Judging college football coaches is a lot like judging beauty contestants. Everyone has a different criteria, which makes the whole process an exercise in futility ... albeit an entertaining exercise in futility.
In a post entitled "Head man hierarchy," Stewart Mandel of sportsillustrated.com lists his 10 best and five worst college football coaches. Operating on a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately basis, Mandel's rankings focus on the past five years, with the past three years given extra weight. Coaches who have not coached at a Div. 1 school the past three years (South Carolina
's Steve Spurrier
, Alabama's Nick Saban
and Ole Miss
' Ed Orgeron, for instance) are not eligible.
Not surprisingly, the Southeastern Conference shows up on each end of Mandel's scale. Florida's Urban Meyer is No. 2 and Georgia's Mark Richt No. 9 among the 10 best coaches, with Auburn's Tommy Tuberville on the "just missed" list. Houston Nutt of Arkansas is a "just missed" selection on the worst coaches list, even though he is coming an SEC West championship.
Regardless, here are Mandel's ratings:
1.Pete Carroll, Southern California
2.Urban Meyer, Florida
3.Jim Tressell, Ohio State
4.Mack Brown, Texas
5.Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
6.Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech
7.Jim Grobe, Wake Forest
8.Rich Rodriguez, West Virginia
9.Mark Richt, Georgia
10.Gary Patterson, Texas Christian
JUST MISSED: Greg Schiano (Rutgers), Tommy Tuberville (Auburn), Jim Leavitt (South Florida), Paul Johnson (Navy), Jeff Tedford (California).
1.Al Groh, Virginia
2.Dennis Franchione, Texas A&M
3.Tommy Bowden, Clemson
4.Bill Doba, Washington State
5.Karl Dorrell, UCLA
JUST MISSED: Chan Gailey (Georgia Tech), Bill Callahan (Nebraska), Mike Stoops (Arizona), Ron Zook (Illinois), Houston Nutt (Arkansas).