Sporting News CFB Head Coach Rankings

Submitted by GoBlueinMN on April 22nd, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Sporting News ranks all head coaches in D-I, including BH at 23. 


Some other notables include:

Urban Meyer at #2 (!)

Pat Fitzgerald at #8

Bill O'Brien at #13

Dantonio at #27

RR at #29

Pelini at #31

Ferentz at #47

Gary Anderson at #50

Jerry Kill at #56

Kyle Flood (Rutgers) at #64

Kevin Wilson at #75

Edsall at #78

Darrell Hazell at #81

Tim Beckman at #112



Ty Butterfield

April 22nd, 2013 at 4:01 PM ^

How was game number 13 this year? I know Alabama is basically an NFL team. However, don't try and tell me ND was an elite team last year. No elite should ever be dismantled like that in a National Title game. Do you think Ohio fans are happy with the 2006 season? I doubt it since the only time that season is mentioned is when people talk about Ohio's failure in the National Title game.


April 22nd, 2013 at 2:18 PM ^

Dumb list. Pat Fitzgerald is a good coach, but 8th in the country? Come on. Any list that tries to rank every single coach from best to worst is just strange. Don Kugler is almost dead last, but how can they have any clue before he even coaches a game....?


April 22nd, 2013 at 2:18 PM ^

Bill O'Brien at 13? Really? I understand the guy had a good season when the world was against Penn State, but come on.

Also, Charlie Weis ahead of Dana Holgorsen and Dan Mullen? This list is garbage.


April 22nd, 2013 at 2:18 PM ^

I just don't understand O'Brian at 13. Hoke's first year was more impressive results wise and he did that with less defensive 'talent' than PSU had last year. I suppose he did have sanctions to year with last year and s bunch of transfers. But that far ahead of both Hoke and Dantonio?

oriental andrew

April 22nd, 2013 at 2:23 PM ^

What have you done for me lately. 

Fitz has been mediocre, but went 10-3 last season.  Meyer has "won big" everywhere he's been, including 12-0 last season. 

Dollars to donuts Hoke would be top 10 in this list if he went 8-5 his first season and 11-2 last season.  They'd be talking about how he took an underachieving bunch of players from RR's tenure and molded them into a unit capable of competing for BCS bowl berths every year, and how he has been a turnaround specialist at Ball State, SDSU, and now Michigan.


April 22nd, 2013 at 2:27 PM ^

This may be obvious homerism, but how is Hoke #23?  The guy has not come into three straight schools in three different conferences, and turned crappy teams into successful teams almost immediately.  Ball State has its best season ever under Hoke.  Had they ever even won 6 games before he arrived?  Ditto SDSU.  And now Michigan, going from worst defense in the history of ever to upper level defense with the identical players.  What impresses me most is not just the turn-around in our record, but in our recruiting, which should lead to future success.  I just don't see how Fitzgerald and O'Brien could be above Hoke on this list. 

Also, I am going to hide my head in shame after I write this, but I think that Dantonio may be better than 27. He is an ass, but he has done very well at MSU.  Granted that much of his success was gifted by RR allowing MSU to capture top in-state talent, but he did well with what he had.



April 22nd, 2013 at 2:40 PM ^

but if you're going to do it, a tiered system is the way to go. Fitzgerald winning ten games at Northwestern is about a thousand times more impressive than Kiffin winning ten at USC (if he ever can), and a six or seven win season in Bloomington is a whole lot different than six or seven wins in Ann Arbor or Columbus.


April 22nd, 2013 at 2:45 PM ^

The conference-specific links list Brady Hoke as the fourth best in the Big Ten Conference. The author's specific statement / criticism is as follows:

"Hard to argue with 19 wins in two seasons, but Hoke’s managing of the quarterback spot last season was bizarre at best. From not letting Denard Robinson run vs. Alabama in the season opener, to not replacing him soon enough with Devin Gardner when it became obvious Michigan needed to throw the ball to win big games."

So, essentially, forget that we put up a better offensive performance than several of Alabama's opponents, or little details like that - we are getting dinged largely on their disagreement with our QB management apparently. This is a list which certainly doesn't look at records three-dimensionally, if you will. 

Fitzgerald and O'Brien would rank as second and third in his conference-specific lists, both because of what would essentially be offshoots the broader "doing more with less" argument, albeit for vastly different reasons at each school. 


April 22nd, 2013 at 2:57 PM ^

I put about as much validity in this list as I do in pre-season polls. I'm sure coaches really even pay attention to these senseless lists, it's just more media fluff.

His Dudeness

April 22nd, 2013 at 3:32 PM ^




April 22nd, 2013 at 3:52 PM ^

Who cares.  This is exactly like those dumb ESPN polls.  So what if somebody thinks that Hoke is the 23rd best in the country.  You can't tell anything about a coach until his 3rd year regardless of what MSU or Ohio fans say.


April 22nd, 2013 at 4:27 PM ^

Can I chime in here, and say..... BOLLOCKS....  in fact, I'm gonna say it again... BOLLOCKS !!!!

While most of us weren't paying attention nor even knowing who he was at the time, Brady Hoke got Ball fricking State in the top 20, which is a monumental accomplishment.  I recall seeing them in the rankings and thinking... wow... Ball St...  not having known even what state they played in...   THAT is coaching folks, and this isn't bias... Note that I'm well aware that of the possibility of biasness due to pride of ownership, as Hoke is ours....     Hoke has easily merited top 15 on this list, and after the program returns in full form in 2015, he'll be considered ahead of Meyer.


April 22nd, 2013 at 4:43 PM ^

First off, this is bad list in so many ways. But to me it seems about right for Hoke AS OF NOW. The future looks bright, but if we set aside our biases, he still has some unimpressive stats and has A LOT still to prove on the field before we can call him elite.


April 22nd, 2013 at 5:06 PM ^

I'm having fun imagining heads exploding all across the Spartan fanbase as they whine about the "Blue Wall" and make the typical, "but, but, but Hoke is fat!!!"


April 22nd, 2013 at 5:09 PM ^

I'll give mad props to Bill O'Brien.  He deserves that ranking.  However, Pat Fitzgerald is hilariously over ranked, and Hoke is hilariously under ranked.


Also, Bobby Petrino is ranked ahead of Hoke?  REEEEAAALLLLLLLYYYY???!!!


April 23rd, 2013 at 7:30 AM ^

Look, I'm not saying Bill O'Brien is a bad coach or anything - I'll give him tons of credit for pulling out an 8-4 record after what Penn State went through in the 10 months before the season started. But he's got one single season under his belt, so I think it's premature to claim he's suddenly a top-15 coach in the country. Remember, Charlie Weis's first two seasons at ND resulted in a Fiesta Bowl and Sugar Bowl.

As for Bobby Petrino, I think it's fine that he's above Hoke for now. He may be a deplorable human being, but the guy gets results on the football field. Two top-10 finishes at Louisville and a third at Arkansas, with a 75-26 career record.


April 22nd, 2013 at 5:47 PM ^

Yeah, Saban has won a bunch of BCS titles, but he also has had essentially NFL teams to do so. Put him at UNLV with UNLV talent and let's see how he does. Frankly, look at his record at MSU. Dantonio has done much better already (.646 vs .586). Should Dantonio be #1?

Also frankly, my top choice might be Brian Kelly. That guy has won everywhere with random talent. He's made GVSU, Central, and Cincinnati all awesome at various points. Based on that, Urban can't be far behind either


April 22nd, 2013 at 7:41 PM ^

But a large part of collegiate coaching is recruiting, making your point invalid. If Saban were at UNLV, he would not have bama talent, but he would have UNLV competing at a very high level, probably even an eventual BCS berth. Pretty sure he won a title at LSU as well.


April 22nd, 2013 at 9:39 PM ^

I think a college football coach has multiple hats he wears: football coach, recruiter, PR guy, spokesperson, etc. but as far as football coaching ability, I think my argument holds up. In terms of meeting all of the requirements of being a BCS football coach, yeah Saban is right up there at the top


April 22nd, 2013 at 11:41 PM ^

Handled a project w Fitz when he was still a D coach under Walker. My roommate was a LB for him. He seems like a great guy but it's hard to rank Fitz ahead of Hoke.

Fitz is the first head coach at NU since the early 90s NOT to win at least a share of the Big Ten title at least once. He's an excellent coach and has improved the program in a lot of ways, but NU was not in as poor of shape as people like to think before he got the head job. I could see an argument that both the special teams and offense, as good as they are now, were better under Walker (Basenez SI's "Mr Football" over Leinart & Young). Great coach, seems like a great guy, but not #8 in the country.

/stops arguing with nobody

/what happened I blacked out?