn State
Last year: 15 (+3)
Record: 60-32 (36-17 at Penn State)
Lowdown: Franklin has built Penn State into a legitimate College Football Playoff contender, and he’s recruiting at an elite level. Why is he behind the other three Big Ten East coaches? The Nittany Lions are 3-9 against Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan the last four years, including two painful losses by a combined four points last year. Penn State has to close in those games.

11. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan 
Last year: 5 (-6)
Record: 57-32 (28-11 at Michigan)
Lowdown: "But he hasn’t finished better than third in the East!" We’ve dropped Harbaugh out of the top 10 to account for that easily recited criticism, but we could see him jumping right back in after a prove-it year. It boils down to beating Ohio State; when Michigan wins that game — one it hasn't won since 2011 — those other criticisms go away. By the way, Harbaugh is 4-4 against Michigan State, Penn State and Wisconsin. That doesn’t get brought up as much. In other words, things aren’t nearly as bad as they seem in Ann Arbor.

10. David Shaw, Stanford
Last year: 7 (-3)
Record: 73-22
Lowdown: Shaw has won double-digit games in five of seven seasons with the Cardinal. The program is always in the hunt for a conference championship, but still hasn’t made that breakthrough to the College Football Playoff. He continues to churn out NFL talent, especially at the running back position. Look for Shaw and star running back Bryce Love to keep the Cardinal in contention again in 2018.

9. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
Last year: 10 (+1)
Record: 118-62 (100-45 at Michigan State)
Lowdown: The Spartans bounced back on the field with a 10-3 record in 2017, and Dantonio brings back one of his most experienced and talented teams this year. He has won three Big Ten titles, has a 7-3 record against Wolverines — a rivalry he fully embraces as the Spartans' biggest game of the year — and has proven the biggest challenge to Ohio State since his arrival in 2007.

8. Gary Patterson, TCU 
Last year: 11 (+3)
Record: 160-57
Lowdown: Patterson led TCU to an 11-3 record in 2017, his 11th season with 10 or more wins across four conferences with the Horned Frogs. TCU is a trendy pick to win the Big 12 this season, too. Patterson is under-appreciated, and it shouldn't take a Playoff appearance to validate all his success. If he does get the Horned Frogs there, it'll only show just how great his run in Fort Worth has been. 

7. Chris Petersen, Washington
Last year: 6 (-1)
Record: 129-29 (37-17 at Washington)
Lowdown: Petersen is in the conversation for "best coach without a national championship" alongside Kirby Smart and Mark Richt. One of only eight active coaches with a Playoff appearance, Petersen is coming off his second consecutive season of at least 10 wins and brings back a veteran team led by quarterback Jake Browning. He’ll get a chance to prove it in the opener against Auburn, a monumental contest for the entire Pac-12.

6. Mark Richt, Miami
Last year: 9 (+3)
Record: 164-58 (19-7 at Miami)
Lowdown: Forget about last year's late-season slide. Richt put Miami back in position to win the ACC championship in just his second year. The recruiting will only get better, considering FSU and Florida are programs in transition. This is an opportunity for Miami to take over the state again — but that elusive ACC championship must come first. 

5. Kirby Smart, Georgia
Last year: 37 (+32)
Record: 21-7
Lowdown: SN's 2017 Coach of the Year has a bright future in Athens. Smart spent years learning under Nick Saban at Alabama, and he's building a similar machine through recruiting at Georgia, highlighted by an all-time great haul in his 2018 signing class. The defending SEC champions will be a force to be reckoned with — Smart promised as much in the aftermath of last year’s title game loss to Alabama.

4. Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M
Last year: 4 
Record: 83-23 (0-0 at Texas A&M)
Lowdown: How often do you see a national title-winning coach — only four active FBS coaches can make that claim — take a job at another school? That's exactly what Fisher did in leaving FSU for Texas A&M, a program with sky-high expectations. We decided not to punish him on this list after his team finished 5-6 last season: the Seminoles were bombarded by injuries and it was evident both parties needed a change. But he'll have to prove it all over again in the SEC West.

3. Urban Meyer, Ohio State
Last year: 2 (-1)
Record: 177-31 (73-8 at Ohio State)
Lowdown: Meyer led the Buckeyes to a second Big Ten championship and a near-berth in the College Football Playoff in 2017. Ohio State continues to cycle NFL talent through its program, and is 6-0 against rival Michigan in the Urban era. The Big Ten race still runs through Columbus, and Meyer is building it all to last through recruiting. No Big Ten coach handles the scrutiny of the national spotlight better than him. 

2. Dabo Swinney, Clemson
Last year: 3 (+1)
Record: 101-30
Lowdown: We bumped Swinney ahead of Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, given his more recent national title, three consecutive Playoff appearances and 2-0 record against the Buckeyes coach. Clemson hasn’t lost more than two conference games in a single season since 2011 under Swinney, and it stands to reason his program will only get stronger. This reminds us of the generational dominance Bobby Bowden once achieved at FSU.

1. Nick Saban, Alabama
Last year: 1
Record: 223-63 (132-20 at Alabama)
Lowdown: You know the superlatives by now: five titles in nine years at Alabama, plus another at LSU. Saban again showed his brilliance in January, when — trailing Georgia 13-0 at the half of the national title game — he substituted freshman Tua Tagovailoa in for veteran quarterback Jalen Hurts. How many coaches make that call? Saban did, and it made the difference in a 26-23 overtime win. Saban's Alabama teams have also won at least 10 games every year since 2008. The scary part? Saban, who turns 67 on Halloween, isn't showing any signs of slowing down.


http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-footba ... 8/slide/29
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

July 4th, 2018, 9:54 am #2

Is Meyer losing it?  I'm halfway serious.
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

July 4th, 2018, 9:57 am #3

What about Lane Kiffin? 

Florida Atlantic had 3 straight 3-9 seasons and in one year Laner turned that around to 11-3.  Same players.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

July 4th, 2018, 1:19 pm #4

brown dog wrote: Is Meyer losing it?  I'm halfway serious.
He will be back at  # 2 all time greatest coach, right behind Saban , after the Buckeyes win the NC this season … 
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

July 5th, 2018, 5:01 am #5

I know with Jimbo they are just basing it on his winning percentage but I think they should also look at the direction of the program since 2013 and his postseason record after he won the national championship with Bowden's players.  
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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July 5th, 2018, 5:13 am #6

Yeah, I'm not really sold on Jimbo.  He might have just had a hot year.  Especially when you consider the lower level of competition in the ACC and the talent he had available.  Clemson has been the real deal and they have been a mess.
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

July 5th, 2018, 5:14 am #7

Is Jimbo really Mark Richt with one season that worked out?
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

July 5th, 2018, 6:55 am #8

brown dog wrote: Is Jimbo really Mark Richt with one season that worked out?
Honestly I think that is a great analogy.  Same with Fulmer.  Solid coaches who can get you 9 or 10 years every year but are not innovative.
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: December 28th, 2012, 3:23 pm

July 5th, 2018, 11:41 am #9

Joe Moorhead may just be the next big thing but without a single season in D1, his ranking is just a wild guess. I hope he moves up about forty or more spots next year.
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

July 31st, 2018, 5:39 am #10

“He has managed similar situations before, cycling through 39 assistants since arriving at Alabama in 2007 while winning at an absurd pace (132-20).”
Saban is a machine.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 11:23 am

July 31st, 2018, 5:55 am #11

brown dog wrote: Is Meyer losing it?  I'm halfway serious.
Meyer has always only been as good as his OC. Not a knock because Dabo is not much different...both went from being WR coaches to head coaches. It is funny that everyone wants the Xs and Os guys but the top 3 are all CEOs who let their coordinators do their thing.

I can easily see it being Clemson/Bama/Ohio State and someone else in the playoffs again this year
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 11:23 am

July 31st, 2018, 5:57 am #12

brown dog wrote: Yeah, I'm not really sold on Jimbo.  He might have just had a hot year.  Especially when you consider the lower level of competition in the ACC and the talent he had available.  Clemson has been the real deal and they have been a mess.
I am really interested to see what Jimbo can do with financial support. FSU was a mess...they would not commit to giving the program the financial resources they needed to be successful. Jimbo had his hands tied with a few assistants that he couldn't get rid of and didn't have the money to hire top flight assistants. I mean they went from Stoops to Pruitt to Charles Kelly as DC. Now part of that is on Jimbo because he wanted his big contract first...he didn't have the Dabo mentality of take less, pay assistants more.

I will be watching to see what he can do...those A&M boosters are not patient
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July 31st, 2018, 6:42 am #13

My respect for Dabo, as a head coach , grows more and more each year … my respect for him as a man , has always been tremendous …  He has elevated the Clemson  program to an elite level … 
Alabama: Heart of the South
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July 31st, 2018, 7:12 am #14

Kentuckytoo wrote: My respect for Dabo, as a head coach , grows more and more each year … my respect for him as a man , has always been tremendous …  He has elevated the Clemson  program to an elite level … 
I really don’t know how he does everything he does...the man can’t sleep

Coaches Clemson
Coaches his sons travel baseball team
Constantly visiting cancer patients at hospital
Speaking engagements
His All In Foundation fundraisers
Recruiting

And he may be an even better person when the camera is not on him. Couldn’t ask for a better face of the program
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

July 31st, 2018, 8:52 am #15

 Saban dethroned Bryant  … he is the best … Dabo and Meyer have both  beaten Saban in a NC game …. Meyer has a better won /loss record 177-31 (73-8 at Ohio State)  than Dabo (101-30)   ….  but Dabo has built a program and taken them too the top  … Meyer has yet to do that … so, I have no problem giving Dabo the edge … but everything could change over time …. Dabo and Meyer could step out from Saban's shadow and pick up the mantel of " College Football Greatest coach ever " ...
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 11:23 am

July 31st, 2018, 10:26 am #16

Kentuckytoo wrote:  Saban dethroned Bryant  … he is the best … Dabo and Meyer have both  beaten Saban in a NC game …. Meyer has a better won /loss record 177-31 (73-8 at Ohio State)  than Dabo (101-30)   ….  but Dabo has built a program and taken them too the top  … Meyer has yet to do that … so, I have no problem giving Dabo the edge … but everything could change over time …. Dabo and Meyer could step out from Saban's shadow and pick up the mantel of " College Football Greatest coach ever " ...
I am not sure anyone ever surpasses Saban...if Dabo does then it means he is about to rattle off a bunch of national titles and I completely agree the fact that Dabo has built a program and not walked into a "powerhouse" that he is slightly ahead of Meyer but they are 2A and 2B in my eyes. Very close and it is ironic that both were WR coaches and never coordinators when they got their first opportunity
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

July 31st, 2018, 10:38 am #17

I think a more interesting question is who do you put at #4?   Jimbo is the only other coach with a national championship ring but he is suspect.  I don't think Malzahn, Richt or Harbaugh will ever get there.  I like Herman and Peterson but they have a ways to go before even being mentioned with those top 3 guys.  Maybe Smart?  
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 11:23 am

July 31st, 2018, 10:52 am #18

DocVOLiday wrote: I think a more interesting question is who do you put at #4?   Jimbo is the only other coach with a national championship ring but he is suspect.  I don't think Malzahn, Richt or Harbaugh will ever get there.  I like Herman and Peterson but they have a ways to go before even being mentioned with those top 3 guys.  Maybe Smart?  
I put Bill Snyder and Gary Patterson high on the list

Bill Snyder is the only coach that has ever won at K-State
Gary Patterson made the transition from mid-major to power 5 and was successful at staying competitive. He could be at a lot of bigger jobs but always turned them down

I am intrigued by Lincoln Riley and thought SC was stupid for not hiring him

Way too early on Smart...1 season doesnt put you in the elite company. Peterson is a great one because he built Boise and has revived Washington. I think Mullen has a chance to enter this group at Florida but too early to tell...

winging it I may go

4. Patterson
5. Peterson
6. Snyder

Snyder does not get enough credit for what he has done at K-State
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

July 31st, 2018, 11:14 am #19

P.J. Fleck might join the top rank of coaches if he can get away from Minnesota and coach at decent Power 5 school ...
Alabama: Heart of the South
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July 31st, 2018, 11:54 am #20

I like Fleck too and am surprised he did not get a better school.  I do think he uses Minnesota as a stepping stone to a big time school.  Tennessee was interested in him but the Tennessean did a nasty hit job on him stating the last thing Knoxville needed was another purveyor of slogans and catch phrases who got his head coaching break in the Mid-American Conference, at a Michigan directional school.  The comparison to Butch was uncanny and scared away the donors.  
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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July 31st, 2018, 12:46 pm #21

My 2 cents....

Number 1 is Saban and it's not even close.  The guy won at MSU, LSU, and now has absolutely dominated at Alabama.  Plenty of tough games, and the game has evolved and he has evolved.  

Number 2 is Meyer.  He has won at Utah, UF, and now OSU.  I do wonder if he is slipping.  He seems to have developed a case of the Mark Richts and find a way to not get it done.

Number 3 is Dabo.  I need to see a little more out of him post Deshaun Watson, and it took him a number of years to put it all together.  It didn't take Meyer 6 years to turn around Florida or OSU.

I don't see a clear 4th.  The contenders are so far back.  Anyway, here are some guys I think could join Saban, Meyer, and Dabo.

Smart-  Yeah, I'm a homer, but his recruiting is amazing and he seems to have learned a lot from Saban.  One great season with Richt's players isn't enough.
Chip Kelly-  He is at UCLA and should have no problem with talent.  Does  UCLA get out of his way?
Frost- I really like the guy, but Nebraska is coaching Siberia.
Franklin- I really don't want to like him, but he did well at Vandy and has rebuilt PSU.  He has to take it to the next level though.

I also think Taggart, Mullen, and Jimbo are getting their shot at being talked about with the top guys.
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

July 31st, 2018, 1:19 pm #22

I forgot about Chip Kelly. That is a good one.
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

July 31st, 2018, 1:29 pm #23

DocVOLiday wrote: I forgot about Chip Kelly.  That is a good one.
He could go on a run like Pete Carroll did at Southern Cal.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

July 31st, 2018, 6:56 pm #24

" Smart-  Yeah, I'm a homer, but his recruiting is amazing and he seems to have learned a lot from Saban.  One great season with Richt's players isn't enough. "

Richt's couldn't get it done with his players... but Kirby could … Kirby got you all into the play offs …. that tells me a lot …. Kirby is going to be good one .. 
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 11:23 am

August 1st, 2018, 3:46 am #25

Kentuckytoo wrote: " Smart-  Yeah, I'm a homer, but his recruiting is amazing and he seems to have learned a lot from Saban.  One great season with Richt's players isn't enough. "

Richt's couldn't get it done with his players... but Kirby could … Kirby got you all into the play offs …. that tells me a lot …. Kirby is going to be good one .. 
The east was bad, they benefitted from Bama getting beat up and not making SEC championship game and playing in the worst power 5 division in football last year

I need more on the resume before I place him top 5

Muschamp won the east and 11 games in year 2 at Florida with Urbana players and recruited tremendous as well. Gene Chizik freaking win a national title at Auburn but he’s not too 100...I need more than a couple recruiting classes and one good year to place a coach that high
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

August 1st, 2018, 5:14 am #26

nmerritt11 wrote:
Kentuckytoo wrote: " Smart-  Yeah, I'm a homer, but his recruiting is amazing and he seems to have learned a lot from Saban.  One great season with Richt's players isn't enough. "

Richt's couldn't get it done with his players... but Kirby could … Kirby got you all into the play offs …. that tells me a lot …. Kirby is going to be good one .. 
The east was bad, they benefitted from Bama getting beat up and not making SEC championship game and playing in the worst power 5 division in football last year

I need more on the resume before I place him top 5

Muschamp won the east and 11 games in year 2 at Florida with Urbana players and recruited tremendous as well. Gene Chizik freaking win a national title at Auburn but he’s not too 100...I need more than a couple recruiting classes and one good year to place a coach that high
you are right …. but the thing is: I hadn't seen a Georgia team , like last year's , since 1980 …..   something is different in Athens …  I think it is coaching ….
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 11:23 am

August 1st, 2018, 5:39 am #27

I agree he did a great job last season but I need more of a resume before I put him just behind the top tier.

I mean lots say Jimbo is overrated because of the one season he had. He recruited crazy good classes and seemed to underachieve.

Chizik won a title and he is 38-38 as a head coach...

Heck Stoops won the national title in year two and while he had tremendous success and is still one of the better college football coaches in our lifetime he never got them back over the hump and tended to shit the bed in big games.

I think the jury is still out...no different than after Dabo started having success...everyone wondered how he would follow up. When they lost to Bama in the title game the question was "well can the rebuild that defense and sustain the success."

No different here. He lost over 30 seniors and has a lot of key pieces to replace. So does he follow up with another SEC east title and maybe even a SEC title? Does he fall back to 10 wins? I just need more


I'll even say guys like David Cutcliff that is doing things that not even Spurrier did at Duke could be mentioned. They had never even been to back to back bowl games in their history and they are going almost every year and winning 8 and 9 games periodically.

Dave Clawson at Wake should be a hot name if he decides he wants to go elsewhere.

Lincoln Riley could enter the conversation very soon.

I am ready to see what Herman does when he gets his guys in his system

I think Scott Frost is about to make Nebraska a good team again and think he is an excellent coach

Justin Fuente is a guy who is a damn good coach and Tennessee slow played and missed out on him.

Fitzgerald seems to have some money and momentum at Northwestern and now has Hunter Johnson in waiting.

Bobby Petrino is a douche but one of the best gameday coaches and play callers there is

I am interested to see how Chad Morris does...he just had a huge weekend in recruiting and is bringing in better players than Arkansas is accustomed to.

Dan Mullen is still a guy I think is going to do awesome things with Florida talent

Mike Gundy has built a pretty good thing at Oklahoma State (same guy that hired him hired Dabo)

Richt is still a damn good coach and what he did in year 2 at Miami was impressive.

James Franklin took over a bad situation at PSU and has made it a positive

Mark Dantonio continues to do more with less at Sparty

So many guys that can be mentioned in that next tier
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

August 1st, 2018, 5:47 am #28

" I am ready to see what Herman does when he gets his guys in his system "

Herman should do really well … Texas is one of the top programs and a fertile recruiting area …. Texas +  Good Coach = Success ...
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 11:23 am

August 1st, 2018, 5:54 am #29

Kentuckytoo wrote: " I am ready to see what Herman does when he gets his guys in his system "

Herman should do really well … Texas is one of the top programs and a fertile recruiting area …. Texas +  Good Coach = Success ...
If they let him do his job...that has always been the problem. Texas lets their boosters control the football program rather than letting their coach, coach.
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

August 1st, 2018, 5:59 am #30

Merritt-

I wasn't putting Smart in the top 5.  I was listing coaches I thought could make it into that elite group with Saban, Meyer, and Dabo.   There are a lot of better coaches than guys like Smart, but they tend to be at mid level programs (happily) and will never be able to move up.

Richt might catch a hot year and win a NC, but it'll just be luck.  The guy can't grind and be ruthless like a HC needs to be.

If Jimbo has success at TAMU then I would have to say he is in the elite group.  
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

August 1st, 2018, 6:00 am #31

Herman needs to jump to a school like Southern Cal.
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

August 1st, 2018, 6:01 am #32

One more thing, Lincoln Riley should have been on my list of up and coming coaches.  He just needs a DC.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 11:23 am

August 1st, 2018, 6:20 am #33

brown dog wrote: Herman needs to jump to a school like Southern Cal.
Herman would have been awesome at Florida...if Auburn ever grows tired of Gus that would be a good fit for him. I'd want the fuck away from Texas politics
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Joined: September 6th, 2012, 7:13 am

August 1st, 2018, 10:58 am #34

Herman will be back at OSU soon..and if this thing with Urban explodes..it may be real soon.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

August 1st, 2018, 11:13 am #35

Buck Fan in Miami wrote: Herman will be back at OSU soon..and if this thing with Urban explodes..it may be real soon.
That would be awesome …. his play calling was the main reason that the Buckeyes won the NC in 2014 with a 3rd string QB  … I doubt the Buckeyes make it o the 2014 NC game without him ( 2015's debacle at MSU reinforces that ) …… I cant wait to have him back at OSU … 
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

August 5th, 2018, 8:48 am #36

this season is going to be a real test for Saban  … he is replacing 6 assistant coaches … if he leads Alabama to another NC , he will have my vote as the greatest of all time ..
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

August 5th, 2018, 2:39 pm #37

Georgia was blessed when they got Kirby … he is going to end up being one of the all time great …. Georgia has many years of winning to look forward to ...
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

August 5th, 2018, 3:49 pm #38

I'm hopeful.

He has a long way to go before I call him one of the greats.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

August 5th, 2018, 5:39 pm #39

In 2017 , I seen something in Georgia that I hadn't seen in a long time  … a fire and desire to win …. it seemed like every year folks were saying how good Georgia would be … and it seemed like every year Georgia would find a way to disappoint ( even in 10 win seasons - that is how high the bar is for Georgia  ) … but in 2017 that all changed , Georgia exceeded expectations … they made a believer out of folks … and Kirby is the difference … 
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

August 6th, 2018, 5:18 am #40

Smart and his staff did a great job last year, but it was Richt's players that Richt developed.  Now Smart has to do that himself.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

August 6th, 2018, 5:39 am #41

brown dog wrote: Smart and his staff did a great job last year, but it was Richt's players that Richt developed.  Now Smart has to do that himself.
yes, they were Richt's players  … but Kirby took them to the next level …. Kirby is a good coach and a good recruiter … he is set up for the long haul at Georgia …. ..... the biggest problem for Georgia in 2018 will be defense … I think I read that you all have to replace 7 or 8 starters on defense … so, we will get to see how good Georgia is at reloading ...
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 11:23 am

August 6th, 2018, 8:22 am #42

Kentuckytoo wrote: this season is going to be a real test for Saban  … he is replacing 6 assistant coaches … if he leads Alabama to another NC , he will have my vote as the greatest of all time ..
And Locksley was an awful OC hire!
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

August 6th, 2018, 8:36 am #43

nmerritt11 wrote:
Kentuckytoo wrote: this season is going to be a real test for Saban  … he is replacing 6 assistant coaches … if he leads Alabama to another NC , he will have my vote as the greatest of all time ..
And Locksley was an awful OC hire!
it does make you scratch your head …..  Locksley was 3- 31 as a head coach ( he suppose to be a great recruiter ) … and he has had a lot of issues  -  choking and punching an assistant coach ……  sexually harassing an administrative assistant …. his son's girlfriend getting arrested after a "recruit" was busted for DWI in a car registered to Locksley himself …. Was it out of loyalty that Saban promoted Locksley ?
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

August 6th, 2018, 8:52 am #44

I think Saban fancies himself a rehabilitator.  Weather it is tarnished coaches like Kiffin or tarnished players like Cam Robinson Saban has a very lax second chance policy.  Since he is Saban he gets away with it and so far it has worked out for him except for Jonathan Taylor  who transferred from Georgia after he’d been dismissed from the team for an arrest on domestic violence charges. Taylor was dismissed by Alabama several months later after he was again arrested on another domestic violence charge.  

Still, it is Saban's world, the rules don't apply. 
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

August 6th, 2018, 9:28 am #45

I wonder how many more years Saban is going to coach … he is 67  … will he continue for 2 or 3 more years … or will he pull a JoePa  and hang on forever ...
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

August 6th, 2018, 9:29 am #46

there is going to be one hell of a vacuum , in the SEC, when he does retire  ….
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

August 6th, 2018, 9:31 am #47

Kentuckytoo wrote: there is going to be one hell of a vacuum , in the SEC, when he does retire  ….
I can't wait.  
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

August 6th, 2018, 9:55 am #48

Do you Bama will just get another coach and keep on rolling … or will there be some new kids on the block … ?
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

August 6th, 2018, 9:56 am #49

I don't think Saban cares who the OC is.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

August 6th, 2018, 9:57 am #50

brown dog wrote: I don't think Saban cares who the OC is.
he ignored Lane a lot … 
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