Alabama Football: Who are the top coaches not named Saban?

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Alabama Football, Head Coach, Nick Saban sits atop the tallest college football mountain. Going into the 2021 season, Saban is where he has been for many years – the best coach in college football.

Except for a few coaches, repeatedly in the closest level to Saban, the rest of the college football, head, coaching world has more change than constants.

Media rankings of all 130 FBS head coaches are always interesting.  There are too many coaches for different media outlets to agree, except for Saban – and maybe Dabo – and possibly Lincoln Riley. That is the top three from the Sporting News most recent ranking. A panel of six did the Sporting News list and their results are as good as any other media source.

The complete 130 head coaches rankings are available here.

Pretty much every fanbase, except the Alabama Football one, will argue their coach is not ranked fairly. Alabama Crimson Tide fans can just ignore all those complaints. What is interesting is to review how the rankings changed from those done prior to the 2020 season. There are some significant spikes and dips.

Gus Malzahn came close to the largest dip in ranking. He went from No. 13 to No. 36. Gus moving from Auburn to UCF made him look bad, as well as smudging the reputations of both schools. Other coaches with similar dips to Gus were Butch Davis (FIU, minus 27); Rod Carey (Temple, minus-33); Mike Norvell (FSU, minus-22), and Steve Addazio (Colorado State, minus-24).

Former Alabama Football Coaches

In a group of so many guys, moves up and down are to be expected.

  • Jim McElwain – Central Michigan, dropped to No. 90 from No. 72
  • Mike Locksley – Maryland, moved up to No. 62, from No. 79
  • Billy Napier – Louisiana, zoomed to No. 53 from No. 82
  • Mel Tucker – Michigan State, dropped to No. 63 from No. 54
  • Lane Kiffin – Ole Miss moved up to No. 26, from No. 39
  • Mario Cristobal – Oregon, dropped to No. 16 from No. 15
  • Kirby Smart – Georgia, dropped to No. 7 from No. 4
  • Jimbo Fisher – Texas A&M, moved up to No. 5 from No. 10

Three new head coaches for the 2021 season; Steve Sarkisian (Texas) came in at No. 40; Butch Jones (Arkansas State) at No. 88; and Charles Huff (Marshall) at No. 127.

The big upward spike in rankings list

  • Jamey Chadwell (Coastal Carolina) moved from No. 112 to No. 38
  • Shawn Clark (Appalachian State) moved from No. 116 to No. 70
  • Brent Brennan (San Jose St.) moved from No. 121 to No. 80
  • Kalani Sitake (BYU) moved from No. 86 to No. 46
  • Ryan Silverfield (Memphis) moved from No. 108 to No. 71
  • Karl Dorrell (Colorado) moved from No. 96 to No. 59
  • Luke Fickel ( Cincinnati) moved from No. 50 to No. 13

Next. No JTT, no problem for the Crimson Tide. dark

The biggest upward move by a current SEC coach was Eli Drinlwitz, going from No. 58 to No. 33. LSU’s Ed Orgeron fell to No. 3 to No. 14.