Top Five NCAA Football Coaches With Something To Prove Next Season

Collin O'Connor@@BarkofhinklehhrCorrespondent IAugust 23, 2010

CINCINNATI - NOVEMBER 13:  Head coach Brian Kelly of the the Cincinnati Bearcats watches warm ups before the game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Nippert Stadium on November 13, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

5. Urban Meyer, Florida

Maybe this is a stretch because I know that he's been successful before Tebow came, but what if that doesn't continue. The last three seasons, it has almost seemed like Tim Tebow has been running the show rather than Meyer. He did win a national title with Chris Leak as the real starter, but Tebow contributed on that team as well in his freshman season.

With that, too, comes the new development of John Brantley. Meyer has to back up the hype with his past recruiting classes and prove that his program is still the top in the SEC and not Alabama. Nick Saban is really giving Meyer a run for his money, so he needs to step up.

4. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame

It really doesn't make you look good when you leave your Cincinnati team before one of the most important games in that school's recent history. Yes, he is the one who built them up to front-runner team they are in the Big East now, but can he do that for Notre Dame?

The Irish have gone through a series of coaches with hype that only lead to failure and Kelly has to change that pattern. He brings a new spread offense to Notre Dame, which won't be perfect this season, but he also breaks in a new quarterback in Dayne Crist who was a very sought after recruit.

This year isn't necessarily a do or die for him, but he has to show something different than the rest of the failures in South Bend.

3. Jim Tressel, Ohio State

Every year it seems that Ohio State is the front runner in the Big Ten and a team that is ranked very high in the preseason polls. Shouldn't it be time for them to win another National Championship?

There were those two straight losing years in the championship that kind of made it look like the Big Ten is falling off the national stage. It's time for Tressel and the Buckeyes to prove that wrong and win the big one.

They played well last year against Oregon and won the Rose Bowl, but they can do better this year and are supposed to. If Ohio State doesn't make and win a National Championship this year, the same responses will be coming out again about the Big Ten not being able to compete with the athleticism of the SEC.

2. Lane Kiffin, USC

Last year at this time, I think I had him on this list as well. The only thing different about this year is that he's at a completely different school and is dealing with a completely different situation.

With all of the talk that you've done, it's time to start backing that up with results on the football field. Plus, USC is going through the dark ages of their program with all the Reggie Bush stuff going on.

USC will need a great leader going forward through all of this and Kiffin will have to prove that he can be that guy or their program could be going down the drain.

1. Rich Rodriguez, Michigan

An 8-16 record in your first two seasons at Michigan isn't great, but people are still giving you a chance to rebuild the team the way you want to. However, two years is long enough to wait. Brian Kelly said it best, "Now a days, it can't be a five year plan, it has to be a five minute plan."

So, after two years of not making a bowl, it is very important that Rich Rod finds a way to do so in his third season. If he doesn't start to turn everything around soon, he could be on his way out of Ann Arbor.

Michigan fans are used to winning and they want to win. If a coach can get them that, he will be leaving as soon as possible. Point blank, Rich Rod needs to start winning.


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