The nation's top 10 coaching jobs
On Wednesday, the ESPN college basketball hive mind released its consensus rankings of every high-major college basketball coaching job in the country. (We also named our best and worst jobs in every mid-major league.)Naturally, this created no small amount of discussion among readers and commenters, discussion that we here at ESPN.com were already bandying about throughout the voting process. Which got yours truly thinking: Now that we've ranked the best jobs in every league in the country, how would we rank the best of the best -- the jobs every aspiring coach spends a lifetime pursuing? Consider what follows my humble attempt to do exactly that. For the sake of consistency, I'm using the same criteria we established for our initial voting, which was laid out in the rankings (see above link): "This is not an attempt to rank the programs or their histories. When voting, our 14 panelists were asked to take into consideration facilities, expectation level, athletic budget, wins and losses, recruiting base, fan support/pressure and all of the other factors that go into determining the 'best' jobs in the ever-crazy profession of college basketball coaching." Based on that criteria, here's how I see the top 10 jobs in college basketball, from No. 10 to No. 1: Honorable mentions: Michigan State, Texas, Connecticut, Florida 10. Arizona Order aside, selecting the last member of this list was the most difficult (and most enjoyable) part of the entire exercise. I used my lifelines, polled colleagues -- Andy Katz and I even grilled ESPN analyst and longtime coach Fran Fraschilla for his take -- and the only consensus I could establish was that no consensus existed. So why did I choose Arizona? A few reasons. Connecticut's success is impossible to extract from Jim Calhoun, the coach who almost single-handedly built it. Florida has two national titles and a huge boost in brand name under Billy Donovan, but it's hard to be a top-10 program when you're still the younger brother to your school's football team. This same disqualifier applies to Texas (though some argued this was actually a great job, because it paid well, came with huge financial support from the richest athletic program in the country, and didn't feature the pressure of basketball-first schools).
Editor's Note: To read Eamonn's conversation with Myron Medcalf on the best jobs, click here.