Building the Ultimate College Football Coach
Whether it's Ohio State, Florida, Alabama, or Texas, every school's fan base thinks that its football coach is the best in the country.
But which coach is the best?
Contrary to popular SEC opinion, his name does not include Meyer or Saban. In fact, there really isn't one best coach. Some coaches are the best in a certain aspect of the game, but struggle in others.
What happens when we put together the strengths of some of the country's greatest coaches?
Find out as we build the ultimate college football coach.
Offensive-Minded: Mike Leach, Former Texas Tech Coach
While the Texas Tech saga certainly hurt his career, Mike Leach is a very good football coach—well, at least on the offensive side of the ball.
Under Leach, Texas Tech's quarterbacks consistently threw for over 600 yards per game, and he led one of the most efficient offenses in the country for years.
Leach's offensive style requires his quarterbacks to air the ball out often—sometimes 70 times per game.
One of his few downfalls is the lack of a consistent running game, but who needs one when the passing game can score 70 points per game?
Defensive-Minded: Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
Throughout the course of the 2009 season, nearly every Southern school mocked Iowa for its slow, physical, defensive style of play.
And that's just the way Kirk Ferentz likes it.
The Hawkeye defense proved that its combination of strength and speed is one of the best in the nation. The "vanilla"-style scheme doesn't involve many blitzes, but forces its players to make plays all across the field.
Much of Ferentz's success is due to defensive coordinator Norm Parker, who Rivals ranks as the best in the nation. And as long as it stays together, expect this duo to produce even more physical low scoring games.
And expect the string of wins to continue as well.
Trick Plays: Chris Petersen, Boise State
As a Big Ten writer, I'm not very accustomed to trick plays. I've seen two this season—one was Michigan State's perfectly executed hook-and-ladder against Iowa, and the other was Iowa's failed fake field goal in the Orange Bowl.
Maybe Kirk Ferentz could learn something from Chris Petersen.
Boise State is famous for its trick plays, which started with the Broncos' hook-and-ladder and Statue of Liberty plays against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.
The trick plays came again in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl, as the Broncos' fake punt helped lead to a win against TCU.
Once again, as a Big Ten writer, I don't consider trick plays to be an essential part of an offense, nor do I think Boise State could consistently win in a major conference with its trick plays.
But they need to be there for those rare moments when a team needs a boost, and Chris Petersen is the best there is for trick plays.
Locker Room Speaker/Motivator: Paul Rhodes, Iowa State
He’s so proud to be your coach.
Following Iowa State’s Insight Bowl win over Minnesota, which gave the team its first winning season in years, Rhodes gave an inspiring and emotional speech to his players.
Rhodes has tried to motivate the Cyclone fan base since he took over in Ames a year ago, and this speech may have finally helped him accomplish his goal.
Intensity: Jim Harbaugh, Stanford
After taking a 20-plus point lead against USC late in the game, Jim Harbaugh decided to go for two, igniting the fire in the USC-Stanford rivalry once again.
It also prompted Pete Carroll’s “What’s your deal?” quote.
Frankly, I love the decision, and I love Harbaugh’s intensity. There’s a fine line between running up the score and beating up on a bully, and there’s a fine line between having intensity on the sideline and being a crybaby.
Harbaugh knows how to ride that line exactly right.
As he continues his fiery coaching personality, expect plenty more wins for Stanford, which continues to improve its football program.
Recruiting: Urban Meyer, Florida
I had to throw an SEC coach in here somewhere.
Although I don’t see the challenge or skill in convincing someone to come to Gainesville, Florida, Urban Meyer’s teams consistently top the recruiting rankings.
Although Meyer lost many of his best players last year, Florida is expected to enter the season in the top 10 next season. The Gators are young and unproven, but since Meyer’s skills as a recruiter are so respected, Florida will be given the benefit of the doubt.
And while the Gators may be Tebow-less now, expect a new star to emerge very soon.