Jim Tressel, Nick Saban and The Top Ten Coaches in College Football

Michael VernonContributor IJanuary 17, 2011

Jim Tressel, Nick Saban and The Top Ten Coaches in College Football

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    These coaches are the faces of their programs. Their schools; fan bases worship them. They are the best recruiters. They are the best at doing what matters most: winning.

    Some of these coaches have built programs, some are building them, some have maintained them, and they have all had great success.

    These coaches can take build talent, motivate, and mold young men into professional athletes.

    These are college football's 10 best coaches.

10. Gene Chizik

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    The up-and-coming Gene Chizik has solidified his spot in college football's elite with Auburn's national title.

    Auburn's hire of Chizik was controversial as he struggled as a head coach at Iowa State. He took over for Tommy Tuberville, who went 5-7 in his last season at Auburn.

    Chizik turned things around in Auburn after only one season, going 8-5 and winning the Outback Bowl. Chizik then struck the lottery in the 2010-2011 season with Cam Newton as his quarterback.

    With Newton at his side, and a stingy defense leading the way, Auburn was unstoppable in 2011, going 14-0 and winning the NCAA Championship.

9. Kirk Ferentz

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    Kirk Ferentz's name tends to get brought up with just about every college and NFL job opening. The coach has stayed, and enjoyed immense success at Iowa.

    Ferentz took over a struggling Iowa program in 1999, and won only four games in his first two seasons at Iowa. In his third season, he took Iowa bowling as the Hawkeyes went 7-5 and won the Alamo Bowl.

    Ferentz has never looked back after his first winning season at Iowa. He only has had one below-.500 season in his next nine seasons. Ferentz and the Hawkeyes have been to two BCS Bowls with an Orange Bowl in 2009.

8. Chris Peterson

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    Chris Peterson of Boise State is the only two-time winner of the National Coach of the Year Award.

    Peterson has only been a head coach for five seasons. He only has lost five total games during that time. Peterson took over and has built on what Dan Hawkins left him.

    Peterson has had two undefeated seasons at Boise State, and has also won two BCS Bowl Games.

7. Frank Beamer

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    Beamerball is the style of play that Frank Beamer's teams are known for playing and winning. His teams often score not only with their offense, but with defense and special teams as well.

    Beamer took over a poor Virginia Tech program in 1987, and has turned them into a consistent winner. Beamer is 198-95-2 at with the Hokies during his time in Blacksburg.

    Beamer has been to seven BCS Bowls, with wins coming in two of them.

6. Joe Paterno

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    Joe Paterno has amazingly been the head coach of Penn State since 1966. His teams have been preforming well both on and off the field for years.

    Paterno has a career record of 401-135-3, all at Penn State. Paterno has won (24) and been to more bowl games (36) than any coach has ever. Joe-Pa has won two national championships during his tenure, with the last one coming in 1986.

    The Hall of Fame coach gets knocked down a few spots due to a few losing seasons early in the decade.

5. Gary Patterson

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    Patterson may not be the biggest name on this list, and he may not be at the biggest school, but the results are big. If I was picking coaches to build a program with, he would be one of the first five to get a call.

    Patterson has had plenty of success at TCU, going 98-27 in 10 full seasons with the Horned Frogs. TCU has won four conference championships under Patterson, and the Frogs have no signs of slowing down.

    Patterson has taken TCU to back-to-back BCS bowl games, and has built a solid program in Fort Worth.

    TCU went 13-0 this season. Patterson's Horned Frogs capped off their perfect regular season with a Rose Bowl victory.

4. Mack Brown

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    Mack Brown has a powerhouse on his hands at Texas. His record in Austin is 133-34.

    Brown first became a household name by putting North Carolina on the map. After going 1-10 in his first two seasons at UNC, Brown had eight consecutive winning seasons with the Tar Heels, including three 10-win seasons.

    Brown has been at Texas for 13 seasons, and has led The Longhorns to two National Title Game appearances. Led by Vince Young, Brown finally broke through and won the title in 2005.

    Brown has only had one losing season at Texas, and that came this past season, when the Longhorns went 5-7.

3. Bob Stoops

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    Stoops got his first head coaching gig at Oklahoma in 1999. He has gone 129-31 in 12 seasons with the Sooners.

    Stoops has won at least a share of eight conference titles during his tenure at Oklahoma. Under Stoops, Oklahoma has also been to eight BCS Bowl Games.

    The Sooners won a championship in 2000, and returned to the title game in 2008.

    Stoops has absolutely dominated the Big 12, going 78-18 with Oklahoma.

2. Jim Tressel

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    The native Ohioan, Jim Tressel, has been winning football games in his home state ever since he was named head coach of Youngstown State in 1986.

    Tressel took a poor Penguins team, and won four Division 1-AA titles in 15 seasons. His record was 135-57-2 at Youngstown State.

    Tressel was named head coach of Ohio State in 2001. During his time at Ohio State, The Buckeyes have only won under 10 games in only two different seasons.

    Jim has been to three different NCAA Titles, and has brought home one championship to Columbus.

    Ohio State has won at least a share of the Big 10 Title the past six straight seasons.

1. Nick Saban

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    Saban has simply won, and won big everywhere he has been in College Football.

    During his five seasons at LSU, Saban went 43-11. He won at least a share of the SEC Title three different seasons. The Tigers won The NCAA Championship in 2003.

    In his return to college football, Saban re-established Alabama as one of college football's elite. He has gone 43-11 in four seasons, and won a title in 2009.

    Saban also had back-to-back undefeated seasons in SEC play during 2008 and 2009.