College Football: The Most Successful Coaches of the BCS Era

Trevor Lowry@@TheTrevorLowryContributor IFebruary 22, 2011

College Football: The Most Successful Coaches Of the BCS Era

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    With the 2010 college football season in the books, it's fun to look back at not only last season, but past seasons as well.

    Since the emergence of the BCS, there have been some really great coaches and programs. Many of these coaches have led their teams to BCS Bowl games and even better, BCS National Championships.

    With this said, these are the most successful coaches of the BCS Era so far.

11. Phil Fulmer

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    Phil Fulmer won the first ever BCS Championship game in 1998, when his Tennessee Volunteers defeated Florida State. 

    Fulmer led his team to four SEC Championship games in the BCS era, but unfortunately, he lost three of them. 

    Fulmer is known as an amazing recruiter, and analysts praised him as one of the game's best. 

    Fulmer's record in the BCS era was 98-41 with a .705 winning percentage. He led Tennessee to two BCS Bowl games and one National Championship game. However Fulmer was dismissed at the end of a very disappointing 2008 season.

10. Les Miles

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    Although Les Miles struggled in his first season with Oklahoma State in 2001, going 4-7, he then led the Cowboys to three straight bowl games for the first time since 1983-85.

    Les Miles was then offered the coaching job at LSU. In Miles' first four seasons with LSU, he managed to win four Bowl games, one of them being the BCS National Championship game in 2008. In four of the six seasons with LSU, Miles led his team to at least 11 wins.

    In the BCS era, Miles is 90-38 with a .703 winning percentage. He has also made it to two BCS Bowl games and one BCS National Championship game.

9. Chris Petersen

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    Although Petersen has only been coaching for a few years, he has lead Boise State to two BCS Bowl games. In Petersen's first season, he led the Broncos to their first ever BCS Bowl game. 

    In this game, the Boise State Broncos defeated Oklahoma 43-42 in overtime. This was only the second non-BCS school to make it to a BCS Bowl game. 

    Petersen has an astonishing record as a head coach at 61-5 (.924 winning percentage). In addition to appearing in the two BCS Bowl games, he has two undefeated seasons on his resume. 

    Although he has been coaching for a very short time, he has had a great amount of success. 

8. Frank Beamer

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    Frank Beamer came into a very unsuccessful Virginia Tech program and turned it into a perennially ranked team. He has led the Hokies to 13 straight Bowl games in the BCS era.

    While coaching Virginia Tech, Frank Beamer has been to five BCS Bowl games and has compiled a 130-39 record, with a .769 winning percentage.

    Year after year, the Hokies are in the top 25 and this success is because of Beamer. Virginia Tech reached one BCS Championship game, but fell to the Florida State Seminoles.

7. Bobby Bowden

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    Bobby Bowden led the Seminoles to a victory in the second BCS National Championship game, over the aforementioned Hookies. In the BCS era he led the Seminoles to a bowl game every season that he coached.

    In these seasons, Bowden had a record of 108-46 with a .701 winning percentage. Bowden coached in six BCS Bowl games, but the National Championship victory is his only triumph of the six.  

6. Mack Brown

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    Mack Brown's record in the BCS era is 133-34, which is a .796 winning percentage. In this era, he has led Texas to four BCS Bowl games and a victory in the National Championship in 2005. 

    Mack's Texas teams were ranked in the AP poll for 162 consecutive weeks, dating from 2000-2010. Even more impressive, his Texas teams were ranked in the Coach's Poll for 192 consecutive weeks.

5. Bob Stoops

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    Since 1999, Bob Stoops has led the Oklahoma Sooners to eight BCS Bowl games. He has reached four the National Championship games, a record, but only won the 2000 edition.

    Stoop's Sooners have dominated the Big 12 with seven conference titles during this time period.

    He is 6-6 in bowl games and has a 129-31 record, with a .806 winning percentage.

4. Nick Saban

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    What makes Nick Saban so successful is the fact that he has two National Championships on his resume (one with LSU, one with Alabama). He has appeared in four BCS games, going 3-1 in those contests.

    What is so amazing about Saban is he has coached for three different teams in the BCS era and has had success with all three teams (Michigan State, LSU and Alabama).

    Saban has compiled a record of 106-35 with a .751 winning percentage in the BCS era.

3. Pete Carroll

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    Put aside the sketchy outings, Pete Carroll accomplished so much with USC. If it wasn't for the off the field issues surrounding his program, he would be the most successful coach in the BCS era.

    Carroll managed to have seven consecutive Associated Press top-four finishes, a national record 33 consecutive weeks as number one in the AP Poll, five BCS Bowl wins, 63 straight 20-point victories, four top-five recruiting classes, and so much more.

    Stats alone, Carroll can easily be considered the most successful coach in the BCS era. Carroll was 83-19 at USC. He made it to seven BCS Bowl games and won two National Championships.  

2. Jim Tressel

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    Although Jim Tressel only has one BCS Championship on his belt, he led two other teams to the National Championship as well. Not to mention, he has made it to eight BCS Bowl games and six in a row.

    In those BCS Bowl games, Tressel is 6-2, with two of those loses being in BCS Championship games.

    For Ohio State, Tressel is 106-22 with a .828 winning percentage. He has also won seven Big Ten Titles.

1. Urban Meyer

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    In the span of four years, Urban Meyer managed to go from Bowling Green, to Utah, to the Florida Gators. He has had success with each of these universities.

    Meyer coached Utah to an undefeated season in 2004. This Utah team was the first team in a non-BCS conference to make a BCS Bowl game.

    Meyer has coached in four BCS Bowl games and has won them all. Two of these games were BCS National Championships, both victories for his Gators.

    In terms of success, Meyer is the most successful coach in the BCS era. Meyer's record as a college coach was 104-23 with an astonishing .819 winning percentage. Meyer was also 7-1 in bowl games.

    A lot of people may argue Meyer being at the top, but with the amount that Meyer has accomplished, with only ten seasons as a head coach, is very impressive. Although he didn't quite leave at the top, after struggling in 2010, however much time he decides to take off is quite deserved.