Power Ranking Pac-12 Coaches by Their Recruiting Skills
The Pac-12 may not be the strongest overall conference in college football, but its teams and coaches always make a big impact in the arena of recruiting.
The conference features some very prestigious college football schools and some very good head coaches, and that leads to a lot of interest from elite recruits.
How do the coaches in the Pac-12 rank as recruiters though?
Here's my ranking of all the Pac-12 coaches based on their ability to recruit:
Bottom of the Barrel
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These Pac-12 coaches are on the wrong side of the top five:
12. Mike Leach, Washington State
11. Mike Riley, Oregon State
10. Jon Embree, Colorado
9. Todd Graham, Arizona State
8. Rich Rodriguez, Arizona
7. Kyle Whittingham, Utah
6. David Shaw, Stanford
5. Jeff Tedford, California
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Jeff Tedford has put together some very consistent classes during his long tenure with the Cal Bears.
In 2011 his class was ranked third in the Pac-12 by Rivals, highlighted by 10 4-star commits. In 2012 he finished ranked sixth in the Pac-12. One of Tedford's most impressive classes had to be in 2010 though, when he snagged 5-star safety Keenan Allen and 5-star defensive end Chris Martin.
Tedford's recruiting classes are consistently at the top of the Pac-12, so even though his class this year is currently ranked No. 11, his past consistency more than makes up for it in terms of him being in the top five of this list.
He also has plenty of time to pick that ranking up.
4. Jim Mora, UCLA
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Jim Mora currently has UCLA ranked third in the Pac-12 according to Rivals, with 16 commitments, six of them being 4-star players.
Mora has the draw of being a former NFL coach, which will help him recruit elite players, and he's doing a good job of rebuilding a dormant UCLA football program so far.
3. Steve Sarkisian, Washington
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Steve Sarkisian's classes have finished in the top five of the Pac-12 for the past two years—sixth in 2010—and his 2013 class is currently ranked No. 2 in the conference, just behind the dominant USC class.
Sarkisian is a good coach, and he has kept Washington relevant in terms of recruiting, which is impressive considering he's going up against USC and Oregon.
Washington's future is looking bright, and as long as Sarkisian keeps on recruiting at a high level, the Huskies will remain competitive in the Pac-12.
2. Lane Kiffin, USC
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Granted, USC does somewhat sell itself, considering it's powerhouse status in the college football world, but Kiffin has kept the program afloat and is now bringing in some major prospects for the future.
His current class is ranked No. 1 overall in the country by Rivals, let alone in the Pac-12, and it features an incredible five 5-star and 13 4-star commits so far.
Kiffin has a way of bringing in talented players, and now that his program can play in bowl games, he has got plenty to offer elite recruits.
1. Chip Kelly, Oregon
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Chip Kelly is one of the best recruiters in the nation, let alone in the Pac-12.
He has branded his product at Oregon and has built his program to make it extremely appealing to talented recruits, and his on-field record speaks for itself.
If a recruit doesn't want to go to Oregon for the up-tempo, exciting play, he'll want to check it out because of the uniforms. If it's not either of those two reasons, Oregon will be a draw because of its national relevance and the fact that Kelly has them in the BCS National Championship picture.
Kelly doesn't always put up staggering numbers with recruiting—Oregon is ranked No. 6 in the Pac-12 right now by Rivals, was No. 4 in 2012, and No. 2 in 2011—but he finds a way to get players that fit his system, and he makes them better.
When you think of Oregon you think of cool jerseys and fast-paced play, which is all part of a great marketing scheme by Kelly and his staff.
Kelly is the best recruiter in the Pac-12, without a doubt.