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10 finalists revealed for Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year

Mark Dantonio AP

The list of awards releasing its finalists for year-end honors continues to grow, with the folks at Liberty Mutual jumping into the hardware fray.

The insurance company announced today the 25 finalists for its 2013 Coach of the Year awards spread across four divisions of college football, including 10 from the FBS level.  All 10 of the coaches for the FBS version of the award come from automatic-qualifying conferences, although, curiously, one of the two coaches in the BCS title game is not among the group of finalists:

Art Briles, Baylor
David Cutcliffe, Duke
Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
Todd Graham, Arizona State
Gus Malzahn, Auburn
Urban Meyer, Ohio State
Jim Mora, UCLA
Bill O’Brien, Penn State
Nick Saban, Alabama
Dabo Swinney, Clemson

No, that’s not a misprint; Jimbo Fisher of top-ranked Florida State is not a finalist for this particular award.

Craig Bohl, who left North Dakota State this past weekend to take over at Wyoming, is one of five finalists for the FCS award.

In its release, Liberty Mutual wrote that “[t]o help determine the winners, fans can vote from now until December 22 at CoachoftheYear.com and Facebook.com/LMCoachoftheYear for the finalists they feel represent the highest values in college sports, whether it is achieving the players’ potential on the field, promoting academic excellence in the classroom, or making an impact in their communities through charitable work and volunteerism.”  That fan vote counts for 20 percent of the votes.

The winner in each of the four NCAA divisions will receive $50,000 to support his favorite charities and a $20,000 donation from Liberty Mutual to his school’s alumni association for scholarship

The 2012 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year was Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly.

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20 Responses to “10 finalists revealed for Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year”
  1. jgmotox201 says: Dec 10, 2013 12:49 PM

    David Cutcliffe deserves this award. Try to recruit players Duke…for football.

  2. jgmotox201 says: Dec 10, 2013 12:50 PM

    ..to Duke…

  3. theworkhorsebackdotcom says: Dec 10, 2013 12:51 PM

    This has to be Malzahn’s to lose after what has happened the past couple of weeks.

  4. tmac4454 says: Dec 10, 2013 12:52 PM

    Wow, I can’t believe that Jimbo Fisher is not the Coach of the year. Undefeated and filled big shoes of B Bowden since he became head coach of the Noles. Oh well, sometimes you dont need someone elses praise when you can get your own…

  5. drummerhoff says: Dec 10, 2013 1:19 PM

    Jumbo Fischer is not on the list because going undefeated in a weak ACC is not a great accomplishment. Try going undefeated in the SEC, Pac12, Big12 or even B1G … That’s not easy to do.

    The last time Florida State ran the table in the ACC and played in the BCS Championship, they were 11′ point favorites and lost outright. I wonder if history repeats itself. I wonder if the ACC will close the BCS era with ZERO BCS wins over the SEC, Pac12, B1G & Big 12. It’s hard to image until you realize the ACC is the weakest AQ conference in the BCS history.

  6. 24pointlead says: Dec 10, 2013 1:38 PM

    You could be a low ranking member of the Taliban and still see that Malzahn wins this. C’mon.

  7. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 10, 2013 2:09 PM

    Can we just have 1 CotY award…. this is annoying…

    @24pointlead Gotta be Cutcliffe to me. Auburn won a national title 3 years ago…. Duke was 3-9.

  8. djdvd says: Dec 10, 2013 2:26 PM

    Can only one from each conference get nominated? I think Gary Pinkel should have got a nod. Based on what everyone thought would be decades of suffering for that program crossed with the recruiting differences between him and some of the other schools in the SEC, it would be hard to say he didn’t do more with less I’d think.

  9. js20011041 says: Dec 10, 2013 2:42 PM

    @drummerhoff

    FSU is on pace to set the single season mark for points scored (despite not playing in an up tempo offense). They also have the top ranked scoring defense and are ranked 2nd behind MSU at YPP (trail 3.95 to MSU’s 3.94). Virtually every one of the starting 22 will be drafted. Jimbo Fisher lost 6 assistant coaches and 11 players to the NFL draft last year and this team is better.

    If what they’re doing in the ACC is so easy, why has it never been done before?

  10. 24pointlead says: Dec 10, 2013 2:43 PM

    @8to8 – Agree that Cutcliffe is a great choice. He has likely done more with less in terms of talent. Class act, too.

  11. gwendlynnole says: Dec 10, 2013 2:48 PM

    @drummerhoff. That is an absurd statement.
    Are the Gators in the ACC? Did you forget that
    Clemson was #3 when FSU destroyed them at home?
    And your B1G comment is laughable. That conference
    is a joke. Fisher has the only undefeated team in the
    country… That speaks for itself. Personally, it should
    be Cutcliffe or Malzahn, but the fact that Jimbo
    isn’t even listed on here makes this “award” meaningless.

    FSU’s 3rd Title and 3rd Heisman trophies are all
    that really matter.

  12. florida727 says: Dec 10, 2013 3:30 PM

    I’m not an ACC guy by any stretch, but it’s Cutcliffe in a landslide, and if the result is anything other than that, this award loses all credibility. As another post very astutely points out, you try recruiting players to Duke… FOR FOOTBALL. This is a historic season for them. He deserves to be recognized for it. I hope he gets it. As for Fisher, yeah, he deserves to be a finalist. Being left completely off the list is a joke. He does have the only unbeaten in college football. I don’t care if he’s playing all DIII schools, he still beat everyone put in front of him. At least make him a finalist for cryin’ out loud. Winner? No. Cutcliffe gets that. But at least acknowledge what FSU did this year.

  13. florida727 says: Dec 10, 2013 3:38 PM

    js20011041 says: Dec 10, 2013 2:42 PM
    If what they’re doing in the ACC is so easy, why has it never been done before?

    —————————————————-

    You can very easily attribute what FSU did this year to the ACC being a weak conference. It is. But that would diminish what Fisher and the ‘Noles have done without giving them any credit, and that’s wrong. Why hasn’t it been done… until now? Simple. The gap in talent between FSU and the rest of the conference has never been wider. And THAT is why you can’t discredit what FSU has done. They’ve recruited better, coached better, and played better, and at a wider gap/difference than ever before. They should be applauded for it. They are THAT much better. (Geez, I can’t believe I’m sticking up for them. I’m supposed to be a Florida fan.)

  14. lurch61 says: Dec 10, 2013 3:53 PM

    And why the hell isn’t David Shaw on this list? All he did was take over the Stanford program from Harbaugh and do what Jim could not do. Two Pac-12 championships and consecutive Rose Bowl trips!

  15. thefiesty1 says: Dec 10, 2013 4:17 PM

    It’s Malzauns to lose.

  16. 24pointlead says: Dec 10, 2013 4:30 PM

    thefiesty1 – I agree, but Cutcliffe is going to provide some fierce competition.

    I do not agree with florida727 that he wins in a landslide, but he clearly deserves recognition for the year Duke had and will have going forward.

  17. js20011041 says: Dec 10, 2013 4:35 PM

    @florida727

    I agree. FSU is leaps and bounds better than the rest of the ACC, and it really isn’t because the ACC is a massively weak conference. FSU has just out-recruited and outcoached the rest of the conference.

    The ironic thing is that I don’t remember the ACC being held against FSU back in the 90′s and the ACC is much, much stronger than it was back then. FSU only lost 2 conference games combined in it’s first 9 years in the conference. That’s staggering. When you look at the conference today, Duke, Wake, and Maryland are not the cupcakes they used to be. Clemson is a much stronger program. VT and Miami, though they may not be elite or near elite programs they used to be, are still solid. This is not the AAC/Big East. This conference isn’t embarrassingly bad, like it’s made out to be.

    I also think that, given the coming playoff, that the ACC gives FSU an advantage. FSU is clearly better than every team in the conference, and as such is going to have a much easier road to the playoff year in and year out. Only a truly elite SEC program is going to be able to do that.

  18. waynefontes says: Dec 10, 2013 4:35 PM

    David Cutcliffe is the Coach of the Year.

    Gus Malzahn has had a great year, he deserves SEC Coach of the Year hands down.

    Think about the history of Auburn football, FSU football and then think about Duke football.

    Duke won 10 games for the first time ever. Duke is going to back-to-back bowls for the first time ever.

    Duke FOOTBALL just played in a conference championship game in one of the Big Five football conferences.

    Anyone who doesn’t think Cutcliffe is coach of the year is either an Auburn or FSU fan (which I can understand) or an idiot (which I can’t).

  19. waynefontes says: Dec 10, 2013 4:56 PM

    I forgot to add that Duke beat Miami in football, and they beat them convincingly.

    Who would have ever thought that Duke would stomp Miami… in football?

    Coach of the year.

  20. greej1938l says: Dec 10, 2013 6:42 PM

    Cutcliffe without a doubt ASU got lucky as heck against WISCO couple of those coaches do well every year. Give it to cut!!

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