Nick Saban heads up a list of the best college coaches? Say it ain’t so.
Summer is an eternity for the college football fan, as the heat and the endless wasteland of cable television time-fillers wash over us in waves and send us to all corners of the Web in search of something resembling football coverage.
It’s the time for preseason awards lists, player breakdowns and speculative pieces that create arbitrary rankings and quantify things that have no objective comparisons. In short, it’s the silly season.
Sports Illustrated‘s ever-excellent Stewart Mandel penned a piece on Monday ranking the ten best and five worst coaches in college football. Sure, it’s link bait. Sure it’s completely subjective. It also has the distinction of being absolutely correct in its conclusions.
Mandel correctly ranks the Alabama Crimson Tide coach in first place, and there’s really no serious way of placing anyone else in the top slot. Four national titles in ten years. A greased path to a threepeat. Saban has taught more people the word ‘juggernaut’ than Webster’s Dictionary (that’s a thing, kids; look it up on Wikipedia).
The rest of the list reads like a who’s who of media-darling coaches; some with hardware in the trophy case gathering dust, and others who never won a thing outside of the swooning hearts of the sports literati.
There’s Urban Meyer in the second spot. Meyer certainly has the resume to be at the top of the list, but tends to sell a fantastic product to the adoring fans, bolting town just before the warranty expires. Our greatest hope – and his greatest fear – is an Alabama-Ohio State matchup at the end of the upcoming season, and the betting lines on Meyer’s Saban-induced Mick Jagger impression.
Les Miles is further down the list, where he is always one game away from the wrath of his own fanbase. The good news for Miles is that he has completely stepped out of Saban’s shadow at LSU. The bad news is that he is annually in Saban’s crosshairs.
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin made a huge splash in 2012, beating Alabama in Tuscaloosa behind Heisman-winner and serial grouser Johnny Manziel. All you did was weaken a country, Lieutenant Sumlin. That’s all you did.
Hilariously, Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly just missed the list. Sure he did.
The worst coaches list is mercifully shorter, and is notable for the inclusion of Lane Kiffin and Charlie Weis. Kiffin, the most oversold and under-performing product out of California since Lex Luthor Realty, has yet to feel the full impact of sanctions at USC. He’s about to.
Weis, meanwhile, is the list’s big loser. Literally. You may laugh now.
Take a look at the list, and let us know who should have made the cut, or who has no business in the top ten. After all, we have to have something to talk about until the season starts.