Pac 12 Coach Rankings

The Inside The Utes staff puts together their list of top coaches in the conference

1. David Shaw (Stanford)
Two seasons at the helm in Palo Alto for Shaw has yielded two BCS appearances along with a Pac 12 title. Shaw embodies much of his predecessor, Jim Harbaugh; tough. Coaching his alma mater, Shaw has turned Stanford into a national power that is showing no signs of slowing down. He's an easy selection for our top coach in the conference.

2. Jim Mora (UCLA)
One year in and Mora comes in at number 2 on our list. The former NFL head man took a program lacking toughness and led them to a strong 2012 season with a Pac 12 South title. A no-nonsense coach that has removed multiple players from the program for disciplinary issues, Mora just might be what Bruins fans have been looking for in a coach over the past 15 years of mediocrity. With his NFL ties and a great recruiting staff around him, Mora has brought in tremendous recruiting classes in his first two go-arounds, and is poised to take the Bruins to the next level in 2013.

3. Mike Riley (Oregon State)
Does anyone in the conference do more with less? Riley's teams aren't always successful in terms of wins and losses, but they play everyone tough, and put together those surprise 8 or 9 win seasons as they did in 2012. A real Oregon State man, Riley is likely a lifer in Corvallis (unless alma mater Alabama comes calling) where he grew up. The soft-spoken former NFL head coach gets as much respect from his players as any head man in the conference. His players go to bat for him, and that helps produce wins despite a lack of talent.

4. Kyle Whittingham (Utah)
Too high for Whitt? Nope. He commands one of the best staff's in the conference and continues to get results despite being towards the lower end of the player talent pool within the conference. Kyle Whittingham does things a certain way; the Utah way. He's another no-nonsense coach that recruits a specific type of player and runs a hard-nosed, tough program. A defensive minded coach, Whittingham's D has always been a stalwart. He's one of three coaches in the conference to have led his team to a BCS game along with David Shaw and Rich Rodriguez.

5. Rich Rodriguez (Arizona)
Year one in Tucson was a surprising success for Rodriguez as he brought his high flying offense to the desert. A solid recruiter, Rich-Rod's forte is on the offensive side of the ball where he led prolific offenses at West Virginia and Michigan. Defense has always been a struggle for his teams, and in the high-scoring Pac 12, that means he'll occasionally give up the 40 point game. On the flip side, his offense is sometimes going to put up 50. If nothing else, things will always be exciting and interesting at Arizona with Rodriguez running things.

6. Todd Graham (Arizona State)
Graham will return to Arizona State for season two, the first time since 2010 that he'll return to the same location as the previous season. The Sun Devils surprised a lot of people in 2012 and look poised to push for a Pac 12 South title in 2013 as well. Graham has been well embraced by the Sun Devil community, who believe he's got the program headed in the right direction. Graham also sports the best coach haircut in the conference with his sweet Ivan Drago flattop.

7. Steve Sarkisian (Washington)
When will Washington take off under Sark? We've been waiting for years for it to happen, with glimpses of greatness from his teams mixed with smatterings of inconsistency. Sark might be the best recruiter among head coaches in the conference, but he still seems to be learning on the fly with his in-game coaching. His program has also been noted for being rather friendly with players that have off the field issues. Sarkisian is going to need 8 wins in 2013 to feel really safe about his job.

8. Mark Helfrich (Oregon)
How is Helfrich this high without ever had coached a game? You don't get the nod as the head man at the 'it' school without being good. Helfrich has largely been responsible for the offensive explosion that is Oregon football each and every week. As the former offensive coordinator, he knows how to call a game and take advantage of the other teams' weaknesses. If the Ducks play up to expectations in 2013, Helfrich will shoot up this list.

9. Mike Leach (Washington State)
The Pirate didn't have the 2012 season that most anticipated after taking the Wazzu job with much fanfare. His offensive juggernauts at Texas Tech were putting up 40+ points per year, but the Cougars were abysmal on both sides of the ball in 2012. Leach isn't a great recruiter, but he's still one of the best offensive minds in the country and will eventually get Wazzu back on track.

10. Lane Kiffin (USC)
Oh how quickly the mighty do fall. USC made an unprecented drop from the top spot in the polls before the season started in 2012 to a 7-6 season, culminating in an embarrassing loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl. Now, Kiffin's on the hotseat and will need a good year to keep his job. The former Golden Boy has never accomplished much as a head coach, yet still leads one of the most prestigious programs in the country. Kiffin is one of the top recruiting head coaches in the country, but little player development, and a lax stance on discipline puts him towards the bottom of the list.

11. Sonny Dykes (Cal)
Dykes was the head man at Louisiana Tech last season, leading the Bulldogs to the top scoring offense in the country. He's been well received by the Cal faithful since being hired in December and looks to build a program with plenty of resources and advantages into the Pac 12 contender they were for much of the last decade. Still young, he could end up being a success in Cal despite having few ties to the west coast.

12. Mike MacIntyre (Colorado)
MacIntyre is the new head man in Boulder after a stunning 10-2 season at San Jose State landed him the job. In three seasons at the helm with the Spartans, MacIntyre had a record of only 16-21, but is known as an ace recruiter that the Buffalo faithful hope turns around a once-proud program.

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