The Top Coaches In The Game
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The game has changed a ton in the last twenty-five years. Coaches today must know more than just the X's and O's of offense and defense. They must also know how to keep an eye on every small detail of their program. They have images to keep up, and those images are kept up best by winning. If you had to pick one coach in America to lead your program, who would it be?
The following is a list of my top coaches if I could hire any head man I wished:
1. Urban Meyer - Florida - (43-9, 26-8 SEC at UF) - Meyer is THE elite coach right now in my opinion. In just four seasons in Gainesville he has produced a Heisman winner, won two SEC Championships, and has his team in the BCS Championship game again this season going after their 2nd National Title under him. He also has led the Gators to Rivals.com recruiting rankings top 10 each of the last 4 seasons. Before arriving at Florida he had Utah 22-2 over two seasons includng a perfect 2004. The pros will be calling soon, but I say he stays at the college level because he is too smart not to. Meyer is 4-1 in bowl games.
2. Nick Saban - Alabama - (19-7, 12-4 SEC at UA) Like Meyer, Saban carries this look on his face like he knows something that you do not, and that he is about to just beat your rear-end from one end of the field to the other. He has taken Alabama, perhaps the most storied program in college football, from being a program on the slide and creeping towards the bottom of teh SEC West, to being a legit national top-5 in just two short seasons. He did this by adapting to Alabama's personel, playing ballcontrol offense and hard-nosed line-of-scrimmage defense. Before Bama he guided LSU to the 2003 National Championship and had Michigan State at 9-2 before leaving for Baton Rouge in December 1999. He is, oddly, 4-5 in bowl games.
3. Bob Stoops - Oklahoma (109-23, 63-18 Big-12 at OU)- "Big Game Bob" they called him early in his OU career. He beat Texas and won the national championship in 2000, and has had the Sooners in the thick of things ever since. This season, he won several big games down the stretch to get his team into the BCSCG. His team has put up 60 points or more in each of the last 5 games, including victories over #2 Texas Tech, # 12 Oklahoma State and #17 Missouri. He will be gunning for his 2nd National Title in three weeks. He is, oddly, 4-5 in bowl games.
4. Pete Carroll - USC (87-15, 57-10 Pac-10 at USC) - In 2001, Pete Carroll took over at USC and they went 6-6 but made a bowl, which they lost. Since 2002, however, the Trojans have finished in the top 4 of the AP poll EVERY year. During that span, the Trojans have a record of 81-9 and have played for the National Championship 3 times, bringing home the crown in 2003 as a split, and taking it outright in 2004. In each of the past two seasons USC has been one win away from playing for titles 3 and 4 under Carroll. One of my favorite things about Pete is that he is a huge outspoken proponent of a playoff system. He is 5-2 in bowl games.
5. Mack Brown - Texas (114-26, 72-16 Big-12 at UT) It seems like yesterday I was watching Brown's UNC teams make a run at the ACC title as they defeated my Tigers back-to-back in 1996 and 97. He took that act to Austin, where he has taken Texas back to the top. He won the 2005 National Title, and had a good, but losing, argument to be in it again this year. He is 10-5 all-time in bowl games.
Other top coaches who get the job done:
6. Mark Richt - Georgia - Great coach, but Dawgs always fall short of glory. Richt is one of the top recruiters in the sport.
7. Jim Tressel - Ohio State - Won it all in 2002, but have been waxed bad in bowls several times since. Still, a top mind for sure as his Buckeyes have finished AP top 5 in 5 of last 6 years.
8. Paul Johnson - Georgia Tech - In just one short season, GT has become the Ramblin' Wreck once more, riding the option machine of Johnson. This offense is as hard to defend as any I have seen.
9. Les Miles - LSU - Miles took home a national title a year ago, but the Tigers have slipped a bit in 2008. Expect them to be back in the top 10 in 2009.
10. Butch Davis - UNC - Davis Has Kenan Stadium packed again. The Heels were the laughing stock of the ACC just two seasons ago. Now they are bowling and assembling a national top recruiting class.
11. Mike Leach - Texas Tech - What an offense! Need more D.
12. Gary Pinkel - Mizzou - Mizzou wasn't much before pinkel.
13. Chris Peterson - Boise State - Great young mind out West.
14. Jim Grobe - Wake Forest - Winning at Wake??? Good Coach.
15. Gary Patterson - TCU - My Old Man's favorite of the unknown coaches.
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