Really Worth the Money? The Top 8 Overrated College Football Coaches
With the college football bowl season upon us and the offseason right around the corner, it is time to examine which coaches actually deserve the pay they receive and which ones are being paid far too much.
This article is a list of the top eight overrated coaches in football; keep in mind, just because they win does not mean they are good.
8. Gene Chizik, Auburn
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Yes, I know that his team is now in the national championship, and yes, I know that he has won multiple awards for coaching. However, most of his awards have either come as an assistant coach or a defensive coach.
As a head coach, however, Chizik has a less than impressive record. After leaving Auburn for the Iowa State head coaching job, he led the Cyclones to a dismal 3-9 record, worse than their previous season's record under head coach Dan McCarney. Despite his poor record, Chizik was kept on board and after winning the first two games of the 2008 season, lost 10 consecutive games to finish the season 2-10.
And yet, he was offered another opportunity at Auburn. In his first year during the 2009 season, he led the Tigers to a 7-5 record and a win over Northwestern in the Outback Bowl.
There is no doubt that Chizik has the capabilities to be a good coach, but he is just not there yet. Cameron Newton carried the team on his shoulders and it was Malzahn's complicated offense, not Chizik's, that brought the Auburn Tigers to the top.
Good coach, yes.
Good head coach, no.
7. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
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Brian Kelly reminds me of a popular toy during the Christmas season. Everybody notices how cool it can be and the things it can do in a short time span, and they immediately want it for themselves. After getting it, however, the kids look at it, play with it for awhile and then throw it away, realizing it really wasn't anything too special.
After one very successful season at Cincinnati, Brian Kelly was heralded as the top college football coach in the nation, and in a very classless move, left his team before their bowl game to take up the reigns at Notre Dame.
While Notre Dame looked promising at the beginning of the season, the Irish could not sustain their passion and drive, and ended up as a middle of the pack team once again.
Which parallels what their coach really is: a middle of the pack coach who really isn't all too special.
6. Jeff Tedford, California
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While Tedford has taken Cal back to the middle-to-top of the Pac-10 standings, the California Bears have never won a title under his belt. He can make a team better, but he can't take a team to where it truly wants to be. Just like the next person on this list, Tedford does not show up in big games and is unable to truly tap into the California gold-mine of recruiting.
5. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
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I'm very surprised that I don't have Bob Stoops higher up on this list. Come to think of it, after I contemplate the coaches in front of him more, I might have to move him up into the top five.
Bob Stoops has given us a lot of thrills during his tenure. He has brought the Oklahoma Sooners to the No. 1 ranking in the nation numerous times, and yet, when they get there, they seem to immediately fall. It was just this past year when the Sooners ascended to the top of college football and now where are they?
Stoops is a good coach and a great recruiter, he is just terrible at winning games that he needs to win. Though he does hold a national title under his belt, there is a reason that there is a slogan going around about him that states, "Big game, Bob StOOPS". With the talent that he possesses on his team year after year, and with the money that he is being paid, Stoops needs to find a way to win big games and sustain his number 1 status for more than a few weeks.
4. Lane Kiffin, USC
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Can anybody tell me if Lane Kiffin has actually done anything right as a head football coach anywhere he has gone?
Sure, he has the accolades from when he was an assistant coach, but as a head football coach Kiffin is down right terrible. The kids seem to love him and so he gets good recruits, but it seems as though he cannot really develop them at all.
Plus, he drags his father everywhere with him, creating the burden of an overrated scheme on defense that Kiffin fails to realize does not work (just look at the Oregon game from this previous season).
In his first season at USC, he lost to Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford and Notre Dame. I will let him lose to Oregon and Stanford because those teams are just ridiculous, but really? He lost to Washington, Oregon State, AND Notre Dame, giving the Irish their first win against USC in eight years.
It may be time for USC to look for a new head coach once again.
3. Dennis Erickson, Arizona State
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It seemed as though Dennis Erickson was going to be the answer to all of Arizona State's problems after he took the Sun Devils to a 10-3 record in 2007, just his first year on duty. After that, however, Erickson has become a great disappointment.
After the 2007 season, he has been going down a steep hill, failing to live up to his expectations at a university which wants to garner more national attention. Recruits are not flocking to the Sun Devils and it seems as though it may just be time for Erickson to hit the road as well.
This time, perhaps for good.
2. Pat Hill, Fresno State
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There used to be a time when Pat Hill was considered a god for scheduling games against the toughest teams in the nation, hoping that it would pay off in recruiting, polls, and nationwide respect.
While this did work during his early years and he garnered much attention for his way of playing football, he has just not been the same smart guy from the past. He continues to schedule very tough teams, and has yet to realize that his recruiting base is not good enough to compete year-to-year with the big dogs.
It's time for a philosophy change, Pat.
1. Les Miles, LSU
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We all knew how bad things were going to become after the Ole Miss gaffe that Les Miles took the LSU Tigers through last year. There is no way, shape, or form that LSU should have lost to Ole Miss and it is completely Les' fault that LSU did not leave the stadium with a "W."
LSU is a great football program, don't get me wrong, but Les Miles just isn't the guy who is going to sustain a high national ranking for the Tigers. He consistently makes terrible play calls and is the worst college football coach in clock management, almost throwing the game away to Tennessee again this year. He has also shown a strong resistance to developing his players into becoming NFL ready prospects.
Miles is lucky to have the depth of talent around him and the strong recruiting base that LSU has always had (many believe he only won the national title because he was using Nick Saban's old recruits).
Though a bad coach, it is always entertaining to see how Les will try to throw away the next game.