On Wednesday, we wrote about which Pac-12 coach provides the most bang for the buck.
Now it's your turn to take a position: Which Pac-12 coach do you think provides the most bang for the bucks?
My picks were Oregon's Chip Kelly and Utah's Kyle Whittingham.
Kelly, despite being the Pac-12's highest paid coach, has provided amble bang for his big bucks. He's 34-6 in three seasons and darn near won a national title. He's won three consecutive Pac-12 crowns and won the Rose Bowl over Wisconsin in January. Oh, and he's 25-2 in Pac-12 games.
I also cited Utah's Kyle Whittingham. He's 66-25 (.725) and also has won a BCS bowl game. His worst season -- 7-5 -- came in 2005. And he's 7-1 in bowl games. The Utes also were more than respectable in their first year in the Pac-12 after making the leap from a non-AQ Mountain West.
But you guys might have other thoughts. And here are three other possibilities.
While we don't know Lane Kiffin's exact salary at USC -- private schools hide that sort of thing -- he's provided plenty of bang for whatever buck he makes. He's pretty much hit all the right notes over the past two seasons. Last fall, he led the Trojans back into the nation's elite after a two-year downturn, and USC is a top national title contender heading into 2012. Further, his recruiting has been outstanding. While he was a controversial hire, he's vindicated himself on the field, in recruiting and has almost entirely avoided the controversy that dogged him in just one season at Tennessee.
Washington's Steve Sarkisian has yet to lead the Huskies back into the national rankings, but he's gone 19-19 -- 14-13 in Pac-12 play -- in three years at a program that went 12-47 in the five seasons before he arrived in 2009, including a 0-12 mark in 2008. That's a HUGE upgrade. Further, he's ramped up recruiting, landing multiple top-25 classes, and he's lured one of the nation's best staffs to Seattle. With the renovation of Husky Stadium scheduled to be complete in advance of the 2013 season, Sark seems to be a great fit for the Huskies.
When I assessed bang for buck, I didn't include the four new coaches. But it's hard to ignore what the hiring of Mike Leach has meant for Washington State, even before he's coached a game. For one, the national attention has been significant for a program that's been off the map a few years, as his hiring was almost universally applauded as a genius stroke for athletic director Bill Moos. Leach seems like a great fit in Pullman. His $2.25 million salary is a lot of bucks, but it's difficult to say any coach delivered more bang before the football part of football entered the equation.
So what do you think?