In an ongoing series on NFL.com looking ahead to the 2014 college football season, today the top 14 head coaches in the sports were ranked and the results were surprising, with the exception of Nick Saban coming in at No. 1.
No current college football coach can match the resume of Saban who has won three national titles with the Alabama Crimson Tide and one with the LSU Tigers to give him an unrivaled four championships among his active contemporaries.
The rest of the list features some of his SEC brethren, but there are at least two notable snubs from the top conference in college football who did not make the cut.
Here are the top 14 college football head coaches according to Bryan Fischer of NFL.com:
14. Mike Riley, Oregon State
13. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State
12. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
11. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina
10. David Cutcliffe, Duke
9. Gary Patterson, TCU
8. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
7. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
6. Art Briles, Baylor
5. Bill Snyder, Kansas State
4. David Shaw, Stanford
3. Urban Meyer, Ohio State
2. Chris Petersen, Washington
1. Nick Saban, Alabama
My initial reaction was surprise to see Petersen at No. 2 ahead of Meyer. Sure, he was a fantastic coach at Boise State but to have him ranked ahead of Meyer and his two national championships was a stunner. He has a big challenge ahead of him in his first year at Washington to continue his success he had with the Broncos.
No surprise to see the names ranked from 3-9 as they routinely are challenging for conference and in some cases competing for national titles. I was mildly surprised to see Cutcliffe in the top 10 ahead of Spurrier and Fisher who own a national title.
The biggest shocker to me is having Sumlin and Riley on the list ahead of guys like Les Miles, Mark Richt, Gus Malzahn and Frank Beamer. How can you leave off Miles who has a national title and appeared in another over those two? Richt and Beamer’s resumes speak for themselves and Malzahn just took the SEC by storm en route to playing in the BCS Championship Game.
Sumlin is trending up on the list, but I wouldn’t have put him ahead of any of those four at the moment. I may put him ahead of them in the next three-five years, but can’t do it now.
Who did you think was the biggest snub on the list? Who did you think was ranked too high or too low?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.