NCAA Football 2019 PAC 12 Coach Rankings
The pool of talent among college football is deep and the PAC 12 conference feature a very interesting mix of that talent itself. So even after a two-year span of PAC 12 teams not making the college football playoffs, let’s take a look and breakdown every coach and where they rank.
Even though other sites had Helton ranked better than other coaches in the PAC 12, we need to really get serious about the performance Helton’s team had last season. It was shocking he even made it until the end of the season after his 5-7 record last year. Not to mention Cliff Kingbury’s OC-for-five-minutes fiasco and how bad Helton looked after that move. He then brought in ex-Packers QB, Graham Harrell as the OC, who I believe, will be taking over as the HC halfway through the season.
Jonathan Smith went 2-10 last year during his first season as the Beavers HC, so the sample for his performance is pretty bad. Although there are some signs of hope for Oregon State in a couple of good players, Smith must show he is capable to develop the young talent in his program and improve his numbers.
It’s a little unfair from some sites to rank Tucker so low among the coaches in the power five conferences only because he lacks experience at the Head Coach position, but he comes at Colorado with really good credentials (Interim Jaguars head coach in the NFL, Defensive backs coach for LSU and Alabama and Defensive Coordinator for Georgia). So, it’s still unknown how well his program will perform and how he will develop the young talent of the team, but he is definitely well prepared to have a successful run with the Buffaloes.
Herm Edwards shook off the rust after his 8-year run as a pro football analyst on television by going 7-6 in his first season back to coaching a football team. He had some good moments last season to build on this year, with marquee wins against Michigan State, Utah and UCLA. But Edwards team also faced some rough moments with heartbreaking loses to San Diego State, Washington, and Oregon. Edwards coaching experience will likely help him building upon the successes of last season to have a strong campaign this year.
Wilcox has done a respectable job as the Golden Bears HC in his first two years with a record of 12-13 but he is expected to catch fire in year 3, otherwise, he could be in a tough spot and even in the hot seat. Cal went to a Bowl game for the first time since 2015 due to Wilcox good job but the program needs to continue their good streak for Wilcox to cement his status as one of the top coaches of the PAC 12.
Find it somehow disrespectful for other coaches in the PAC 12, that some sites have Kelly ranked so high, even as a top 15 coach in all college football, after a long streak of unsuccessful seasons and underperforming teams. More and more starts to seem like a long time ago since his days of greatness at Oregon. And then last season, his first as the Bruins Head coach, he got an embarrassing record of 3-9 but analysts seem to not really care about the present and only focus on Kelly’s all-time record in college football (49-16) to rank him as the cream of the crop of college football coaches.
The first season of Kevin Sumlin as Arizona’s Head coach was a season for adjustment to the new system that finished with a record of 5-7. Maybe the adjustment from Rich Rodriguez system was harder than expected, but at least Arizona showed some promise with Sumlin moving forward to this next season (at least their record wasn’t as bad as 3-9).
Mario Cristobal is the hottest name among head coaches in the PAC 12 and even in the whole power five conferences. Some sites don’t rank him high because of his all-time record as a head coach in college football (36-52) but almost all of this loses were while he was the Head coach at Florida International where he didn’t have a lot of talent to work with. But his credentials as coach and recruiter in Alabama with Nick Saban, speak for itself and during his first season as Head Coach in Oregon he got a winning record. He will enter this season with a great pool of talent he recruited and Senior QB Justin Herbert coming back, so Cristobal will climb up really high if the Ducks meet the expectations.
Utah took the PAC 12 by storm last season getting into the conference final against Washington and ultimately losing it, but Kyle Whittingham great work with the Utes finally paid off big. Whittingham made the Utes one of the best defenses in all college football last year and his team is one of the most disciplined teams. He is the coach with most wins in the PAC 12 among the active coaches, but he is yet to win the conference championship, so his time is definitely coming. Look forward to Whittingham to get to the conference final again.
Leach continues to cement his college coach legend status after his success last season in Washington State achieving the most wins during his tenure in the program. Leach is maybe the most notable precursor of the Air raid system, which adoption through college football among successful programs has been very notable lately. It will be very interesting to follow Leach’s Washington State next season to see if they can compete for the conference championship against the front runners.
David Shaw’s career at Stanford has been nothing short of outstanding. He had to fill pretty big shoes after Jim Harbaugh departure to the NFL and he has hold up great. Shaw needs to improve his record from last season with a considerably less improved roster after losing some talented players to the NFL, so he will need a lot of help from his players to continue stacking success in the PAC 12.
Chris Petersen belongs to the conversation of the cream of the crop among college football coaches. He just belongs. He took Washington to the College Football Playoffs in 2016 and has won two PAC 12 titles in the last three seasons. Petersen has a 47-21 record as a head coach, three straight 10-win seasons and produced 18 NFL Draft picks, so he is well credited by far as the best coach in the PAC 12.