As I cannot wait for the 2011 football season to arrive I simply must preoccupy myself with discussions of what is to come. To start, I thought I would evaluate and rank the coaches of the Pac 12.
1. Chip Kelly. Coach Kelly is sitting in the first spot for one reason only. 22-4. Kelly has only coached for two seasons, but in those two seasons he has 2 conference Championships, 2 conference COY awards, 1 national coach of the year award and of course 2 BCS appearances. The glaring negative on his resume is 0-2 in bowl games. Despite the lack of a bowl win, his innovative offenses keep him at the top of the list.
2. Kyle Whittingham. Coach Whittingham has an overall record of 58-20 (.744). He is 6-1 in bowl games including 2 BCS rings (Urban Meyer stepped down prior to Fiesta bowl, but stayed on to co-coach the game). Whit has 1 national coach of the year award.
3. Dennis Erickson. Coach Erickson seems to travel, but he wins everywhere he goes with a record of 173-89-1 (.658). His resume includes two national championships (Miami) and 3 Pac 10 COY awards. He has taken his coaching talents to the NFL and has led his college teams to 11 bowl games where he is 5-6.
4. Jeff Tedford. Although Coach Tedford lacks some of the coaching accolades of others, he is just consistantly good. His overall record is 72-42 (.632). He has won two Pac 10 COY awards. He is a good 5-2 in bowl games and led Cal to 7 straight bowls before this past year.
5. Mike Riley. Coach Riley may not have the best regular season winning percentage 69-54 (.561). He does however know how to coach and has a great bowl record of 5-1, one Pac10 COY award, and has been the reason, I believe, that Oregon State is relevant again after 28 years of sub .500 records.
6. Lane Kiffin. Coach Kiffin is controversial if nothing else. His college coaching career has been short, so only time will really tell how Kiffin will pan out. He is 15-11 (.577) in his two years. He is 0-1 in bowl games (USC was not eligible in 2010). He seems to be a great recruiter, and had Tennessee fans hearts enough to cause them to riot at his departure.
7. Rick Neuheisel. Coach Neuheisel is a personal favorite of mine, but is sliding faster than any other coach in the conference..if not the nation. He has a winning percentage of .609 (81-52). He has not fared well in his current position though. He does win in bowl games (5-3) and has BCS victory (2001 Rose Bowl with Washington).
8. Steve Sarkisian. Coach Sarkisian is an up and comer and rising fast. He has an overall record of 12-13 (.480). His team is rising though. Add a great recruiting class to a Holiday bowl win and he is one of the hottest names in the country.
9. Mike Stoops. Coach Stoops hasn't had the success of the others on this list, but he has led Arizona to three straight bowl games (1-2). He is 40-45 (.471) overall but has his team in the right direction and has had Arizona ranked recently.
10. David Shaw. As Coach Shaw has not coached a down yet, it's hard to put him any higher on this list yet. He was very successful as the OC at Stanford last year, and with the talent on his team for 2011 he may find himself at the top of the list in one year.
11. Jon Embree. Like Coach Shaw, Embree cannot be placed much higher than this without any coaching behind him. He is in a little more difficult position as Colorado is building right now. With time we will know better.
12. Paul Wulff. Coach Wulff has had succes at the FCS level, but has not seen too many winning days at WSU. He has only 2 wins in conference play in his three years. Bright side? He has only one way to go.