College Football Power Rankings: Where Does Les Miles Rank Among Best Coaches?

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IOctober 4, 2011

College Football Power Rankings: Where Does Les Miles Rank Among Best Coaches?

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    LSU head coach Les Miles has done a tremendous job with the Tigers this season after quarterback Jordan Jefferson's suspension.

    In fact, LSU is the No. 1 team in the country right now.

    A head coach is not only measured by the amount of wins he strings together, but what he does with the talent he has.

    Some top programs will inevitably land the top recruits in the nation, while others have to make do with the best they have.

    That's not to say some of the top programs in the country haven't gotten to where they're at without the guidance of their current head coaches.

    Here are the eight best coaches in college football right now.

    Where does Les Miles rank?

    Read on.

College Football Coach Power Rankings

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    To give credit to the coaches who just missed my Top 8, I've come out with a power rankings of sorts to give you an idea of where I see each coach right now.

    These coaches may not be the best of the best, but they certainly qualify as coaches any program would love to get its hands on.

    Here are my power rankings so far.

    College Football Coach Power Rankings

    1. Nick Saban, Alabama

    2. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

    3. Les Miles, LSU

    4. Chris Petersen, Boise State

    5. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina

    6. Mack Brown, Texas

    7. Bobby Petrino, Arkansas

    8. Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech

    9. Bo Pelini, Nebraska

    10. Gary Patterson, TCU

    11. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern

    12. Chip Kelly, Oregon

    13. Brady Hoke, Michigan

    14. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State

    15. Joe Paterno, Penn State

8. Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech

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    Before Frank Beamer landed at Virginia Tech 24 years ago, the Hokies were an afterthought.

    All Beamer has done since then is lead the Hokies to a 202-96-2 record, complete with four ACC titles. He's won numerous Coach of the Year awards and he's been able to utilize all aspects of his team (coined "Beamer Ball"), from the start.

    The Hokies are 4-1 this season without a reputable quarterback and a big part of that is Beamer's doing.

    Virginia Tech under Beamer has proven to be one of the most consistent teams in the country, with seven straight double-digit win seasons. The Hokies haven't had a losing season since 1992.

7. Bobby Petrino, Arkansas

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    Bobby Petrino burned some bridges at Louisville, but it wasn't because of his overall record.

    He's not the most personable coach, but Petrino knows how to build an offensive powerhouse and proves it time and time again.

    After leading the Razorbacks to the Sugar Bowl in 2010, Petrino has Arkansas at 4-1 this season and No. 10 in the latest AP poll.

    Having quarterback Ryan Mallett was nice, but it's not like it's hurt Petrino's offense that much. Successor Tyler Wilson just threw for over 500 yards against Texas A&M.

6. Mack Brown, Texas

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    Mack Brown is one of the most glorified coaches in college football.

    Before last season, Brown had put together a string of nine straight years of 10 wins or more and won a national title in 2005.

    Brown's greatest strengths are is recruiting (Longhorn Network or not) and his ability to find top-notch assistants and give them freedom to do their thing.

    It's hard to imagine what Texas Longhorns Football would be like without Mack Brown.

    Despite having a team with several areas that need to be addressed this season, Brown has led the Longhorns to a 4-0 record and a spot at No. 11 in the latest AP poll.

5. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina

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    We all know the run Steve Spurrier had with the Florida Gators in the 90s, a run that has only been surpassed in the SEC by former Alabama great Bear Bryant, but it's not like Spurrier has dropped off the map since.

    After a 9-5 record last season, Spurrier has the Gamecocks at 4-1 this season despite the ineffective play of quarterback Stephen Garcia. South Carolina is No. 18 in the latest AP poll.

    But that's not good enough for Spurrier. The storied coach has decided to bench Garcia for sophomore Connor Shaw. The great coaches adjust and make tough decisions. Spurrier has never been afraid to do that.

4. Chris Petersen, Boise State

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    Chris Petersen has had the disadvantage of playing in an unimpressive conference while at Boise State.

    Despite a 65-5 career record at Boise State, Petersen's teams are constantly snubbed when it comes to being selected for the BCS Championship Game because of the level of competition in the conference.

    But the reality is Petersen likely would put up spectacular campaigns, even if he found himself in the SEC. He rarely acquires five-star recruits, yet he's developed Boise State into one of the elite programs in the country regardless.

    Petersen prepares each and every week in a way that is virtually unrivaled in college football.

    He once again has the Broncos in the Top 5 of the AP poll and has led them to a 4-0 record.

3. Les Miles, LSU

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    Les Miles is often criticized for being too bold in his play-calling and game plan, but, then again, it seems to work out for him the majority of the time.

    He has a 67-17 record at LSU, and what he's been able to do this season without quarterback Jordan Jefferson for most of it has been remarkable.

    He has a national title to his name, a stellar record in the best conference in the nation and the Tigers have beaten three ranked teams, including Oregon, on their way to a 5-0 record so far this season.

    Did I mention LSU is ranked No. 1 in the country right now?

    Miles has the Tigers pointed toward a national title this season and he's in the running for Coach of the Year.

2. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

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    Bob Stoops has taken some flack for losing three BCS title games since Oklahoma's last championship in 2000, but he has gotten the Sooners to the promised land, and this guy can survive staff turnover better than anybody in the country.

    He knows coaches, he knows coaching and he has the Sooners with a 4-0 record this season and No. 3 overall in the AP poll.

    After leading the Sooners to a 12-2 record and the Fiesta Bowl victory last season, Stoops is on fire right now.

1. Nick Saban, Alabama

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    Right now it's hard to tell who's No. 1 in the nation, Alabama or LSU.

    But there's no question part of it has to do with head coaches Les Miles and Nick Saban.

    Saban never did make a smooth transition to the NFL, but it's safe to say he never should have tried in the first place. Saban is born for college football—it's in his blood, and his teams consistently perform at an elite level.

    He's won two national championships (one with LSU in 2003 and one with Alabama in 2009), has an overall record of 139-53-1 and he could fill an entire trophy case with Coach of the Year awards.

    He's led the Crimson Tide to a 5-0 record after star quarterback Greg McElroy's departure.

    His Nov. 5 date with Les Miles and LSU could determine if he makes it to his second BCS Championship Game in the last three years.

    No other coach in college football strikes fear into his opponent's heart more than Nick Saban.

    Saban's like the Bill Belichick of college football.

    It makes sense, given he started under Belichick's coaching tree.

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