Thursday, April 10, 2014
Athlon ranks the Big 12 coaches
By Jake Trotter
Athlon Sports has always been big on lists. And this week, Athlon’s Steven Lassan ranked all 128 FBS coaches. He also pulled out the top 10 Big 12 coaches.
As a disclaimer, this is NOT our list. This is Athlon’s. So forward all hate tweets and emails to them. Not me. I already get enough.
Art Briles' status has grown in the eyes of Athlon.
Without further ado:
1. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
2. Art Briles, Baylor
3. Bill Snyder, Kansas State
4. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
5. Gary Patterson, TCU
6. Charlie Strong, Texas
7. Paul Rhoads, Iowa State
8. Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech
9. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia
10. Charlie Weis, Kansas
Athlon prefers coaches who win conference championships. Briles, Snyder, Gundy and Stoops, the top four on this list, have won the past four Big 12 titles.
I went back and checked and noticed some interesting changes. Snyder was No. 1 in 2013, but dropped two spots this year (why, I’m not sure; K-State did win six of seven to close out the season). Mack Brown was No. 6 -- the same slot that Strong opened up here. Kingsbury moved up only one spot after going 8-5 in his first season.
In the eyes of Athlon, Patterson’s stock is falling. He was the No. 2 coach going into his first year in the Big 12 and was ranked third going into last season. On the flip side, Briles has made the biggest rise in the last two years, going from sixth to second after winning the Big 12 last season.
Athlon actually had Snyder fifth in 2012, which is hard to believe. We’re talking about one of the best coaches of all-time, right?
As you can see, I have a bigger beef with the 2012 and 2013 rankings than the 2014 one.
Kingsbury has the potential to ascend the most of anyone on this list. I don’t know that the No. 8 spot is completely unfair, considering he’s only been a head coach one season. But if he can turn Texas Tech into a Big 12 contender on a quasi-regular basis, he could jump several spots.
This is obviously not an easy list to compile. How do you weigh what Briles has done the last five years against what Snyder has the last 25? It’s all a matter of subjectivity.