A good college football coach can go a long way toward the success of a college football team.
Generally speaking, the best programs have top-notch head coaches.
These coaches not only bring in the best possible recruits for their particular program, but also know how to coach those challenging in-game situations.
A lot goes into deciding what makes an excellent head coach, but it comes down to victories on the field. Some head coaches are not on the same playing field as others when it comes to recruiting limitations at certain schools.
Here is a power ranking of all the BCS head football coaches.
*Notre Dame and BYU are included with the BCS schools
Starting off the list is second-year Houston head coach Tony Levine. This is the first head coaching job for Levine. He went 5-7 in his first year with the Cougars.
He has made many different stops in his assistant coaching career, most of them as a special teams coach.
Levine is still relatively young at only 40 years old.
A few years from now he could be higher on the list.
Scott Shafer spent the past four seasons as the Syracuse defensive coordinator after holding the same position at four other universities before that, including Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Stanford and Michigan.
He takes over for Doug Marone who was very successful during his time with the Orange.
Shafter is a defensive minded coach who has learned from some very talented head coaches.
He is another guy who could move up the list in coming years with some coaching experience.
Matt Rhule is the next head coach on the list, and yet another with his first head coaching job.
Rhule spent last season as the New York Giants assistant offensive line coach. He was the Temple offensive coordinator for three seasons before that.
He is a former Penn State linebacker who has spent his coaching career on both sides of the ball.
At only 38 years old, he is one of the younger head coaches in college football and has a tall task trying to keep Temple relevant.
Memphis head coach Justin Fuente took over the program in 2012, leading the Tigers to a 4-8 campaign.
That was his first season as a head coach, and it is not going to be an easy task winning games at Memphis, particularly with the Tigers moving to a tougher league in 2013.
Fuente was the offensive coordinator at TCU for three seasons before taking the job at Memphis. He is still relatively young at only 36.
Kliff Kingsbury may be taking his first head coaching job, but he has spent the past five seasons coaching under Kevin Sumlin at both Houston and Texas A&M.
Last season Kingsbury was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Texas A&M.
He knows what he is doing on the offensive side of the ball, and it seems like he was just in college, as he graduated from Texas Tech back in 2002.
Now he is the head coach of his alma mater. The team might have a very bright future.
Tim Beckman has only had two winning seasons in his five as a head coach, and has lost double-digit games each of the past two seasons.
He did have two successful years at Toledo, winning eight games in both 2010 and 2011.
Overall he is 23-16 in his five seasons. If Illinois does not finish at least around the .500 mark, this is a coach who could find himself in some deep water at the end of the year.
Mike London has been the head coach at Virginia for the past three seasons, and has only had one year where the team won more than four games.
His overall record is 16-21. That is not exactly winning football, but he was very successful at Richmond, winning a FCS national championship in 2008 and reaching the quarterfinals in 2009.
London has a defensive mind, having been a defensive coach for his entire career.
If he does not get it turned around this season, he could be on the hot seat by the end of the year.
Mark Stoops is taking his first head coaching job at Kentucky. So far, so good for Stoops and the Wildcats.
The past three seasons, Stoops was the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach for Florida State.
Most people recognize the name as he is the the brother of Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops.
He has put together quite a recruiting class so far, and he might be able to make the football program at Kentucky relevant.
Connecticut head coach Paul Pasqualoni is one of the most complete coaches in college football, and is seemingly winding down his career with the Huskies.
He is 151-90-1 overall as a head coach. He spent 14 seasons at Syracuse, and was at Western Connecticut State for five years before that.
Since arriving at Connecticut he is only 10-14 in two years.
A few years ago he would have been much higher on the list, but it appears Pasqualoni's best years are behind him.
Kevin Wilson has not had a lot of success as a head coach. Being at a school like Indiana is certainly one of the reasons for that.
The Hoosiers are 5-19 in his first two seasons as a head coach, but did improve their win total from one to four last year.
He just might have the team headed in the right direction.
Wilson previously served as the offensive coordinator at Miami (Ohio), Northwestern and Oklahoma before taking the Indiana job.
New Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich is certainly in the best position of any of the new head coaches this season.
He was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach the past four seasons at Oregon. He has been in the western part of the United States his entire career, serving on the staffs at Boise State, Arizona State and Colorado.
Even though this is his first year as a head coach, it is hard to imagine Helfrich not being successful.
It is hard to argue with the success Charlie Weis had at New England as the offensive coordinator and during his first two years with Notre Dame.
But since then, Weis has only won 17 games in his past four seasons as a head coach.
His overall record stands at 36-38, as his Jayhawks only won one game last season.
He has now started to recruit junior-college players knowing that if he does not win, and soon, he will be on his way out.
Steve Addazio is the new head coach at Boston College after spending the past two years as the head coach of Temple.
During that time the Owls went 13-11 with a bowl victory in 2011.
Addazio spent six seasons as an assistant at Florida before taking the head coaching job at Temple. The final two years he served as the offensive coordinator.
Turning around the Boston College program, however, is not going to be an easy task.
Paul Chryst certainly learned a lot as the offensive coordinator at Wisconsin for seven seasons before taking over last year as the head coach of Pittsburgh.
The Panthers only went 6-7 in his first season running the show, and it could be a very challenging year in 2013.
Chryst has coached all over the college football landscape, including stops at West Virginia, Illinois State and Oregon State.
He also served as the tight ends coach with the San Diego Chargers from 1999-2001.
Jim Grobe has been around for quite some time, similar to Paul Pasqualoni. He has been at Wake Forest for the past 12 seasons and has had some success, going 73-74 overall.
The past four seasons have not been too good however, as the Demon Deacons have four straight losing seasons and seven in his 12 overall as the head coach have been under .500.
Grobe did win the ACC and lead the team to the Orange Bowl in 2006.
He spent six seasons at Ohio before Wake Forest, going 33-33-1.
Mike MacIntyre is the new head coach at Colorado. His 16-21 overall record in three seasons at San Jose State is not indicative of how he turned the program around.
In his first season the team went 1-12 and followed that up with a 5-7 year in 2011. Last season the Spartans finished 10-2 in the regular season.
He now has the unenviable task of trying to rebuild a Colorado program that is one of the worst in all of college football.
Gary Andersen is taking over at Wisconsin for Bret Bielema and spent the past four seasons as the head coach of Utah State.
The team struggled in his first two seasons as head coach of the Aggies, going 4-8 each year. The past two seasons have been much better as the team finished 7-6 in 2011 and 11-2 in 2012.
He is only 30-31 overall as a head coach, including his one season at Southern Utah where he went 4-7.
Andersen should have no trouble continuing the run of success at Wisconsin.
Willie Taggart is one of the up-and-coming head coaches. He takes over at South Florida for Skip Holtz after spending his first three seasons as a head coach at his alma mater Western Kentucky.
The Hilltoppers went 16-20 during that time, but were 14-10, over the past two years with Taggart running the show.
With the exception of three seasons serving as the running backs coach for Stanford, Taggart has spent his entire career at Western Kentucky, so South Florida might be a bit of a change.
Either way, this is a guy who might be much higher on this list a few years from now.
Darrell Hazell has only been a head coach for two seasons, but has shown that he could be moving up the coaching ranks very quickly.
His first season at Kent State, the team went 5-7, and the Golden Flashes followed that up with an 11-3 record last season.
He now takes over a Purdue team that qualified for a bowl game last year and has enough talent to repeat in 2013.
Hazell is another guy who has been an assistant coach all over the place with stops at Eastern Illinois, Penn, Western Michigan, Army, West Virginia, Rutgers and Ohio State.
Sonny Dykes is another young head coach that has quickly risen up the ranks.
He spent the past three seasons as the head coach at Louisiana Tech, going 22-15, including a 9-3 campaign in 2012 and an 8-5 mark in 2011.
Dykes now takes over a California program that only won three games last season.
He will bring a high-flying offensive attack to the West Coast, and it will be very interesting to see how he fares in the Pac-12.
Kyle Flood led Rutgers to a 9-4 record in his first season as a head coach in 2012. The 2013 season will be very interesting as the Scarlet Knights have a lot of talent to replace.
Rutgers is the only FBS program that Flood has ever coached at, as he has spent the past seven seasons with the program.
He is an offensive-minded coach, but the Rutgers defense was certainly its strength last year.
The jury might still be out on Flood. It could be a few more years before we really now how good of a coach this guy is.
Todd Graham is a coach who is not afraid to move around from team to team.
He has been a head coach for seven seasons with four different programs.
Overall, Graham has posted a 57-34 record. That is a rather impressive number. The stops for Graham have been Rice, Tulsa, Pittsburgh and Arizona State.
It is still hard to tell whether Graham can have sustained success somewhere, but he did go 36-17 in his four seasons at Tulsa.
Randy Edsall only has a 80-88 record as a head coach, but he took the Connecticut program from Division I-AA to Division I-A and eventually to the Big East.
During his final four seasons in Connecticut, the Huskies went 33-19, including an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl.
Maryland has struggled, going 6-18 in his first two seasons, but did win four games a year ago and appears headed in the right direction.
If anybody can get the program back on track, it is this guy.
Jerry Kill has had a lot of success as a head coach, but has not been as good in his first two seasons at Minnesota.
The Golden Gophers did make a bowl game last year, finishing the season 6-7 after a 3-9 campaign in 2012.
Kill had a lot of success at Southern Illinois, and then Northern Illinois before arriving at Minnesota.
He also spent time at Saginaw Valley State and Emporia State.
Kill is a seasoned veteran when it comes to the head coaching ranks, but has yet to win at a high level.
Paul Rhoads has led Iowa State to two consecutive bowl games and has brought the program back to relevance. The Cyclones also won a bowl game in his first season with the program.
The team has gone 24-27 in his four seasons running the team. Those are certainly not bad numbers, considering where the program was when he arrived.
There is some talent missing in 2013, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, so it will be an interesting year for Rhoads and the Cyclones.
June Jones has been a very successful head coach over the past 14 seasons.
Jones spent nine years at Hawaii before taking over the SMU job in 2008. He has an overall record of 107-75 and has taken his teams to 10 bowl games, including a Sugar Bowl in 2007.
He is only 31-34 since arriving at SMU, but has been to four bowl games in five seasons after going 1-11 in 2008.
No question he has the program headed in the right direction.
Steve Sarkisian seems like he has been around for a while, but the Washington head coach will only be entering his fifth season in 2013.
The team has gone 26-25 in his first four years and has never won more than seven games in a season, but has never lost more than seven either.
Sarkisian spent time with the Oakland Raiders as a quarterback coach, and eventually offensive coordinator for USC from 2007-2008.
Some might say he is on the hot seat in 2013.
Gus Malzahn has only spent one season as a head coach. He led Arkansas State to a 9-3 record last year before returning to Auburn where he served as offensive coordinator from 2009-2011.
He has also served as the offensive coordinator at Arkansas and Tulsa.
Malzahn appears to be headed in the right direction, as the Tigers put together a solid recruiting class in 2013 and are doing it early on for the 2014 class.
This is a guy who could be rising up the charts in the coming years if he can help Auburn improve from the three wins a season ago.
George O'Leary has been a head coach for quite some time, dating back to 1994. That was the year he took over the Georgia Tech program midway through the season.
He kept the job and the Yellow Jackets went 52-33 in his seven plus seasons with the program.
The team went to bowl games in each of his final five seasons.
O'Leary took over Central Florida in 2004, and after a 0-11 record in his first season, the Knights have made five bowl games over the past eight seasons. He is 60-55 overall in nine years at Central Florida and 112-88 overall.
Kirk Ferentz has been at Iowa since 1999 and has posted a 100-74 record with the program. He is 112-95 overall after going 12-21 in three seasons at Maine.
The Hawkeyes have struggled in recent years, which is the main reason he is not higher on the list. Iowa has gone 19-19 over the past three seasons, including 4-8 in 2013.
He still has qualified for 10 bowl games in his 13 seasons at Iowa.
Ferentz has also spent time at the NFL level as offensive line coach of the Cleveland Browns followed by the Baltimore Ravens.
Even though Dave Doeren has only been a head coach for two seasons, he is this high on the list because of the success he has had already.
Doeren coached at Northern Illinois the past two seasons, going a combined 23-3. His team reached the Orange Bowl this past season after a 12-0 mark, even though he did not coach in the game.
In two seasons with the Huskies he only lost one conference game.
Doeren has been all over the place including stops at USC, Montana, Kansas and Wisconsin.
It is not often that somebody gets a head coaching job in the SEC without ever being a head coach.
That was exactly what happened to Dan Mullen back in 2009 at Mississippi State, and it has gone quite well so far.
Mullen is 29-22 in four seasons with the Bulldogs. He has taken the team to a bowl game each of the past three seasons.
Before becoming a head coach, Mullen most recently served as the offensive coordinator at Florida from 2005-2008.
He is a disciple of Urban Meyer, having followed him from Notre Dame to Bowling Green to Utah and eventually to Florida.
Dana Holgorsen had the advantage of inheriting a very talented West Virgina team in 2011, and he took advantage of that, leading the Mountaineers to a 10-3 record, Big East championship and an Orange Bowl victory.
He followed that up with a 7-6 campaign in 2012 as the Mountaineers struggled in the Big 12.
Holgorsen served as the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at Oklahoma State in 2010.
The jury is still out on Holgorsen as he could go up or down this list as soon as this season.
For all the success Rich Rodriguez had at West Virginia, he struggled mightily during his three seasons at Michigan.
Rodriguez went 60-26 in his seven seasons with the Mountaineers, including six bowl appearances with trips to the Sugar and Fiesta Bowls.
At Michigan it was a much different story. The Wolverines went 15-22 in his three seasons and only reached one bowl game.
Rodriguez is now the head coach at Arizona and led the team to a 8-5 record in 2012.
Overall he is 134-93-2 when stops at Salem and Glenville State are included.
Lane Kiffin has no trouble bringing in top talent to USC, but that is not necessarily hard to do.
Kiffin is only 38 but has already been all over the place. He has spent the past three seasons at USC, compiling a 25-13 record despite getting top notch talent every year.
Before that he was the head coach at Tennessee in 2009, leading the Vols to a 7-6 record. He also went 5-15 in just over a season coaching the Oakland Raiders.
With the talent he gets, there is no reason Kiffin should not be getting better results at USC. That is why he is not higher on the list.
Larry Fedora might be one of the hottest coaching names in a few years as he has had a lot of success in his first five seasons as a head coach.
During his four years at Southern Miss, the Golden Eagles went a combined 34-19 and went to four straight bowl games.
He took over at North Carolina in 2012 and led the Tar Heels to an 8-4 mark.
Fedora served as the offensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee, Florida and Oklahoma State before taking over at Southern Miss in 2008.
There is no doubt that David Cutcliffe is a very talented head coach. The problem is he is the head coach at Duke.
From 1999-2004, Cutcliffe led Ole Miss to a 43-29 record, including four bowl appearances in his six seasons. He also led the team to victory in the Independence Bowl back in 1998.
Since taking over at Duke in 2008, the Blue Devils have gone a combined 21-40, but did reach a bowl game in 2012.
There is no question that he has them headed in the right direction, but the team has yet to post a winning season in his first five with the program.
Gary Pinkel has been a head coach longer than just about anybody in the country. Pinkel coached Toledo from 1991-2000 and has been at Missouri since 2001.
At Toledo, Pinkel was 73-37-3, and has had just as much success at Missouri over the past 12 seasons.
Pinkel has led the team to a 90-61 record, including eight bowl appearances.
His overall winning percentage of .625 is very impressive, but the Tigers struggled during their first season in the SEC, going 5-7 while battling through a season of injuries.
Paul Johnson is no stranger to bowl games as he seemingly finds a way to get his team there every year.
He has taken his team to 10 straight bowl games, five with Georgia Tech and five straight with Navy before that.
During his five seasons at Georgia Tech, the Yellow Jackets have gone a combined 41-26. During his six years at Navy before that he posted a 45-29 record.
Johnson has been around for quite some time as he also had some success at the I-AA level with Georgia Southern in the late 1990s.
Butch Jones has accomplished a lot in his six seasons as a head coach, going to five bowl games and posting a combined 50-27 record.
After taking over for Brian Kelly at Central Michigan, Jones went 27-13 in three seasons and then took over for Kelly again. This time at Cincinnati where he posted a 23-14 mark in three seasons there.
Now at Tennessee it is going to get a lot more challenging, but it looks like Jones is going to be able to bring in enough talent to compete.
He is an excellent motivator and has no trouble getting the most out of his players.
Al Golden only has a 40-45 record in seven seasons as a head coach, but he completely revitalized the Temple program when he arrived in 2006.
He took the Owls from a one-win team to a 9-4 squad by his fourth season.
Since taking over at Miami, he has gone 13-11 in two years, but has built quite a young nucleus of talent. Now he will have to get them to play well together.
If that happens, Golden could have Miami back to the power it once was.
Kyle Whittingham took over Utah back in 2004 when Urban Meyer left for Florida. He led the Utes to a victory in the Fiesta Bowl and has not looked back since.
Utah is 71-32 in his eight seasons with the program. It has reached a bowl game every season, except last year when the team finished 5-7, battling through a year of injuries.
Whittingham produced a 13-0 season and a Sugar Bowl victory in 2008, while finishing the year with a top five national ranking.
He spent time at BYU, Eastern Illinois and Idaho State before arriving at Utah.
What might be most impressive is his 7-1 bowl record.
For all the success Mike Leach had at Texas Tech, that has yet to happen at Washington State, as the Cougars only won three games during his first season in 2012.
With that being said, Leach built quite a program in Lubbock, going 84-43 in 10 seasons with the Red Raiders.
He led the team to a bowl game each season and had a winning record every single year.
Those are pretty impressive numbers, and while he does not have a perfect resume, there is no question that Leach knows how to coach.
Tommy Tuberville has been a head coach for nearly 20 years now. He has spent time at Ole Miss, Auburn, Texas Tech and now Cincinnati.
His overall record of 130-77 is hard to argue with, and he has won everywhere he has been. His teams have qualified for 12 bowl games during his 17 years as a head coach. His 2004 Auburn team was undefeated, while finishing second in the country.
Very few coaches have the resume Tuberville does. He will likely continue to build on it at Cincinnati.
Mark Dantonio has had a very successful career at Michigan State, but is yet to play in a BCS bowl game in his six seasons with the program.
He began his career in Cincinnati where he helped rebuild the program into what it is today.
Even though he only went 18-17 in three seasons there, he showed how talented of a defensive mind he was, developing some significant talent.
Since arriving at Michigan State, Dantonio has posted a 51-28 mark. His teams have finished in the top 25 three of his six years.
While he has some flaws, Dantonio is certainly one of the top 30 coaches in the nation.
Hugh Freeze has only been a head coach for four seasons, but he is already moving quickly up the ranks.
During his only year at Arkansas State his team posted a 10-2 record. He took over at Ole Miss for the 2012 season. The team went 7-6, surprising a lot of people.
He then put together a recruiting class that nobody thought possible.
Ole Miss might still be a few years away from contending in the SEC, but Freeze has it on the right track. His combination of coaching ability and recruiting genius makes him a young coach on the rise.
Very few coaches have had a longer tenure at one university than Mike Riley at Oregon State.
The Beavers head coach has been there since 2003, but was also there in 1997 and 1998.
During his 12 seasons as head coach, the Beavers are 81-67. He has done an excellent job every year, as the team has been to seven bowl games.
While Oregon State had down seasons in 2010 and 2011, Riley appears to have this team back on track after winning nine games a year ago.
Art Briles has done a remarkable job turning two programs around in his coaching career, and that is why he is so high on the list.
The Baylor head coach began his career at Houston. He went 34-28 in five seasons with the Cougars and set the program up rather nicely for Kevin Sumlin to have the success he had.
His first two seasons at Baylor were not that impressive, but the past three have been, and his overall record of 33-30 will likely only get better.
He works very well with quarterbacks, and that has shown with the players he has helped develop.
Jim Mora Jr. had some success as a head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, but really excelled in his first season with UCLA in 2012.
The Bruins went 9-5 and nearly won the Pac-12.
It will take a few more successful seasons for the Bruins if Mora is going to move up any higher on the list.
With the way his first season went, that is certainly not out of the question.
Mora, however, is not an easy person to predict.
Bronco Mendenhall has spent his only eight seasons as a head coach at BYU and has made the program an independent power.
The Broncos have gone 74-29 in his eight seasons, including five double-digit win totals and a bowl appearance every year.
Mendenhall might be able to get a better gig somewhere else, but he seems to be very happy where he is.
No doubt the university is very fortunate to have him.
Bo Pelini has never lost more than four games in a season at Nebraska, and during his five years in charge, the Cornhuskers are 49-20.
Those are very impressive numbers. It says a lot about Pelini to begin his coaching career at a school as distinguished as Nebraska.
Prior to Nebraska he was a position coach for three different NFL teams before being a defensive coordinator for three different college teams.
It seems like he is there to stay at Nebraska, and the Cornhuskers should have continued success with him in charge.
A few years ago Frank Beamer would have been a little higher on the list, but the Hokies struggled a little bit last year.
He has still posted 20 consecutive winning seasons at Virginia Tech and his streak of eight straight double-digit win seasons was broken last year.
Beamer has been around forever. He coached Murray State from 1981-1986, and has been at Virginia Tech since 1987.
During that time he has posted a 216-104-2 record and is 258-127-4 overall.
No doubt he is one of the greatest coaches in college football history, but is a little past his prime to be any higher on this list.
Will Muschamp has quickly gotten the Florida program back in national title contention, and has done it rather quickly.
He took over for Urban Meyer and the Gators went 7-6 during his first season. Last year they responded by going 11-2 and reaching the Sugar Bowl.
The Gators will likely be a top 10 team again this season and the former defensive coordinator has already built one of the best defensive teams in the country in Gainesville.
A few years from now, Muschamp might be much higher on the list.
Dabo Swinney is another relatively young head coach that is very high on the list. He has been at Clemson for four and a half seasons.
During that time, the Tigers are 40-21 and have been to a bowl game every year.
They have improved over the past two seasons and should continue to get better as long as Swinney is around.
He does an excellent job recruiting and getting the most out of his talent. That is something that is not easy to do.
Mack Brown might be nearing the end of an excellent coaching career and even though his teams sometimes do not win the big game, there is no denying the success he has had as a head coach at three different universities.
Brown began his head coaching career at Appalachian State way back in 1983. He then spent time at Tulane and North Carolina before arriving at Texas in 1998.
His mark at Texas of 150-43 is excellent and his overall record of 236-117-1 is up there with some of the best head coaches of all-time.
The past few years have not been very good however. He has also lost as many games (16) over the past three seasons as he did over the previous nine.
Jimbo Fisher has only been a head coach for three seasons, but he has already won 31 games against only 10 defeats during that time.
He has no trouble bringing in talented recruits, but always seems to lose a game or two during the season that the team should not be losing.
Fisher and the Seminoles finally reached a BCS bowl in 2012 after winning the ACC.
His recruiting is virtually unmatched, but the jury is still out on his overall coaching ability.
Still, he is one of the 20 best coaches in the game right now.
Bret Bielema had a lot of success at Wisconsin, and if he can sustain that in the SEC at Arkansas he will continue to rise up this list.
Bielema went 68-24 in seven seasons at Wisconsin, including three straight Rose Bowl appearances.
His teams finished in the top 10 in three different seasons and that helped propel him to Arkansas.
Bielema loves to run the football. His teams have proven to possess one of the best rushing attacks throughout his head coaching career.
Bill O'Brien did such an amazing job in his first season as head coach at Penn State that he cracks the top 20 on this list.
He led the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 win season when nobody thought it was possible.
Now, it will be interesting to see how he does in his second season at Penn State. There is certainly not going to be as much interest heading into the season, but he will have to keep the momentum going from 2012.
If he can do that, he will be even higher on the list in the coming years.
Brady Hoke has quickly turned the Michigan program back to what it was before Rich Rodriguez let it implode.
He has gone 19-7 in two years with the Wolverines, and is certainly there to stay in Ann Arbor.
His 66-57 mark overall is not that extraordinary, but he helped rebuild a San Diego State program in just two seasons.
He also got Ball State to the top of the MAC during his first stint as a head coach.
Michigan is finally in good hands with Hoke.
James Franklin is only 15-11 in his two seasons as a head coach, but the job he has done at Vanderbilt is nothing short of a miracle.
The Commodore have qualified for a bowl game in each of his two seasons, including a 9-4 record a year ago.
Franklin is one of the few coaches in college football that is at an extreme disadvantage when it comes to recruiting. Simply put, Vanderbilt can not get the players that the other schools in the country, particularly the SEC can recruit.
Even with that handicap, Franklin is one of the best young coaches in college football today.
Gary Patterson has put up some numbers at TCU that are hard to find anywhere else.
He would be higher on the list, but he has not done it against the competition a lot of these other coaches have.
Still, a 116-36 record in 12 plus seasons at TCU is something to take notice of. Patterson and the Horned Frogs lost as many games in 2012 as any other season he has been the head coach.
The move to the Big 12 had something to do with that, but so did injuries and suspensions.
If he can succeed in the Big 12 he could be much higher on the list.
Charlie Strong is another disciple of Urban Meyer, and he is one of the fastest rising head coaches in the nation.
After going 7-6 in each of his first two seasons at Louisville, Strong and the Cardinals burst onto the scene in 2012, going 11-2, including a Sugar Bowl victory over Florida.
He is 25-15 in three seasons as a head coach, and could land a job somewhere very big in coming years if he so desires.
He is an intense coach that gets more out of his players than any coach in the country.
Mike Gundy is another coach that has not been around for very long, but has proven just how talented he is.
Gundy took over the Oklahoma State program in 2005. The team has gone 67-35 over that span.
He has one of the best offensive minds in the game. The Cowboys are always near the top of the country when it comes to points.
Gundy is another coach on the list coaching at his alma mater, where he was a quarterback in the late 1980s for Oklahoma State.
Look for the Cowboys success to continue for years down the road with this guy in charge.
Mark Richt spent 11 seasons as an assistant at Florida State under Bobby Bowden. He served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach during that time. No doubt Richt certainly picked up a few things.
Since taking over at Georgia in 2001, the Bulldogs have gone 118-40 and reached three BCS bowl games.
Richt and the Bulldogs have never been able to get over the hump and play for the national championship, which is why he is just outside the top 10 on the list.
Still, it is hard to argue with the success he has had over the past decade plus in Athens.
Not many coaches have a more difficult job than Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern. He is at a huge disadvantage when it comes to recruiting, similar to James Franklin at Vanderbilt.
He has been at Northwestern since 2006. The team has improved steadily during that time, capped off by a 10-3 season in 2012.
Fitzgerald is an excellent motivator. Not many coaches in the country get more out of their talent than Fitzgerald does.
He could have more success somewhere else, but there is nobody better off coaching Northwestern than Fitzgerald.
The success Steve Spurrier has had as a head coach speaks for itself.
He has been a staple in the SEC for the better part of two decades, first at Florida and now at South Carolina.
Spurrier has 208 collegiate wins against only 77 losses and two ties. He has slowly crept South Carolina back to the top of the SEC and a national powerhouse.
The Gamecocks have won 11 games each of the past two seasons. That is something that is not easy to do in the SEC.
No question he is still one of the top 10 coaches in the country right now.
Bill Snyder might not have a lot of years left, but he is coaching at such a high level, that it is hard not to put him in the top 10.
He has posted a 170-85-1 record in 22 seasons as head coach at Kansas State.
The program has had virtually no success without him. The win totals he has put up in Manhattan are astronomical compared to the other coaches who have run the program.
Snyder might be getting old, but this man is still one of the best teachers and coaches in college football.
Some may not think Bob Stoops comes through in the big games, but the win numbers he has put up at Oklahoma are nothing short of spectacular.
He took over the program in 1999. It was his first head coaching job and he had immediate success, going 13-0 and winning a national championship in his second season.
In 11 of his 14 seasons he has won 10 or more game and in nine seasons he has won 11 or more games.
While some may disagree, it is hard to argue with the eight BCS bowl games his Sooners have been to, not to mention a bowl game every season he has been in charge.
Kevin Sumlin is relatively new to head coaching. He will be entering his sixth season as a head coach in 2013.
He began his career at Houston, posting a 35-17 record in four seasons.
Everybody knows what happened in his only season at Texas A&M.
Sumlin is no stranger to developing talented quarterbacks. Even though he was a linebacker during his playing days at Purdue, he has been coaching on the offensive side of the ball since he was wide receivers coach at Wyoming way back in 1991.
Sumlin wins everywhere he goes and his 46-19 overall mark proves that.
Some people might not like the way Les Miles goes about his business or the decisions he makes in some game situations. But, the results speak for themselves.
Miles has a 113-42 overall record in 12 seasons as a head coach including a national championship in 2007.
He has gone 85-21 in eight seasons at LSU, averaging over 10.5 wins a year. His only losing season came in his first at Oklahoma State, and he has made 11 consecutive bowl games, including three BCS contests.
Miles is an excellent recruiter, particularly on defense.
He is brash and outspoken, but is also one of the most complete coaches in the game today.
Even though Brian Kelly has only been coaching at a big time level for a short amount of time, he has been a head coach since way back in 1991.
Kelly spent 13 seasons at Division II Grand Valley State. He amassed a 118-35-2 record, including back-to-back national championships in his final two seasons.
He then spent three years at both Central Michigan and Cincinnati before taking the Notre Dame job.
There is no question that Notre Dame is the toughest place in the country to coach. Kelly has rescued the Fighting Irish from obscurity, getting the team to the 2013 BCS National Championship in just his third season.
He has turned into an excellent recruiter and nobody doubts just how much of an influence he has on his team every season.
David Shaw has only been a head coach for two seasons, but the impact he has made is nearly unprecedented.
Shaw took over for Jim Harbaugh in 2011. The Cardinal have gone a combined 23-4 in his two seasons, with two BCS bowl appearances.
He has an NFL background having been an assistant coach at Philadelphia, Oakland and Baltimore before San Diego and eventually Stanford.
Shaw is now coaching at his alma mater, but it is hard to imagine another job, likely in the NFL, not coming his way soon.
This guy can flat out coach, and he has proven that over the past two years.
Urban Meyer has had unprecedented success during his 11 years as a head football coach and has produced some of the best teams of the past decade.
Meyer has won everywhere he has been including Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and most recently Ohio State.
He went to five BCS bowl games over a seven-year span. He has produced two undefeated seasons in addition to two national championships.
Over that 11 year span, Meyer has posted a 116-23 record.
He is a recruiting genius and consistently puts up some of the best classes in the country.
No question that Meyer and Nick Saban are heads and shoulders above the rest of the coaches in college football.
Topping the list here is Nick Saban. Like Meyer, Saban has made four stops as a head coach and started off his career in the MAC.
He has been around a little longer than Meyer, and has compiled a record of 159-55-1 with collegiate stops at Toledo, Michigan State, LSU and now Alabama.
Saban has won four national championships, and has never posted a losing season in his 18 as a head coach.
He is a recruiting mastermind, and is currently running a professional program at the collegiate level.
No doubt who the top overall coach in college football is right now.