Athlon's List of Top 10 College Football Coaches May Surprise You

Published on 9-Apr-2014 by Stacey Mickles

Football - NCAA    NCAA Football Daily Opinion

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Athlon's List of Top 10 College Football Coaches May Surprise You

Athlon Magazine's rankings of the top football coaches in Division I won't shock many.

To save you the suspense, Nick Saban -- of course -- is No 1, but Nos 2-10 may raise eyebrows. They startled me.

Here's the list. See if you agree:

  1. Nick Saban, Alabama
  2. Urban Meyer, Ohio State
  3. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina
  4. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
  5. Art Briles, Baylor
  6. Bill Synder, Kansas State
  7. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State
  8. Mark D'Antonio, Michigan State
  9. Brian Kelly, Nôtre Dame
  10. Gus Malzahn, Auburn

You can see Athlon's entire ranking of all 128 coaches here.

As to the Top Ten, I have a couple of issues.

First of all, it features five coaches who haven't won a national championship, namely Malzahn, Synder, Briles, D'Antonio, and Kelly. Say what you want about the Mad Hatter, but how is LSU coach Les Miles not in the Top 10? He won a national championship and just played for another a few years ago.

Miles may be goofy, but he can still coach.

And what about Chris Petersen? He made Boise State relevant in college football. Yes he's at Washington now, but he came close several times to playing for a BCS title. Hell, part of the reason there is a college playoff now is because of what Petersen did at Boise State.

Besides, who else -- besides maybe Miles -- would have his team so well-drilled, they could pull off these plays on the national stage:

Incidentally, Harsin is now the new head coach at Boise State.

Another problem I have with the Top Ten is how the coaches are ranked. How is Steve Spurrier the third-best coach in the country when South Carolina has never won an SEC title since he's been there, much less having gone to a BCS game.

Jimbo Fisher probably deserves to be ranked higher. In fact, he probably deserves to be the third-best coach in the country right now. Spurrier may deserve a Top 10 ranking, but Top 5? No.

Stoops and Fisher deserve to be ranked higher. And I would take Brian Kelly out of the list completely and replace him with Les Miles. At least.