The other day, I saw an interesting discussion popping up in one of the Conversation tabs off an older blog entry about the validity of Utah as a top team in 2008 (after the Utes had dumped Alabama in the Sugar Bowl). A few readers downplayed it, claiming the Tide really didn't want to be there and were playing without their best lineman. I get that Andre Smith is a huge loss for Alabama, but Nick Saban is one of the most highly regarded coaches in the sport. Would he really put a team out there in New Orleans who weren't ready to win the game?
Having said that, it got me thinking about how to best define what makes a great college coach (aside from simply saying "he wins all the time"). Is it that his teams seem to always play their best in big games? That they never lose to opponents they're supposed to beat? That he is great at evaluating and developing talent? In a new element I'll be using as a regular feature in the blog, I've asked this question to a bunch of sharp people inside and outside the game:To read thoughts from Bruce's panel of experts, to find out what QB is rocketing up the charts at the Elite 11 camp and to learn one of Bruce's sleeper picks for top five in the 2010 NFL Draft, you must be an ESPN Insider.
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