Ed Orgeron, Nick Saban, Others Named Semi-Finalists for Maxwell Coach of Year

Brian LeighFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 16:  USC Trojans interim head coach Ed Orgeron celebrates after a two-point conversion against the Stanford Cardinal in the first half at Los Angeles Coliseum on November 16, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Alabama head coach Nick Saban and USC (interim) head coach Ed Orgeron headlined the list of 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Coach of the Year Award, according to a release from the Maxwell Football Club on Wednesday afternoon.

Here is the complete list of semi-finalists:

2013 Maxwell Coach of the Year Semi-Finalists
NameSchool2013 Record2012 Record (Team)
Nick SabanAlabama10-013-1
Gus MalzahnAuburn10-13-9
Art BrilesBaylor9-08-5
Steve AddazioBoston College6-42-10
Dabo SwinneyClemson9-111-2
David CutcliffeDuke8-26-7
Tim DeRuyterFresno State9-09-4
Jimbo FisherFlorida State10-012-2
Mark DantonioMichigan State9-17-6
Gary PinkelMissouri9-15-7
Rod CareyNorthern Illinois10-012-2
Urban MeyerOhio State10-012-0
Mike GundyOklahoma State9-18-5
George O'LearyUCF8-110-4
Ed OrgeronUSC8-37-6
Gary AndersenWisconsin8-28-6
Source: Maxwell Football Club/ESPN

Saban's Crimson Tide have been No. 1 in the polls from wire-to-wire this season, and currently lead the SEC at 10-0 in pursuit of a third consecutive BCS National Championship (and fourth in five years).

Orgeron's road to becoming a semifinalist has been rockier. He began the year as USC's defensive line coach, but assumed the head job after a 62-41 loss at Arizona State and Lane Kiffin's subsequent firing at the airport.

Since taking over, the Trojans have gone 5-1, and they just debuted at No. 23 in the BCS standings after beating Stanford last week.

According to Paul Myerberg of USA Todaythe Maxwell Club announced that Orgeron is the first interim coach to ever be named a semi-finalist:

Other notable inclusions include Duke head coach David Cutcliffe, who has led the Blue Devils to an unthinkable 8-2 record so far this year. His team controls its own fate in the ACC Coastal Division, and with games remaining against just Wake Forest and North Carolina, it stands a very realistic chance of reaching the ACC Championship Game.

Should that become the case, Cutcliffe would become a very strong candidate for the award.

Nov 16, 2013; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils head coach David Cutcliffe on the sidelines before the start of their game against the Miami Hurricanes at Wallace Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports
Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Among the notable omissions are a pair of Pac-12 North coaches, Mark Helfrich at Oregon and David Shaw at Stanford. Of all the coaches whose teams are in the BCS Top 10, they are the only two not named semifinalists.

According to the release, semifinalist voting will begin on Nov. 21st and last until Dec. 2. Finalist voting will begin on Dec. 3 and end on Dec. 15, with the winner being announced on Dec. 17.

Who do you think will win the award? Who do you think should? 

Sound off in the comments section below.