Stoops No.1; Briles takes second
Who are the top-10 football coaches in the Big 12 Conference?
By Patrick Osborne,
As football season rapidly approaches, it seems like the right time to look at the Big 12 Conference and rank all 10 coaches from worst to best.
10. Charlie Weis
Still new to the Big 12, Weis has yet to do anything major at Kansas. The Jayhawks have posted 1-11 and 3-9 records under Weis in his first two seasons, only one of which was a conference win. Weis has only one bowl win in his career, the Hawaii Bowl when at Notre Dame.
9. Dana Holgorsen
Remember this guy, Cowboy fans? In his three seasons at West Virginia, Holgorsen has seen a steady drop not only in talent but also wins. After the move to the Big 12 from the Big East Conference, Holgorsen has won just six of his first 12 conference games. He has one Big East title but nothing to his name so far in the Big 12. Without a solid season this year for the Mountaineers, Holgorsen could be job searching come December.
8. Kliff Kingsbury
This season proved good looks don’t get you everything for the first-year head coach. After a quick 7-0 start to the season, the Red Raiders finished by losing their last five games of the regular season. Although the Red Raiders showed a lot of promise, even during the five-game losing streak, it’s still unknown how good Kingsbury really is. Going into just his second season, he’s still working with other coaches’ players. With that said, Kingsbury looks like he could grow into a solid coach with great quarterbacks every year. Just look at what he did with Johnny Manziel while at Texas A&M.
7. Paul Rhoads
Anybody want to sign up for those wacky Thursday or Friday night games in Ames, Iowa, to play Rhoads and the Cyclones? Cowboy fans, how confident are you every time Oklahoma State travels to Jack Trice Stadium? Although he has a 27-36 record at Iowa State, with the players he has and has to coach against, this is not bad at all. Rhoads always finds a way to put out a competitive team even though he’s outmatched in nearly every game.
6. Bill Snyder
The Kansas State athletic department should seriously consider renaming the team the fighting Bill Snyders. Snyder is Wildcat football and Wildcat football is Bill Snyder. How many coaches get to coach in a stadium named after them? Although he only has two conference titles, Snyder has a 178-90-1 record while at Kansas State. Snyder always has one of the classiest and hard-working teams in the conference and rarely fails to compete. It would be nice to see the man Wildcat fans adore get one more conference title before his time in Manhattan is up.
5. Gary Patterson
I can’t help but like a guy who isn’t afraid to wear purple. He has a 120-44 record in his 13 seasons as the Horned Frogs leader including the memorable Rose Bowl win against Wisconsin in 2010. Although his teams have gone 4-5 and 2-7 in their first two seasons in the Big 12, I’m going to give Patterson a little more time. By a little more time, I mean this season. The Horned Frog leader is known for his stingy defense and his team’s ability to embrace the underdog role. The time to win is now for Patterson and TCU.
4. Mike Gundy
I wanted to put the man behind America’s brightest orange higher on my list but I couldn’t. At Oklahoma State, Gundy has posted a 77-38 record in his first nine seasons. Under him, the Cowboys have won one Big 12 conference title and a bowl win for the ages in the 2011 Fiesta Bowl against Stanford. Although Oklahoma State is now consistently one of the top teams in the Big 12, Gundy comes in at number four for his lack of big wins. Gundy has just one win against in-state rival Oklahoma, and always seems to find a way to lose the big game. Cowboy fans might not want to hear it, but it’s time for Gundy to Cowboy-up and start finding a way to win that big game.
3. Charlie Strong
Let me be the first to welcome Coach Strong to the Big 12. Welcome to the post-Mack Brown era, Longhorn fans. Although he has yet to coach a single Big 12 game, Strong posted an impressive 37-15 record at Louisville. The Cardinals were known for their discipline and hard work while under Strong, and won one of the biggest games in school history when they beat Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl. Strong completely turned around the Louisville football program and I expect him to do the same in Austin.
2. Art Briles
Baylor is no longer the doormat we all used to look forward to playing thanks to the coaching of Briles. He has a 44-32 record in six seasons as the Bears leader, and has brought the team to new heights every year. Briles did what most Big 12 fans thought was never possible when he won the Big 12 title after knocking off Oklahoma and Texas in the same season. Baylor looks to be in great hands as long as they can keep Briles under contract.
1. Bob Stoops
Big game Bob, welcome back. Remember when OU wasn’t supposed to win another game going into the Kansas State and Oklahoma State stretch? Remember when they did, then went on to win the Sugar Bowl against Alabama? Sooner fans will. In his 15 seasons at OU, Stoops has posted a 160-39 record and is now the all-time wins leader at the school where Barry Switzer coached. He went to all four BCS bowls, has won eight Big 12 titles and has one national title. With the kind of consistency where he’s never gone worse than 7-5, Stoops is without a doubt the best coach in the Big 12.