Can anyone deny that Nick Saban is at the top of the heap right now?
In all my years of sports writing, I've seen lots of people come up with various dream teams. Some from the current year, some from history and some as a mixture. But this is the first dream team of the ultimate college football coaching staff.
So taking head coaches only, who on this list would make your cut of the best coaching staff in college football?
Head Coach: Nick Saban, Alabama
Yes, he can be controversial. Yes, he can be pain for the media to deal with. But yes, he wins. Since he's used to working 18 hour days, he's the only head coach with the energy to juggle all these egos without anybody wondering why he's in charge.
They all know why he's in charge and few if any have the resume to trump him.
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Leach, Forget Charlie Weis
Yes, he's good, but Leach can wear out a scoreboard operator with 2 and 3-star talent, while Weis couldn't get things going at Notre Dame of all places with some of the country's top talent?
Hey, I want results, not a popularity contest, and Leach can get them. There is only one original and Mike Leach is what Gus Malzahn wants to be like when he grows up.
Defensive Coordinator: Gary Patterson, TCU
Nobody does it better: Patterson's team held opponents to less than a dozen point a game last year, and he does it with fewer 4 and 5-stars than all the so called "big boys".
How TCU has managed to hold on to this coach is beyond what I can comprehend. This is one of the best coaches in America.
Special Teams Coordinator: Frank Beamer, Va. Tech
"Beamerball" is special team play at its best, and this is a choice that is simply hard to argue with and still seem sane. No head coach has ever been associated with greater special team play, and his history spans quite a few years.
I'm 53 with a bad knee, and this guy could coach me up to run down the field and bust a wedge; at least he could motivate me to think I could anyway. He could not only be the best one for this job out there today, but of all time.
Defensive Line Coach: Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech
Few people remember that Tommy Tuberville started out coaching the defensive linemen, and his teams consistently had great defensive lines.
He may have earned a reputation as a "river boat gambler" on offense, but only because he had such faith in his defense, especially the defensive line if it didn't work out.
Linebacker Coach: Gene Chizik, Auburn
With a strong history of working with linebackers, Chizik knows how to get the most from this position. He's got a tough, no nonsense attitude that works well with this group of people, and he gets results from them.
At every stop he's had, he's improved the play from group and there's no reason to think he won't continue to do it.
Defensive Backs Coach: Todd Graham, Pittsburgh
Last season while head coach at little Tulsa, his boys led Division 1 with 24 INTs, and it was no surprise, given Graham's past work with defensive secondaries over his career, and the success that most all of his defensive backs have had.
Graham was an old defensive back himself, and this is a position that is near and dear to his heart; and like Saban, he always has an eye on what the defensive backs are doing and is always giving input and coaching that position, along with all his other jobs.
Offensive Line Coach: Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
Kirk has a ton of experience as an offensive line coach, and if he were still active, only Phillip Fulmer would be a better choice. He knows how to build a line, and his techniques have been a model that others have copied.
Ferentz is a Big 10 coach who coaches offensive line play just like an SEC team does. It's all about dominating the man in front of you. Ferentz would build a great line on any team.
Receivers Coach: Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
Last year, Oklahoma State had just barely under 4500 yards receiving and was one of the top three teams in the country in that area. Much of that credit goes to the old quarterback-turned receiver coach and now-turned head coach, Mike Gundy. His receivers crank out the yards and the points on the scoreboard.
With years of coaching both pro and college receivers before becoming a head coach, can you think of a coach with better qualifications than Gundy for this job?
Running Backs Coach: Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech
Paul Johnson's teams always seem to among the leaders in rushing year in and year out, no matter where he's coaching. Even at Navy, he led the league three out of four years without the benefit of many 4 or 5 star athletes.
This consistency continued when he moved to Georgia Tech. Paul Johnson will get rushing yards and he doesn't have to use the wishbone to do it.
Quarterback Coach: Bobby Petrino, Arkansas
Bobby Petrino does not coach a quarterback to increase completions, but to be a total field general. He is an old quarterback himself, and much of his career was in coaching quarterbacks. His quarterbacks have often been among the leaders in the league, and his offenses as a whole are usually built around a strong quarterback.
There isn't a situation or technique that Petrino can't teach a quarterback. This is what he does best.
Transportation Coordinator: Jim Tressel, Ohio State Unemployment
Let's face it, this has to be the unanimous choice for a coach who can line up cheap or no cost transportation. He can arrange three month demo drives and great transportation at prices so low, neither you nor the NCAA will believe them!
Need luggage? Better hotel rooms? Anything else? With Tressel's sign and trade program you can really cut your team's travel costs.
And that's the list of the head coaches who would make up a college "Dream Team" of coaching.