(Buckeye Savant weighs in with another comprehensive, well executed pile of words for your reading enjoyment. Savant's list goes to 10, so in our continuing effort to milk the shit out of our posts so we can coast through life without so much as a how-do-you-do to effort, I've split it into 2 parts. I know the ending, but I'm not telling, except to say that Charlie Weis and Mack Brown fans may be disappointed. - PK)
OK - since my REAL Top 25 College Football Players was so well-received, I thought I would tackle (no pun intended) ranking the coaches. I think football - especially college football - is a coaches' game. By that I mean coaching matters more in football than any other sport.. A good coach can win or lose games (or championships) for you and I'm not sure that's true of other sports. I mean, come on, do you really think Phil Jackson won any titles for the Chicago Bulls?
So, without further adieu, here's MY list of the best college football coaches of all-time and, again - I considered everything from titles won to innovation and IMPACT on the game. Feel free to disagree with me, but just realize that, like with most things, I am right.
10. Lloyd Carr - Michigan: Oops, this is TOP Ten Coaches...but seriously ladies and gentlemen…sorry, start over…
10 tie. Eddie Robinson - Grambling: Spent 56…yes, 56 years as head coach at predominantly black Grambling State University. Robinson won 7 or 8 Black College national Championships and won over 400 games to become the all-time wins leader. The Coach of the Year Award is named after him.
10 tie. Bobby Bowden - Florida State: "The Riverboat Gambler" coached at West Virginia before taking over at Florida State in 1976 where he turned the Seminoles into a national power. He is currently the all-time winningest coach with 370+ wins, but he made my list based on the way he built FSU into a national player. He began by playing anybody…anywhere…anytime and took his Seminoles on the road to Nebraska, Ohio State, and Notre Dame (among others). Initially, FSU couldn't play with the big boys, but, eventually, they began to win those games and Bobby's teams became an almost permanent fixture in the Top 5 from the mid-80's through the late-90's and won titles in '93 and '99. FSU played in the first 3 BCS Championship games…and he's still going. Has a 1-7 record against the #9 coach…
9. Joe Paterno - Penn State: Took over for Rip Engle in 1966 and is still the Head Coach at Penn State and has 22 bowl victories (most ever by one coach) and stands just a few victories behind Bowden (but ranks ahead of him in Division 1 wins). A model of ethics and following the rules, JoePa's Lions have struggled since joining the Big Ten, but may have had the best team in the country in 1994 - a team that should have won Paterno his third national championship, but had to play in the Rose Bowl.
8. Tom Osborne - Nebraska: After several years as an assistant coach in Lincoln, Dr. Tom Osborne became head coach at Nebraska for 25 years starting in 1973. During his tenure, the Huskers won 3 national titles and never fewer than 9 games. The trademark of his teams was stingy defense coupled with an option rushing attack. Although very consistent, his teams never got over the hump until the mid-90's, when they won titles in '94, '95, and '97. I also love the fact that Osborne went for the win by trying a 2-point conversion near the end of the famous 1984 Orange Bowl. Miami won the game, but I always admired his guts. In addition to losing that game, he lost the #7 spot on MY list.
7. Walter Camp - Yale: "The Father of American Football" made my list for his contribution to shaping the game more than his head coaching accolades - although Camp served in that capacity at both Yale and Stanford. Camp's innovations include: the forward pass, line of scrimmage, set of four downs, and may others. The All-America team was first selected by Camp, who, in addition to his coaching, was also a famous sports writer in the early 20th Century.
6. Bud Wilkinson - Oklahoma: Coached the Sooners to three national titles in the 50's and led OU to an unbelievable NCAA record 47-game winning streak (broken by Notre Dame). I don't believe Oklahoma lost a conference game until his 11th or 12th season in Norman! Bud was the first coach to host his own television program and was a meticulous and organized coach (one of the first to break-down his practice schedules by the minute). Also, played at Minnesota and won 3 national championships as a player.
To be continued. Sit a spell and wait for it. Why are you in such a hurry anyway?