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Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Jim Harbaugh joins NFC West short list

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

One of our blog regulars, joe_cool585, correctly points out an omission from the NFC West blog recently.

Jim Harbaugh's naming as the NFL's top coach, as declared by Associated Press voters, got insufficient play here during Pro Football Hall of Fame fallout Saturday night. Time for every coach's favorite, the makeup call.

Harbaugh becomes the first NFC West coach since realignment in 2002 to earn the AP honor. Harbaugh and former St. Louis Rams coach Dick Vermeil are the only coaches for current NFC West teams to win the award in the last two decades.

Winning the award requires not only faring well, but also faring better than your peers in a given season, sometimes relative to expectations. The chart does not necessarily rank the best jobs head coaches have done for current NFC West franchises since the AP established the award in 1957. This wouldn't be a bad list to work from, however.

The chart's final column shows the difference between winning percentages from the previous season. For example, the 1999 Rams went 13-3, up from 4-12 the previous season. The difference between those winning percentages -- .813 minus .333, basically -- works out to plus .563.

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