10 College Coaches We Want to See in the NFL
Success in the college coaching ranks does not always translate to success at the NFL level.
Just ask Bobby Petrino and Nick Saban.
It doesn't always work out.
But that doesn't stop us from wanting to see certain head coaches get their shot at the next level.
Who wouldn't want to see Chip Kelly's offense being run by the Jets, or Bo Pelini wreaking havoc along the Chicago Bear sidelines?
The ten guys on this list all have great jobs at the college level, but we would love to see them in starring roles on Sundays in the NFL.
10. Mike London
Yep, the head coach of Virginia, of all places.
London has done an excellent job working with the level of talent he has at his disposal.
Let's face it, Virginia has not been the most popular destination for top-flight recruits, and yet London has taken this team from doormat to competitive under his leadership.
He may need to take a more high-profile job for a few seasons before getting an offer from the NFL, but with his hard-nosed style and ability to game plan, it's not hard to think he would succeed on Sundays.
Give him a shot and see what he can do, we say.
9. Art Briles
It's simple for Briles.
We would love to see his offense in the NFL.
Sure, he would need a great defensive staff, as even now his Baylor team is near the bottom in just about every statistical category for team defense.
But there is no doubt he could make some noise at the next level with the correct personnel both on and off the field.
Briles has helped take Baylor to the verge of relevance in the Big 12, which at this point is stacked with great teams, and not an easy conference in which to leave a mark.
Briles' ability to do so makes this an interesting possibility.
8. Pat Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald, who played for Northwestern in the mid-nineties and helped lead the team to a Rose Bowl, has been coaching at the school since 2006.
When he took over, he was the youngest coach in NCAA Division-I.
Since he took over as head coach, the Wildcats have shown marked improvement, reaching a bowl game each of the past four seasons, after going to only four bowl games since the 1995 Rose Bowl.
Quite a turnaround.
The Wildcats are on pace for their fifth consecutive bowl game following this season, and continue to show improvement under Fitzgerald.
While it's questionable whether he would ever leave the program, if he did get a shot in the NFL, he would make an excellent leader.
7. Bo Pelini
This is purely for entertainment value, although at one time, Albert Breer tagged Pelini as a great NFL prospect.
Here is where the entertainment comes into play.
Pelini is known, fairly or not, for his explosive temper.
While not exactly Tommy Tuberville status, Pelini has not been caught on camera literally knocking someone's block off on the sideline.
He has had his moments, however, and would have a whole new level of difficulty trying to deal with grown men and veterans, especially if he had another quarterback such as Taylor Martinez, who has not always been the most effective passer.
Give him a shot, and he could be a great coach if he could contain that temper.
6. Chris Petersen
Yell all you want about Petersen and the fact that anybody could win games in the WAC and MWC.
The man has an 81-8 record as head coach.
That includes four bowl wins in six tries, no season with more than three losses, multiple upsets of BCS conference and two BCS bowl game wins.
If you can't admit that all of those stats are pretty impressive, there is something wrong with you.
The man deserves a modicum of respect, even if it is grudging.
Would his ability to pull off the big upset and win tons of games translate to the NFL?
Stay tuned to see if this ever becomes more than a pipe dream.
5. Bob Stoops
Stoops certainly has the record to back up a potential shot at the NFL.
In 14 seasons at Oklahoma, Stoops has amassed a 146-36 record.
That's an average of over 10 wins per season, and fewer than three losses.
Stoops' ability to lead the Sooners to seven conference titles in the highly competitive Big 12, as well as a BCS title, should give him a shot at the next level.
However, the reason we would want to see him in the NFL is for his style of high-flying offense.
Even in a season such as 2012, when Oklahoma is not a Top 10 team, the offense continues to light up scoreboards and produce yards.
Let's see if that style of play translates well to an NFL offense.
4. Gary Patterson
From 2005-2011, TCU won 11 or more games every season except one with Gary Patterson at the helm.
Even in the middle of a down season, there is no doubting that Patterson will get this team back into elite form before long.
He emphasizes defense.
The Horned Frogs are allowing only 326.3 yards of offense per game, in spite of playing in the Big 12, a conference that emphasizes offense and boasts three of the top ten offenses in the nation.
The NFL is full of high-flying offenses, but the best teams continue to play stout defense.
It would be interesting to see Patterson get a crack at translating his hard-hitting, effective defense into an NFL unit.
3. Les Miles
There is a major opportunity here.
The Jacksonville Jaguars need to forget this whole Tim Tebow thing and hire Les Miles.
Miles' flamboyance and on-camera faux pas would bring plenty of publicity to the team, even if not necessarily the positive type.
Even if the Jags were not the team to hire Miles, his pedigree is such that it's pretty surprising nobody has given him a shot already.
His LSU teams routinely compete for SEC titles as well as BCS titles, and the man, for all his faults, knows how to coach a mean defense.
This would be an interesting experiment just to see how Miles does in the NFL environment.
2. Urban Meyer
Meyer has been able to succeed anywhere he has gone in the college football universe.
At his first head coaching job, Bowling Green, Meyer led the team to two consecutive seasons with at least eight wins.
Then he jumped to Utah, had a 22-2 record there, and led the Utes to a BCS win in the Fiesta Bowl following the 2004 season.
Then there was his well-documented time at Florida, including two national titles and three BCS bowl wins, and finally his current span at Ohio State, where he has the Buckeyes sitting at 10-0 with just two games to go to an undefeated season.
While one might argue that he has had tons of talent to work with, not every coach with tons of talent can pull of that kind of success. If that were the case, Mack Brown would never lose.
Meyer wins and knows how to lead a team. And though he has had some trouble with keeping players out of trouble, it would sure be interesting to see what he could do at the next level with elite level players.
1. Chip Kelly
Hear this out before you shrug off Kelly's chances in the NFL.
We like to assume that Kelly and his style of play wouldn't succeed in the NFL.
Some like to call it a "gimmick," while still others doubt the strength of the conference in which the Oregon Ducks play.
But let's get real. The Ducks have been to a BCS game each of Kelly's three previous seasons, and barring a titanic collapse, will be in one again this season.
Kelly's record while at Oregon is 32-2. Think about that for a minute.
If the can enjoy that level of success at Oregon, of all places, wouldn't you love to see him get a shot in the NFL?
According to recent reports, he could very soon.