Ranking the Pac-12 coaches
Athlon Sports decided to rank the Pac-12 coaches, and you can see their list -- and explanations -- here.
Here's their take in advance of providing their list.
Ranking the coaches in any college football conference is a difficult task. Many factors play into just how successful a coach is at any school. How well are the assistants paid? Are the facilities up to par with the rest of the conference? Can the coach recruit or is he more of an x's and o's manager? Are there off-the-field or age issues to take into consideration? Has a coach built a program or continued the success from a previous coach? How is the resume outside of their current position? These questions and more were posed to the editors at Athlon Sports, as they were asked to rank the coaches of each of the six BCS conferences. One thing to keep in mind -- the record is not always indicative of where a coach should rank in a conference.
Here's their order:
1. Chip Kelly, Oregon
2. Lane Kiffin, USC
3. Mike Leach, Washington State
4. Kyle Whittingham, Utah
5. Rich Rodriguez, Arizona
6. Steve Sarkisian, Washington
7. Mike Riley, Oregon State
8. Jeff Tedford, California
9. David Shaw, Stanford
10. Todd Graham, Arizona State
11. Jim Mora, UCLA
12. Jon Embree, Colorado
Some of this makes perfect sense. Kelly has to be No. 1: He's won three consecutive Pac-12 titles. End of argument. And Graham, Mora and Embree are justifiable as the bottom three. Graham in large part because of the public relations nightmare surrounding his departure from Pittsburgh (yeah, stuff like that counts), Mora because he's never coached at the college level before, and Embree because he went 3-10 his first season as a head coach.
Changes I'd make?
I'd rank Whittingham No. 2. He's got a track record of success and a BCS bowl win. I'd rank Rich Rodriguez No. 3 for the same reason (his failure at Michigan was more about Michigan than Rich Rodriguez).
Then I'd go Leach, Kiffin, Sarkisian, Shaw, Riley and Tedford.
For me, sometimes a lack of experience hurts in a ranking (Kiffin, Shaw), despite recent success, and sometimes a recent downturn after sustained success hurts (Riley and Tedford).
And, of course, this list is fluid on an annual (weekly?) basis. Two years ago, Riley would have been in the top-three or four, and in as late as 2008, Tedford would have been, too.
7:33 3rd Qtr Rutgers 30 North Carolina 7 8:00 PM ET North Carolina State UCF Final Illinois 18 Louisiana Tech 35
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
Final Marshall 52 Northern Illinois 23 Final Navy 17 San Diego State 16
Final Central Michigan 48 Western Kentucky 49 Final Fresno State 6 Rice 30
1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Virginia Tech 2:00 PM ET 15 Arizona State Duke 3:30 PM ET Miami (FL) South Carolina 4:30 PM ET Boston College Penn State 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State