Ranking the 10 Best College Football Coaches Before the Season

Talib BabbCorrespondent IJune 12, 2012

Ranking the 10 Best College Football Coaches Before the Season

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    College football is a coaches game. The top coaches that are able to maximize their players' effort have greater success.

    A player's talent is great, but if a coach cannot get him to play to full potential, the talent means nothing. The coaches on this list not only know the x's and o's well, but they are great motivators.

    These are the 10 best coaches in college football.

10: Lane Kiffin

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    The 37-year old Head Coach of the USC Trojans is one of the youngest coaches in Division I football. He led his team to a 10-2 record last season.

    Unfortunately, the Trojans were serving their two year bowl ban, and they were not able to take part in bowl season. However, now that they have served their sentence, they will be making a run at the national championship this season. 

    Kiffin, along with his star quarterback Matt Barkley, will lead to much success for the Trojans this season.

9: Mark Richt

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    The Georgia Bulldogs have been in contention for a BCS bowl game for the past decade, and one big reason is Head Coach Mark Richt. The Bulldogs have participated in a bowl game every year since Richt became coach.

    He has a 106-37 record as head coach and a 7-4 bowl record. Plus, he is undefeated in BCS bowl games—a perfect 3-0. The Bulldogs are in good hands with Richt.

8: Chip Kelly

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    Chip Kelly has risen to become a top coach in the past three seasons, start with a remarkable 34-6.

    The Oregon Ducks have been first in the Pac-12 conference since Kelly took over. Plus, they have a national championship appearance. 

    Now that the USC Trojans are off from their bowl ban, let's see if Kelly and the Ducks can continue their conference domination.

7: Mack Brown

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    The 2005 NCAA Football Coach of the Year, Mack Brown has turned Texas into a championship contending program. 

    Since he joined the team in 1998, Brown has been able to keep the Longhorns relevant. From 2000-2010 the Longhorns were ranked in the AP poll for 162 consecutive weeks.  

    He is also a great recruiter, receiving two Heisman Trophy Winners in Ricky Williams and Vince Young. Brown knows how to nab the top talent. 

    This season the Longhorns are expected to be a top team again. With Brown as their head coach, it should be no surprise.

6: Frank Beamer

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    Head Coach of the Virginia Tech Hokies, Frank Beamer has had his team competing for a conference championship year in year out.

    The Hokies have played in 19 consecutive bowl games; Six of those 19 have been a BCS bowl game. Beamer has been the Hokie coach for the past 22 seasons and has made this program a staple in the ACC. 

5: Bob Stoops

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    Eight of the 13 seasons Bob Stoops has been OU's head coach, they have been in a BCS bowl game. That speaks volumes to the job Stoops has done and the talent he has brought in.

    The Oklahoma Sooners have seven Big 12 championships since Stoops joined in 1999.

    Thanks to Stoops, the Sooners will always be hovering around the top 10 in rankings. 

4: Les Miles

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    The LSU Tigers have been in the National Championship game two of the last five seasons. Head Coach Les Miles was able to help them win it all in 2007.

    This team has found themselves amongst the top of the difficult SEC conference every year since Miles took over in 2005. Miles is one of the best motivators in the nation and finds ways to put his team in winning positions game after game. 

3: Steve Spurrier

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    Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier has had one losing season in 26 seasons as a college football head coach. Yes, I said one. 

    Spurrier has now turned a South Carolina program into a top team in the grueling SEC conference. He also had success at the University of Florida in the 1990s, as he won a national championship there in 1996. 

    All that goes to say that Spurrier is one heck of a ball coach. He knows how to win at any program and has built traditions wherever he stops.

2: Urban Meyer

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    New Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is bringing along a winning spirit to the Buckeyes. He has never had a losing season in his 10 seasons as a head coach, while coaching three different schools.

    Meyer has two national championships under his belt with the Florida Gators.

    Unfortunately, the Buckeyes will not be able to play in any bowl games in the 2012 season due to NCAA suspension. However, Meyer will still lead his team to success even without an end of the season reward. 

1: Nick Saban

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    Roll tide. Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban earns $4.8 million a year and for good reason. He is the best coach in college football.

    Saban has three national championships with two different teams. He is 3-0 in the big game and that says one thing—he knows how to prepare his team. Expect Saban to lead a few more teams into the National Championship in the future.

    When it is all said and done, Saban will be one of the greatest coaches in college football history.