Complete Midseason Report Card for All BCS College Football Coaches

Joe PenkalaCorrespondent IOctober 21, 2011

Complete Midseason Report Card for All BCS College Football Coaches

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    It is hard to believe, but we are already at the midseason mark of the year. Seems like yesterday that fans around the nation were counting down the days before the opening kickoff of the season.

    Now that we have gotten this far, coaches have a better idea of the kind of team they have but programs have an idea of how well their respective coach is doing.

    Here is a look at all of the BCS coaches and how they have performed halfway through the season. 

Arizona: Mike Stoops

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    2011 Record: 1-5

    Midseason Comments: Coming into 2011, not many people would have said that Mike Stoops would be without a job but that is what has happened.

    After an opening week win, games against Oklahoma State, Stanford, Oregon, USC and Oregon State all proved to be too much and the final games of Stoops career at Arizona. 

    Grade: F

Oregon State: Mike Riley

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    2011 Record: 1-5

    Midseason Comments: This was not the start that Mike Riley had in mind as the Beavers have gotten off to a 1-5 start and have also lost to an FCS school. If not for the good will that Riley has built up at Oregon State, most would have been fired by now. 

    Grade: D

Colorado: Jon Embree

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    2011 Record: 1-6

    Midseason Comments: As if Colorado was not struggling enough, they will now be without running back Rodney Stewart and the Oregon Ducks are coming to town. Based on how things have gone so far, Colorado could go the entire season without earning their first conference win. 

    Grade: D

Kansas: Turner Gill

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    2011 Record: 2-4

    Midseason Comments: After two early season wins, the Kansas defense has disappeared and so have the wins.

    Turner Gill needs to get things figured out in a hurry because this program is not making strides towards improving. 

    Grade: D

Indiana: Kevin Wilson

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    2011 Record: 1-6

    Midseason Comments: Things just continue to not go well at Indiana this year. Their only win came against South Carolina State and they have been blown out in two of their three conference games this year. 

    Grade: D+

Boston College: Frank Spaziani

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    2011 Record: 1-5

    Midseason Comments: It's a rough season when your only win is over Massachusetts and the second half gets started with Virginia Tech. If Spaziani wants to get things turned around, he must figure out something with his under-performing offense. 

    Grade: D+

Minnesota: Jerry Kill

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    2011 Record: 1-5

    Midseason Comments: Jerry Kill has had bigger issues than what is going on during the game. During a game in early September, Kill suffered a seizure and admits he has had some issues since then.

    At the end of the day, all we can hope is that Kill gets healthy while dealing with the stress of a bad team. 

    Grade: C-

Utah: Kyle Whittingham

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    2011 Record: 3-3

    Midseason Comments: While Kyle Whittingham has done an excellent job leading Utah to a 3-0 out of conference record, the Utes have yet to win a Pac-12 game and prove that they do belong. 

    Grade: C-

Louisville: Charlie Strong

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    2011 Record: 2-4

    Midseason Comments: Things are not going well for Charlie Strong and Louisville. Their only wins are over Kentucky and Murray State and the offense continues to struggle and keep the team in games. 

    Grade: C-

Vanderbilt: James Franklin

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    2011 Record: 3-3

    Midseason Comments: While Vanderbilt has won the games they should have, the offense has really struggled against elite teams but are close to helping the Commodores get out of the conference basement. 

    Grade: C-

Maryland: Randy Edsall

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    2011 Record: 2-4

    Midseason Comments: Things have not gone as well as Randy Edsall had hoped in his first year at Maryland and got worse after Maryland took a huge lead over Clemson, only to watch it fall apart late in the fourth quarter.

    Grade: C-

Ole Miss: Houston Nutt

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    2011 Record: 2-4

    Midseason Comments: Things may slowly be coming to an end for Houston Nutt at Ole Miss. The program has become stale and they are not a competitive team in the SEC. 

    Grade: C-

NC State: Tom O'Brien

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    2011 Record: 3-3

    Midseason Comments: Things are going the way you would expect them to after losing Russell Wilson to a transfer.

    The wins are against bad teams and the losses are bad. O'Brien needs to figure out some way to get them turned around. 

    Grade: C

Tennessee: Derek Dooley

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    2011 Record: 3-3

    Midseason Comments: Tennessee is another team that has gone 3-0 in their out of conference schedule but then 0-3 in conference. With only one easy game the rest of the way, Dooley needs to find a way to get the Vols into a bowl game or the heat might be getting turned up.

    Grade: C

Florida State: Jimbo Fisher

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    2011 Record: 3-3

    Midseason Comments: With expectations of a potential national title run, the Seminoles loss to Oklahoma early in the year and then continued to fall with two more losses. All Florida State can do at this point is try to win out and hope for Clemson to crumble.

    Grade: C

Kentucky: Joker Phillips

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    2011 Record: 2-4

    Midseason Comments: Things have continued to not improve for Kentucky and Joker Phillips does not appear to have them moving forward.

    While they did start out 2-0, it was against lousy competition and they have since dropped four straight. 

    Grade: C

Pitt: Todd Graham

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    2011 Record: 3-4

    Midseason Comments: Much like Miami, Pitt has been the model of inconsistency. One week they look like a team that could compete with West Virginia and then they are a team that doesn't belong on the same field as Rutgers. 

    One upside is they only have one conference loss and the Big East has proved to be unpredictable. 

    Grade: C

Mississippi State: Dan Mullen

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    2011 Record: 3-4

    Midseason Comments: 3-0 out of conference and 0-4 in conference. Dan Mullen appeared to have Mississippi State going in the right direction, but so far this year it appears they are taking a step back. 

    Grade: C

Missouri: Gary Pinkel

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    2011 Record: 3-3

    Midseason Comments: The upside for Gary Pinkel is that he is winning the games he should this year. The downside is, he has lost to all three ranked teams he has played.

    Grade: C+

Miami: Al Golden

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    2011 Record: 3-3

    Midseason Comments: Up and down is the best way to describe this year for Al Golden and the Miami Hurricanes. While there have been a lot of things swirling around the program off the field, Golden must find a way to stabilize things on it. 

    Grade: C+

UCLA: Rick Neuheisel

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    2011 Record: 3-3

    Midseason Comments: Every good team that UCLA has gone up against this year has beaten them. When Neuheisel took over at UCLA he promised this team would return to glory and needless to say, he has fallen flat on that promise. 

    Grade: C+

Purdue: Danny Hope

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    2011 Record: 3-3

    Midseason Comments: Danny Hope and Purdue has taken advantage of the easy games on their schedule and struggled with mid-level competition. 

    The second half of the schedule is brutal for Purdue so best case scenario may be five wins. 

    Grade: C+

Northwestern: Pat Fitzgerald

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    2011 Record: 2-4

    Midseason Comments: While the season started out good, Pat Fitzgerald has seen the Wildcats drop four straight games, including three in conference. While the offense is putting up some points, the Northwestern defense needs to find a way to keep the team in games. 

    Grade: C+ 

Texas A&M: Mike Sherman

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    2011 Record: 4-2

    Midseason Comments: Based on the fact that Texas A&M should be 6-0, Mike Sherman must get this team to finish strong.

    In two-straight weeks, the team collapsed with second half leads but have recovered with two-straight wins.

    Grade: B-

Texas Tech: Tommy Tuberville

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    2011 Record: 4-2

    Midseason Comments: After a 4-0 start, Texas Tech looked like an off the radar contender but back-to-back losses to ranked teams in conference has changed that view. 

    The second half starts off with Oklahoma, which will be a measuring stick for the Red Raiders. 

    Grade: B-

Connecticut: Paul Pasqualoni

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    2011 Record: 3-4

    Midseason Comments: After a 2-4 start to the year, a win over South Florida may be some signs of life from the defending Big East champions. 

    Grade: B-

Iowa State: Paul Rhoads

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    2011 Record: 3-3

    Midseason Comments: The 3-0 start was nice but when the competition picked up, Iowa State has dropped three-straight.

    If Paul Rhoads wants to get them back on the winning track, he must get the defense to step up. 

    Grade: B-

Cal: Jeff Tedford

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    2011 Record: 3-3

    Midseason Comments: After getting through the easy part of their schedule, Cal has run into Washington, Oregon and USC and not been able to keep up with them.

    While Tedford has had a lot of success at Cal, Mike Stoops has proved how it only takes a few games to fall out of a programs good graces. 

    Grade: B-

Ohio State: Luke Fickell

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    2011 Record: 4-3

    Midseason Comments: You have to feel bad for Luke Fickell as he took over a job that was stacked against him. The offense is hurting and the defense is not good enough to win games on their own. 

    The good news for Fickell is the end is near and another year is not likely in the future. 

    Grade: B-

Texas: Mack Brown

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    2011 Record: 4-2

    Midseason Comments: After a down year in 2010, Mack Brown helped Texas rebound to a 4-0 start but back to back losses to the Oklahoma schools have shown people they still have a ways to go before being competitive in the Big 12.

    Grade: B

Iowa: Kirk Ferentz

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    2011 Record: 4-2

    Midseason Comments: Right now Iowa is sitting behind both Michigan schools and Nebraska in the Legends division.

    The good news is they play all three of them in the second half, so they will have a chance to make up ground.

    Grade: B

Florida: Will Muschamp

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    2011 Record: 4-3

    Midseason Comments: In his first year with the Gators, things started out great as they went 4-0 but after playing games against Alabama, LSU and Auburn, the Gators are back to the drawing board as they try to regain SEC elite status.

    Grade: B

Cincinnati: Butch Jones

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    2011 Record: 5-1

    Midseason Comments: Cincinnati is another team that has been protected by their schedule. An easy first half as allowed them to climb to 5-1, but the second half will tell us more about what Butch Jones and Bearcats are capable of. 

    Grade: B

Washington State: Paul Wulff

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    2011 Record: 3-3

    Midseason Comments: While Paul Wulff has helped Washington State improve, the problem is that the progress is going at a snails pace.

    Based on the second half schedule, the Cougars should win two games and if they can become bowl eligible, that would be huge for Wulff. 

    Grade: B

Notre Dame: Brian Kelly

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    2011 Record: 4-2

    Midseason Comments: Things are starting to get better in South Bend and can reach a season high if the Irish can take out USC this coming week. Needless to say, Brian Kelly has almost fully recovered from an awful start. 

    Grade: B

Michigan: Brady Hoke

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    2011 Record: 6-1

    Midseason Comments: In his first season as Michigan head coach, Brady Hoke has won the games that he was suppose to but when he played Michigan State, the Wolverines looked unprepared and he looked confused. 

    The second half of the season brings games against Illinois, Nebraska and Ohio State so the opportunity to prove himself will be there. 

    Grade: B

South Florida: Skip Holtz

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    2011 Record: 4-2

    Midseason Comments: After a win over Notre Dame on the road and then three more wins, Skip Holtz appeared to have a conference contender on his hands.

    After these past two weeks, South Florida has been brought back down to earth but could still contend in the Big East. 

    Grade: B

Syracuse: Doug Marrone

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    2011 Record: 4-2

    Midseason Comments: Syracuse has gotten off to a nice start this year and is certainly winning the games that they should.

    If Marrone is hoping to take this program to the next level, he must get them to compete better in games that they are not suppose to win. 

    Grade: B

Georgia: Mark Richt

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    2011 Record: 5-2

    Midseason Comments: Despite the 0-2 start, Mark Richt has not given up on his team.

    Since the losses, the Bulldogs have ripped off five-straight wins and are in the hunt to get to the SEC title game.

    Grade: B+

Wake Forest: Jim Grobe

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    2011 Record: 4-2

    Midseason Comments: So far this year, Jim Grobe and Wake Forest has seen the high of winning over Florida State and the lows of losing in overtime to Syracuse. The second half the schedule includes Notre Dame and Clemson so they will have their hands full. 

    Grade: B+

North Carolina: Everett Withers

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    2011 Record: 5-2

    Midseason Comments: After Butch Davis got fired before summer practice, Everett Withers stepped in and has done a good job on short notice.

    Based on what has happened entering the season, a 5-2 record is pretty good and above most peoples expectations. 

    Grade: B+

Duke: David Cutcliffe

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    2011 Record: 3-3

    Midseason Comments: Who thought that Duke would have a three game winning streak this year? Anybody? No, me either but David Cutcliffe has them at .500 and has done a good job so far this year. 

    Grade: B+

Arizona State: Dennis Erickson

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    2011 Record: 5-2

    Midseason Comments: With almost a do or die season for Erickson, Arizona State appears to be in the drivers seat to win the Pac-12 South.

    While they have been a different team on the road, Arizona State is a good team and even better at home. 

    Grade: B+

Baylor: Art Briles

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    2011 Record: 4-2

    Midseason Comments: With Robert Griffin III leading the offense, Baylor will remain competitive this year but as Texas A&M showed them, they are still a ways away from being a conference contender.  

    Grade: B+

Virginia: Mike London

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    2011 Record: 4-2

    Midseason Comments: Along with a good start to the season, Virginia was able to end Georgia Tech's perfect season this past week. An eight win season would be a huge success for the Cavaliers. 

    Grade: B+

USC: Lane Kiffin

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    2011 Record: 5-1

    Midseason Comments: Lane Kiffin appears to be doing the best he can with the sanctions that are still on the program. With games against Stanford, Washington, Oregon and Notre Dame we will see how the Trojans have progressed from last year. 

    Grade: B+

Michigan State: Mark Dantonio

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    2011 Record: 5-1

    Midseason Comments: After a no-so-great loss to Notre Dame, Michigan State has rebounded with wins over Ohio State and now Michigan and their defense looks great. They get a huge test this week as Wisconsin comes to town.

    Grade: B+

Washington: Steve Sarkisian

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    2011 Record: 5-1

    Midseason Comments: Besides for a letdown against Nebraska, Washington has come out and impressed a lot of people so far this year.

    The offense looks good and we will see how good Washington can be with games against Stanford, Oregon and USC upcoming. 

    Grade: B+

Nebraska: Bo Pelini

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    2011 Record: 5-1

    Midseason Comments: With every game that goes by, the win over Washington looks better and better but the image of them getting blown out by Wisconsin in the second half will be hard to ignore. 

    Grade: B+

South Carolina: Steve Spurrier

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    2011 Record: 6-1

    Midseason Comments: Spurrier came into the season with great offensive talent but the team has been inconsistent. After the loss of Marcus Lattimore and release of Stephen Garcia, he will have his hands full in the second half.  

    Grade: B+

Virginia Tech: Frank Beamer

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    2011 Record: 6-1

    Midseason Comments: While Virginia Tech avoided their early season collapse, the Hokies have yet to post a great victory this season and lost to Clemson at home. A game against Georgia Tech will provide Virginia Tech with a moment to shine. 

    Grade: B+

Rutgers: Greg Schiano

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    2011 Record: 5-1

    Midseason Comments: After a close loss to North Carolina early in the season, Rutgers has responded well with victories over Navy, Pitt and Syracuse.

    If Schiano can keep this up, he could be in line for coach of the year honors. 

    Grade: A-

West Virginia: Dana Holgorsen

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    2011 Record: 5-1

    Midseason Comments: With the exception of the LSU game, Dana Holgorsen has done a great job in his first year and has West Virginia looking like the best team in the Big East. 

    Assuming they can remain consistent, the Mountaineers would be the best representative the Big East could ask for. 

    Grade: A-

Georgia Tech: Paul Johnson

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    2011 Record: 6-1

    Midseason Comments: With all the replacements that were needed coming into this year, Paul Johnson did a great job getting the offense up to speed and jumping out to a 6-0 record. 

    While the loss at Virginia was a setback, they still have games against Clemson and Virginia Tech to show what they can do.

    Grade: A-

Auburn: Gene Chizik

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    2011 Record: 5-2

    Midseason Comments: After seeing what Auburn has lost in the offseason, it is hard not to be impressed by what Gene Chizik has done so far this year. 

    The Tigers currently sit at 5-2 with wins over South Carolina and Florida and have exceeded most people's expectations. 

    Grade: A-

Oregon: Chip Kelly

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    2011 Record: 5-1

    Midseason Comments: After an opening week loss to LSU, Oregon has gone back to putting up a ton of points and wearing teams out in the second half.

    More impressive is how the Ducks did against Arizona State without LaMichael James and then Darron Thomas for a half.

    Grade: A-

Penn State: Joe Paterno

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    2011 Record: 6-1

    Midseason Comments: While not many people are paying attention to Penn State and Joe Paterno, the only loss that they have this year is to a very tough Alabama team.

    The second half schedule is a bit more challenging to it will be interesting to see how Penn State finishes. 

    Grade: A-

Arkansas: Bobby Petrino

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    2011 Record: 5-1

    Midseason Comments: After losing Ryan Mallett to the NFL draft and then Knile Davis to a summer camp injury Petrino has done an amazing job of keeping things moving forward and has them in a great position entering the second half. 

    Grade: A-

Stanford: David Shaw

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    2011 Record: 6-0

    Midseason Comments: Grading David Shaw is difficult to do. With a quarterback like Andrew Luck, this was a team that was set up to win now and Shaw has not gotten in the way of that.

    For now, all you can do is assume he is doing a great job but the second half of the season will show us so much more.

    Grade: A

Illinois: Ron Zook

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    2011 Record: 6-1

    Midseason Comments: This had all the signs of being a do or die type of season for Ron Zook and he and his team have responded in a big way. 

    Illinois jumped out to a 6-0 record and have blown expectation out of the water. All Zook can hope for is a second half of the year that is as successful as the first. 

    Grade: A

Wisconsin: Bret Bielema

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    2011 Record: 6-0

    Midseason Comments: The addition of Russell Wilson has turned Wisconsin into a machine. Besides for being in a close game in the second quarter against Nebraska, Wisconsin has been untested but does have a game against Michigan State this week, a place that they lost last year. 

    Grade: A

Kansas State: Bill Snyder

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    2011 Record: 6-0

    Midseason Comments: Out of nowhere, the Kansas State Wildcats are undefeated and impressing a lot of people.

    Bill Snyder has done a great job getting things turned around but the second half of the season will show us how far they truly have come. 

    Grade: A

Oklahoma State: Mike Gundy

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    2011 Record: 6-0

    Midseason Comments: When you are undefeated and rolling teams behind a strong offense, it is hard to find a flaw in what Mike Gundy is doing this year.

    Hopefully he can help the team keep their intensity and get them into the final week without a loss. 

    Grade: A

Oklahoma: Bob Stoops

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    2011 Record: 6-0

    Midseason Comments: With an early season win over Florida State and a dominating victory over rival Texas, Oklahoma should be able to enter their final game of the year against Oklahoma State undefeated. 

    Grade: A

LSU: Les Miles

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    2011 Record: 7-0

    Midseason Comments: Les Miles has led the Tigers through one of the more difficult out of conference schedules and has dealt with his share of adversity with his team.

    Much like Alabama, things will come down to their matchup with the Tide in early November. 

    Grade: A+

Alabama: Nick Saban

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    2011 Record: 7-0

    Midseason Comments: After a year out of the SEC title game, Nick Saban has done a great job reloading the Tide and has the defense playing on a different level.

    The season will come down to their head-to-head game with LSU.

    Grade: A+

Clemson: Dabo Swinney

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    2011 Record: 7-0

    Midseason Comments: What Dabo Swinney and Clemson are doing this season is incredible. Clemson came into the year under the radar, but after wins over Auburn, Florida State and Virginia Tech, they have the nation's full attention. 

    Grade: A+