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12 College Football Coaches Who Get No Respect

Tom PerryCorrespondent INovember 14, 2011

12 College Football Coaches Who Get No Respect

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    We just witnessed the unceremonious end for legendary college football coach Joe Paterno.

    For decades he was one of college football's most respected coaches.

    But not everyone is a Paterno, Bear Bryant or Bo Schembechler.

    Today's most respected coaches are probably Nick Saban, Les Miles and Chris Petersen.

    So who are the coaches that get overlooked but should be more revered?

Jim Grobe, Wake Forest

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    Only your diehard college football fans understand the greatness of Jim Grobe.

    He won at Ohio University after he took over a program that was considered the worst in all of Division I. He finished his six-year run at 33-33-1 and then headed to Wake Forest.

    Grobe understands he has to build a team that will be competitive every third year and potentially play for an ACC championship every fourth year.

    In 2006, he led the Demon Deacons to an ACC championship and a spot in the Orange Bowl.

    This year's team is 5-5 and has been pretty competitive all season.

    Watch out for Grobe and Wake Forest in 2012.

Gary Pinkel, Missouri

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    Gary Pinkel has made Missouri football relevant.

    Before his arrival, the Tigers were an afterthought in the Big 12.

    But Pinkel, despite leading Missouri to seven bowl games in 10 years, doesn't get much respect around the nation.

    Pinkel went 73-37-3 in 10 seasons with Toledo. That earned him the job at Missouri, where he has gone 81-54 since the 2001 season.

    Now he has to gain the respect of his SEC counterparts once the Tigers join the conference in 2012 or 2013.

Skip Holtz, South Florida

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    Skip Holtz and South Florida are having a rough season.

    After opening with a huge upset of Notre Dame, the Bulls lost their first four Big East games.

    But Holtz won at East Carolina, and he's done a good job of recruiting at South Florida. Give him another year or two and the Bulls could become the Big East's best program.

    The bigger question is whether Holtz gets a better opportunity somewhere else in the next few years.

    He went 38-27 in five seasons with East Carolina, and he's now 13-9 in two years with South Florida.

    Holtz's biggest weakness is trying to get detractors to look past the fact that he's the son of Lou Holtz.

Ron Zook, Illinois

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    Ron Zook didn't win as much as he probably should have when he coached at Florida, but he still went 23-14.

    Then he took over an Illinois team that was in horrible shape, and he had some rough early years. But he coached up the Fighting Illini to a breakout year in 2007, which resulted in a Rose Bowl appearance.

    Now he is doing it again with Illinois.

    Last year the Fighting Illini went 7-6 and won the Texas Bowl, and Illinois should get back to a bowl game again this year.

    Zook's prowess as a recruiter shouldn't be overlooked either.

Mark Dantonio, Michigan State

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    Mark Dantonio has been one of the Big Ten's most consistent coaches, but he never seems to get the recognition that is bestowed on his peers.

    He has led Michigan State to a 4-1 record against rival Michigan, and the Spartans went 11-2 last year.

    Michigan State still has a chance to win the Big Ten championship this season, and he guided the Spartans on an impressive three-game stretch where they defeated Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin.

    Dantonio may not be the highest-profile coach in the game, but he's proving to be tough to beat.

Doc Holliday, Marshall

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    Doc Holliday has yet to have a winning season or a bowl game in nearly two seasons with Marshall.

    But he's building something special in Huntington, W.Va.

    Holliday has always been considered one of the best recruiters in the game. Well, he's doing that at Marshall, and the Herd could be serious contenders in Conference USA next year.

    He's playing a bunch of young guys this year, but they've still managed to pull off impressive wins over Southern Miss and Louisville.

Larry Fedora, Southern Mississippi

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    Larry Fedora established himself as a potential head coach as one of the best offensive coordinators in the nation at Oklahoma State.

    His run at Southern Miss didn't start off as well as he would have liked, but he's finally got the Golden Eagles in the rankings and in position to win Conference USA.

    He's just 1-2 in bowl games with Southern Miss, but he should even that mark this year.

    Fedora also had the tough task of replacing a Southern Miss legend in Jeff Bower. A few more wins this year and the fans will finally accept him.

Frank Solich, Ohio

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    I already talked about the great job Jim Grobe did at Ohio University.

    Well, Frank Solich has taken it a step further in Athens, Ohio.

    The Bobcats have become regular contenders in the Mid-American Conference, but they are still looking for that first title.

    Solich has led Ohio to three bowl games in seven seasons, but the Bobcats have yet to win one.

    I will say this, though...Nebraska fans still respect Solich from his days with the Cornhuskers.

Steve Addazio, Temple

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    Steve Addazio was much maligned as the offensive coordinator who replaced Dan Mullen at Florida.

    Then when Urban Meyer announced his retirement last year, Addazio knew he needed to find a new home.

    Well, the Temple job opened, and he has proven to be a perfect fit.

    The Owls are 6-4 and still in the running for a Mid-American Conference crown.

    If Addazio continues to win at Temple, he will likely get a shot at a bigger job in the future.

Dabo Swinney, Clemson

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    Dabo Swinney entered the 2011 season on the hot seat, and there were some Clemson fans who would have preferred to move on without him.

    But Swinney has done his best job of coaching this season, and the Tigers will play in the ACC Championship Game later this season.

    Still, Swinney is not taken seriously by many fans.

    Well, if not for one bad night at Georgia Tech, Clemson would be in the BCS National Championship discussion.

    Swinney has also done a nice job of keeping this Clemson team focused and not allowing it to have that major letdown.

David Shaw, Stanford

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    When Jim Harbaugh was coaching Stanford, the Cardinal had one of college football's most recognizable and respected coaches.

    Davis Shaw is seen as the coach who inherited a talented group that is led by Heisman-leader Andrew Luck.

    That's fair, but Shaw was also a top-notch offensive coordinator and has kept Stanford focused in a number of tough games this season.

    We'll learn more about Shaw's ability to coach over the next few years.

Gene Chizik, Auburn

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    Gene Chizik has a BCS National Championship on his resume, but it's funny how many fans and pundits don't give him a lot of credit.

    Auburn has dropped off a bit this season, but that wasn't a huge shock since last year's team was loaded with experienced players.

    This year he's getting a lot of young players some experience, and that's going to pay off in the long run.

    In a few years, Chizik will be in the discussion with the great coaches in the game.

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