In its annual list released Thursday, the Sporting News named Alabama’s Nick Saban as the top head coach among the 124 Div. 1-A (FBS) football programs in the country.
(In other news, H2O Digest proclaimed water is wet, while Aviation Illustrated acknowledged that the sky is indeed blue.)
Saban’s placement atop any list which ranks the top coaches in the profession is beyond (any reasonable) dispute, with a résumé that includes three BcS titles in the past nine years — two in the last three — at two different schools, as well as just four losses combined in SEC play the past four years.
With little or no doubt as to who sits atop the collegiate coaching perch at the moment, though, the question then becomes: who is No. 2?
According to the Sporting News‘ list, that honor falls to Boise State’s Chris Petersen, who’s arguably done the most — a .924 winning percentage in his six years with the Broncos — with the least — no recruiting class ranked higher than No. 53 in the country since he took over in 2006 — of any coach the past decade.
Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and his two BcS titles at Florida, coming off a one-year sabbatical, comes in at No. 3 — probably a bit high at this point, given the time off plus his final season at UF — followed by LSU’s Les Miles, who Saban foiled in his attempt to win his second crystal football with the Tigers in five years.
The rest of the Sporting News‘ Top Ten, in order, are Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops, Oregon’s Chip Kelly, TCU’s Gary Patterson, South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier, Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer and Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy.
While there were certainly some notable names missing from the Top Ten — Georgia’s Mark Richt (No. 14), USC’s Lane Kiffin (No. 20), Stanford’s David Shaw (No. 32) and Iowa State’s Paul Rhoads (No. 48) among others could certainly argue for higher placement — SN’s top-ten list is a solid grouping from top to bottom. Again, though, the point of this exercise is that spot right behind Saban: who is No. 2? Or, better yet, who should be slotted behind the Tide coach.
Personally, you’d get no argument from me placing Petersen in the two-hole. What say ye, though. Who should be recognized as the second-best coach in major college football?
Vote below, and sound off/whine/bitch/moan below that. Not that you need to be prompted to do the latter, of course.