Big 12 coaching job rankings: Even a down Texas is the best job in the conference
It wasn't all that difficult to figure out which job was No. 1
What's your dream job?
Everybody has one. Some people grow up wanting to be an astronaut while others want to be an athlete. For some reason completely foreign to me, some people even grow up wanting to be a lawyer.
The point is that when it comes to a dream job, different things suit different people. That's what makes our ranking the best jobs in college football so subjective. What one coach might consider a plus could be another coach's negative.
What I'm trying to do in these rankings is view each job from a neutral point of view. I considered many different factors when trying to figure out which job is the "best." The tradition of a school was a factor, as was the amount of success it's had, and how the school is positioned for future success.
Throw in some recruiting -- not only the recruiting base, but the level of difficulty involved in recruiting players to the school -- expectations and the loyalty of the fan base, and I think I came to some pretty reasonable conclusions.
So without further ado, here are the 10 jobs of the Big 12 ranked from best to worst.
|Just because Texas hasn't been able to find the right coach lately doesn't mean Texas isn't the premiere job in the Big 12. If I could channel my inner Stefan from Saturday Night Live for a second here, this school has everything. A huge fan base, its own network, a ton of money and all the facilities you could dream of. Plus, it's the flagship school of a state absolutely loaded with high school talent and a state that has a sometimes unhealthy obsession with football. It's one of the best jobs in the country, not just the Big 12.|
|Congratulations, Lincoln Riley. You're stepping into a pretty good job. Of course, a lot of what makes this job so enticing is what your predecessor did to build Oklahoma back into a national title contender. Still, as good of a job as it is, and as much as you can do there, Oklahoma isn't a better job than Texas, even with the recent struggles in Austin.|
|Mike Gundy has done a fantastic job at Oklahoma State, and his accomplishments are a big factor in this job being ranked so highly. But there's another large factor in play here too, and that factor is named T. Boone Pickens. When you want to build a college football powerhouse, it's nice to have a generous benefactor with the same goals supporting you along the way.|
|I know this selection will surprise some, but think about it this way. While there are three Texas schools below West Virginia here, all three of those schools are forced to live in the shadow of Texas within their own state. West Virginia, meanwhile, may not have the fertile recruiting ground of its own at home, but it has access to Texas recruits. It also has a large and passionate fan base. While the ceiling here may not be as high as some others, the floor is high if you know what you're doing.|
|The three remaining Texas schools at this point are all lumped together and aren't really separated by much. The biggest reason I'm giving Texas Tech the edge here is that, unlike TCU and Baylor, it's a public school. It's also a large public school as it has the third-largest enrollment in the conference. And as we've seen during the Mike Leach Era, when you can win at Texas Tech, and you're beloved when you do.|
|It's a small -- the smallest in the Big 12 -- private school that's still pretty new to the Big 12 scene. Still, it has some things working for it. It's still in Texas, and it's located just outside one of the larger cities in the country. Also, as Gary Patterson has proven, you can win there. I'm just not sure how much you can win now that you're in the Big 12.|
|Baylor has TCU and Texas Tech beat in a lot of ways. It has a beautiful new stadium, and it's invested a lot of money in the football program in recent years. Unfortunately for Baylor, it also has the fallout from the sexual assault scandal at the school that took place under Art Briles. There's a lot more to this job right now than just coaching football.|
|Bill Snyder has done a lot of wonderful things for Kansas State football, but before Snyder showed up, there wasn't a whole lot about this program to sell. It hadn't won a conference title since 1934 and had been to only one bowl game before Snyder showed up in 1989. Realistically, you have to believe that Snyder has taken this program as far as it's going to go, as it's not as if the school is located in an area rich with football talent. It's not an easy place to win consistently, which just proves further how terrific Snyder has been.|
|You can say a lot of the same things about Kansas that you do about Kansas State. What keeps Kansas below Kansas State in these rankings is that no matter how well you do, or how many games you win with the Jayhawks, you're always going to be second to the basketball program. It's a basketball school, and it's a basketball school for good reason: it's great at it.|
|I've always felt Iowa State was one of the most difficult Power Five gigs in college football. It's not just that the school is located in Iowa, far away from most of its Big 12 counterparts, but that it also shares the state with the Hawkeyes. The good news is that the school is huge, and the fan base is hungry for a winning team. It's just, winning at Iowa State is difficult to do.|
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