Ranking Big 12 Coaches On Recruiting Prowess

Some of the best ideas are stolen and we saw an idea today that prompted us to shake it up and change the topic and bring it back around to fit our emphasis at Scout.com and Go Pokes. The Mountain News ranked the Big 12 coaches on their job security status. It was interesting although we thought they messed up a little.

Come on, the best job security status in the Big 12 among football coaches? It has to be Kansas State's Bill Snyder. First, Snyder was just voted into the College Football Hall of Fame and then second, Snyder retired once and had to come back to the job to rescue the program he built from falling completely back into the days of losing.

Hey, we're not above helping people correct their mistakes, so here is the rankings on the coaches in The Mountain News column on job security and here is our take on those rankings.

Ranking - Mountain News/Go Pokes
1. Art Briles / Bill Snyder
2. Gary Patterson / Gary Patterson
3. Bill Snyder / Art Briles
4. Bob Stoops / Mike Gundy
5. Mike Gundy / Bob Stoops 7. Charlie Strong / Dana Holgorsen
8. Dana Holgorsen / Charlie Strong
9. Kliff Kingsbury / Kliff Kingsbury
10. Paul Rhoads / Paul Rhoads

Our explanation is simple in that Snyder is a Hall of Famer. It is proven what his departure could mean to Kansas State football and his first successor Ron Prince nearly sunk the Wildcats ship completely. We agree a lot after that, although we flip-flopped Patterson and Briles. Actually, those two should be tied as right now both are equally strong in job security.

We flipped Gundy ahead of Stoops, and it is not just because our site caters to Oklahoma State or that I'm considered a Mike Gundy apologist. It's because Bedlam, look around Oklahoma. Gundy is the toast of the town and even T. Boone Pickens has lightened up. Oklahoma has made multiple staff changes including firing a former national championship quarterback. OU fans want more than losing to their state rival and getting beat like a drum in a bowl game.

Beaty gets his status because he is brand new. We moved Holgorsen ahead of Strong on our ranking because 54 yards of total offense in a bowl loss to Arkansas signals the end of the honeymoon period for the Longhorns head coach.

Now for our copycat objective here. Recruiting prowess! What does that mean? It's not just following the team ranking of the recruiting class because those rankings aren't the end all.

It's about perception of that head coach with recruits. It's about the recruiting structure that coach has built with his staff, the facilities he's responsible for, uniforms, and media exposure and how it has been maximized. It is a wide ranging scope and some of it is just feel. That is what prospects are looking for sometimes on visits and when meeting coaches in their school or on a home visit, they are looking for that right feel. (Note: To be fair, we also put the latest Scout team recruiting ranking in parenthesis next to the coach's name.)

1. Art Briles, Baylor (37th)
After months of being committed to Texas Tech, what causes Jarrett Stidham to change his mind and become the quarterback of the future at Baylor? It's Briles, as he is the "in thing" with high school kids in Texas and the high school coaches in the state love him as well because he is one of them. He coached as an assistant and then a head coach at Stephenville High School. He comes from a small Texas town that barely has a stop sign. Now he has back to back Big 12 Championships and a shiny new stadium on the bank of the Brazos River and highly visible driving up or down I-35.

2. Gary Patterson, TCU (21st)
Patterson is Briles without the Texas heritage and rugged West Texas demeanor. It doesn't matter to me that Patterson is shorter, that his hair is thinning, and that his voice squeaks some. The man knows football. defensive football, and if recruits give him time he will grow on them. He has a top-flight program, cool assistants like Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie, and a really nice stadium with loud speakers. The shiny uniforms are cool too, but the winning and the wide open offense are even better.

3. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State (46th)
Gundy also exudes a cool attitude and recruits describe him often as a player's coach that they feel comfortable with. He was out there early with the wide variety of different uniforms and put OSU on the map for big-time football with the 2011 Big 12 Championship and BCS bowl win over Stanford in the Fiesta. Oklahoma State has not quite as new but just as nice facilities in the west end zone of Boone Pickens Stadium. Now, after a tough season of dealing with a team that was maybe more rebuilding than reloading, Gundy has shaken his funk and is back to being that cool guy everybody likes. The only drawback he really has to deal with is location. Baylor and TCU are located closer to the multitude of talented football players in Texas.

4. Charlie Strong, Texas (12th)
Texas has massive and nice facilities on the Forty Acres in Austin and Strong is a dynamic and strong presence. His rules and his motto of putting the "T" or the "tough back in Texas" is handy and sits well with alumni but the rules and the discipline preached out front while popular with parents can rub recruits the wrong way. We all know kids want discipline but not necessarily preached at them during recruiting. Building on a strong run game and defense is sound from a football standpoint but isn't as sexy to recruits. He is still a very strong presence and that helps. Tradition is still on his side too.

5. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma (14th)
The hiring of offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley should help and the "air raid" will help recruits some players. Stoops even relented in the off-season last year and brought in some alternate uniforms to spice up the traditional OU togs. He still projects a very strong image, but the sight of him and his brother and defensive coordinator Mike yelling at each other on the sidelines doesn't grab recruits and scream, come be part of this. The facilities are great and the location is good. Tradition is on the side of the Sooners as well but it has been as their own fans like to remind everybody a while since they've competed for a coveted national championship. They need to turn the mood around as the season ended on a down turn.

6. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia (25th)
West Virginia is the only game in the state and that helps as they are surrounded by some good high school football playing states. The speed is what they crave and Holgorsen has a national name and a certain style about him. He is a mad scientist when it comes to offense. The facilities are okay and the location is tough, but they have incredible support from their fans. That has helped them to be able to cherry pick some in Florida and Texas.

7. Bill Snyder, Kansas State (68th)
Kansas State is an acquired taste for recruits. Snyder is well known and it's easy to see why so many of the players that played for him send their sons his direction. He may look like that friendly grandfather-type person but he is tough and disciplined and he will make you a man. The facilities are good and about to be great. The location is tough, but the best part about Snyder and his staff is how well they evaluate. Kansas State may be the best and Baylor and Oklahoma State are in their category of finding the right players, the two- and three-star guys that end up being as good or better than the four- and five-star guys. He does have a strong reputation for appreciating performance and sacrifice with his recently publicized handwritten letter writing. It is a big positive with parents.

8. Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech (35th)
He was recognized early as the GQ coach on the plains of West Texas and he could have dated and married a lot of eligible bachelorettes out there. Some of that likely helped with recruiting, but the star is fading some after back-to-back tough seasons. Texas Tech has invested heavily in winning football and is not getting the desired return. That kind of grumbling gets noticed by recruits. Kingsbury still comes off well in person with the recruits and no doubt moms are impressed, but winning is what will help elevate the Raiders recruiting.

9. Paul Rhoads, Iowa State (75th)
Meet Paul Rhoads and you will likely want to run through a brick wall with him and for him. He is a very inspirational coach and he and his staff do a good job of getting the most out of their talent. The problem is location. Iowa State has excellent facilities, but they are off the beaten path a little and they are out of the sun belt portion of the Big 12. Like with Kingsbury, Rhoads and Iowa State need to win and get back to postseason.

10. David Beaty, Kansas (65th)
Who is he? What does he stand for? Beaty needs to become known. His experience at Texas A&M helps him. His experience at Kansas in the past helps him understand what he is dealing with. He needs to get out in the public, on television, on the internet as much as possible. Kansas needs to win.


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