2018 College football coach rankings: Power Five coaches ranked 65-26
Before we rank the top 25 Power Five coaches in college football, let's take a look at the rest
We've arrived at one of my favorite times of the year. The moment when my fellow CBS Sports college football scribes and I get together to vote on the best coaches in the Power Five conferences. I love it because even though it's a poll based on the votes of several people, yet my name is on the byline, so I get yelled at by people for weeks about it.
Yes, let me repeat that: these rankings are based on the results of several different voters that make up our illustrious staff. Now, you might be wondering what parameters we use to rank our coaches. The simple answer is there are no guidelines.
I'm not sure how my colleagues based their rankings, but my approach was likely similar to theirs. I took into account all that a coach has accomplished, and then I considered which coach I'd want to hire the most were I an athletic director with deep pockets and a vacancy to fill. Then we put the results together, and we got our final rankings. We begin with the 40 Power Five coaches who missed the top 25 cut this year.
Our top 25 will be published on Wednesday.Power Five coaches ranked 65-26
|David Beaty: Even though there are some who haven't coached a game yet, Beaty finishes in last due to being 3-33 in three seasons. 2017 rank: 60 (-5)|
|Herm Edwards: Herm starts at 64, and he might be the most volatile coach on this list. I can't help but believe his time with the Sun Devils is either a disaster or a major success. No in between. 2017 rank: n/a|
|Jonathan Smith: Smith is an unknown commodity as a head coach, and he's not at an easy place to win. 2017 rank: n/a|
|Matt Luke: I think a 6-6 start was impressive given the circumstances, but obviously we're all still a bit on the fence here. 2017 rank: n/a|
|Tom Allen: He moves up two spots following a 5-7 debut. Not bad considering the Hoosiers are in the Big Ten East. 2017 rank: 63 (+2)|
|Chris Ash: Rutgers saw improvement in Ash's second season, going from 2-10 to 4-8. If they can do the same this year, he'll climb further. 2017 rank: 65 (+5)|
|Lovie Smith: He is 5-19 through two seasons in Champaign as he continues overhauling the roster he took over. 2017 rank: 58 (-1)|
|Joe Moorhead: He's yet to coach a game, but his work as offensive coordinator at Penn State has earned him the benefit of the doubt with some of our voters. Particularly Barton Simmons, who has him ranked 46th. 2017 rank: n/a|
|Jeremy Pruitt: We had Butch Jones ranked 52nd in these rankings last season. His replacement begins at 57th. Must be the Saban Shine. 2017 rank: n/a|
|Ed Orgeron: Coach O takes a tumble in the rankings after LSU didn't seem to be in any better position under him than it had been under Les Miles. The loss to Troy probably didn't help, either. 2017 rank: 48 (-8)|
|Barry Odom: A three-win improvement from Year 1 to Year 2 sees Odom climbing seven spots. 2017 rank: 62 (+7)|
|Mario Cristobal: His status varied among our voters with Dennis Dodd having him as high as 45th, while Ben Kercheval had him 60th. 2017 rank: n/a|
|Justin Wilcox: The Cal coach climbs quite a bit following a 5-7 season that surpassed most of our expectations. 2017 rank: 64 (+11)|
|Chad Morris: Some of us were more impressed with what Morris did at SMU than others. I had him at 42, while Ben Kercheval had him at 63. I think we're all expecting a difficult first year as Arkansas transitions to a new style of play. 2017 rank: n/a|
|Pat Narduzzi: After two eight-win seasons to start his tenure, Narduzzi's Panthers fell to 5-7 last season and his ranking suffered because of it. 2017 rank: 43 (-8)|
|Derek Mason: He climbs three spots in the rankings despite going 1-7 in the SEC last season, his worst year since going 0-8 in his first. I'm not sure if this bump up is due to belief in him or just because of other coaches dropping. 2017 rank: 53 (+3)|
|Kliff Kingsbury: Everyone's favorite Gosling doppelganger climbs eight spots this year. I guess we were all impressed by that Birmingham Bowl appearance. 2017 rank: 57 (+8)|
|Dino Babers: After two 4-8 seasons, you have to think the 2018 season will be a make-or-break season for Babers with the Orange. 2017 rank: 51 (+3)|
|Steve Addazio: You have to admire the consistency Addazio has brought to a tough job at Boston College. I don't know if you have to admire it as much as Chip Patterson does, though, as he ranked him 37th. 2017 rank: 50 (+3)|
|Mark Stoops: After a slow burn to start, Stoops has led the Wildcats to a bowl game the last two seasons. I have him ranked lower than my counterparts (54) simply because I'm wondering if the ceiling has already been reached. 2017 rank: 56 (+10)|
|D.J. Durkin: He climbs 10 spots despite winning two fewer games in 2017 than 2016. The biggest reason is Jerry Palm ranking him 31st, but I think there's a part of all of us that just feels sympathetic to the fact he's had to deal with so many QB injuries in two years. 2017 rank: 55 (+10)|
|Matt Rhule: I think we all still respect what Rhule accomplished at Temple, but it's hard to rank him higher than he was at last season after such a rough start -- even if it was expected -- at Baylor. 2017 rank: 39 (-5)|
|Larry Fedora: Last season, Fedora was on the cusp of cracking the top 25. Then the Tar Heels went 3-9 and now here we are outside the top 40. 2017 rank: 26 (-17)|
|Mike MacIntyre: After a surprising 10-win season in 2016 helped Mac climb these rankings, a tumble back to Earth in 2017 sends him right back down. 2017 rank: 30 (-12)|
|P.J. Fleck: As you'd expect, opinions vary on Minnesota's energetic, young coach. Barton Simmons ranked him as high as 31st, while Ben Kercheval had him 49th. 2017 rank: 35 (-6)|
|Bronco Mendenhall: Bronco led the Cavs to their first bowl game since 2011, and he was rewarded with an eight-spot drop. I can only speak for myself, but I think it's more a result of other coaches climbing the rankings than our feelings about Bronco. 2017 rank: 32 (-8)|
|Dave Doeren: He climbed a whopping 20 spots after the Pack took a big step forward last year to go 9-4. It'll be interesting to see if he can maintain it, however, given all the talent this team just lost to the NFL. 2017 rank: 59 (+20)|
|Dave Clawson: There's a clear pattern with Clawson's teams at Wake. After two 3-9 seasons to start, the Deacons have gone 7-6 and 8-5 the last two years. That is not easy to do at Wake Forest, and if he keeps it up, he's going to be a hot commodity come the next coaching carousel. 2017 rank: 46 (+8)|
|Will Muschamp: The Gamecocks improved from six wins to nine in Muschamp's second season, but he doesn't move in our rankings. My guess is that we aren't sure if the team really improved, or it just took advantage of an SEC East that was feeble outside of Georgia. 2017 rank: 37 (even)|
|Kevin Sumlin: This is a strange circumstance. Sumlin was ranked 40th last year at Texas A&M, went 7-5, got fired, and now moves up four spots with a new job at Arizona. Jerry Palm had him as high as 24, while Chip Patterson put him as low as 40. 2017 rank: 40 (+4)|
|Dana Holgorsen: After going 10-3 in 2016, the Mountaineers fell to 7-6 last season, but Dana climbs a spot in the rankings. I'm partially responsible, as I had him at 29 in my rankings, but I've always been higher on Dana than most. 2017 rank: 36 (+1)|
|Willie Taggart: Taggart drops three spots in the rankings after turning one season at Oregon into the Florida State gig. Opinions varied, as Simmons, Kercheval and myself all had Taggart in our top 25, while both Dodd and Palm had him at 47. 2017 rank: 31 (-3)|
|Jeff Brohm: Seeing Brohm rise this high is great because I've always considered myself to be his biggest fan. Then I saw Patterson had him at 19 and Palm had him at 20, and now I'm not so sure. 2017 rank: 47 (+14)|
|Paul Johnson: In the three years we've been doing these rankings, I believe Johnson's been the most volatile coach. This is largely due to Tech going from 3-9 to 9-4 and then to 5-6 in those seasons. Such is the life of an option team. 2017 rank: 24 (-8)|
|Clay Helton: He climbed 14 spots in the rankings due to a strong second season with the Trojans. You have to think he'll climb even higher if he posts a third straight 10-win season. 2017 rank: 46 (+15)|
|Matt Campbell: You might think such a drastic move is the biggest of any coach this season, but it's not (more on that in the top 25). Campbell's climb is warranted, though, thanks to a five-win improvement that saw the Cyclones beat both Oklahoma and TCU last season. 2017 rank: 61 (+31)|
|Bobby Petrino: Taking tumble following an 8-5 season in 2017 and a 4-4 mark in ACC play, Petrino is barely inside the top 30 Personally, I wonder if Louisville has reached its ceiling in the ACC Atlantic under Petrino considering it only went 17-9 with one of the most electric players in the sport at QB the last two seasons. 2017 rank: 13 (-16)|
|Tom Herman: He remains at 28 following a 7-6 season in his first year at Texas. Dodd had him ranked 16th, while Kercheval was lowest on him, placing him 35th. You have to think he'll either climb into the top 25 next year, or possibly outside the top 40 depending on how 2018 goes. 2017 rank: 28 (even)|
|Brian Kelly: The Irish posted their second 10-win season in the last three years under Kelly, and he falls in our rankings. There are definitely differing opinions, as some remain high on him (Sallee 11th, Dodd 14th) and others do not (Simmons and Palm 37th, Patterson 38th). 2017 rank: 22 (-5)|
|Justin Fuente: I'm a major admirer of what Fuente was able to do at Memphis, and my colleagues feel the same way. He's 19-8 in his first two seasons with the Hokies and another strong season will likely put him in the top 25 of these rankings next year. 2017 rank: 34 (+8)|
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