Bleacher Report recently released a list of coaches as the best since 2000, with Nick Saban and Urban Meyer taking the top two spots. But the two that followed (Pete Carroll and Bob Stoops, respectively) had no business being placed ahead of Dabo Swinney, Jimbo Fisher and Les Miles.
Having Pete Carroll and Bob Stoops is an absolute tragedy considering that Carroll hasn’t coached college ball since 2009 and Stoops’ reputation as “Big Game Bob” is completely fabricated. Both Jimbo Fisher and Dabo Swinney should be in strong consideration for their spots.
The argument against Carroll:
While Carroll did lead his team to an impressive 34-game win streak, it was against a mostly weak Pac-12 and 14 of those games were vacated in the end. Yes, he led his teams to three national title games — they won two of them — but did so in the BCS era when computers decided title contenders and his squad didn’t have to face an undefeated Auburn team in 2004 (that championship was later vacated).
The argument against Stoops:
While Stoops is the only coach on this list who has been with the same school since 2000, he has not won nearly as many big games as you would think with that kind of tenure. He won a national title back in 2000 in his second year, but that means most of those players weren’t even his he recruited. He has also lost a national title game to Florida — his former employer — badly with a Heisman-winning quarterback taking snaps in that game. He’s also suffered six losses in BCS or New Year’s Six bowl games against four wins in such scenarios.
The argument for Fisher:
Jimbo Fisher has a national title like those other two coaches and coached a Heisman winner. He also coached a running back who broke a legend’s school rushing record in Dalvin Cook (Warrick Dunn’s) along with a ton of future NFL pros. Fisher won the last BCS Championship against an Auburn team many people thought would crush the Seminoles and has a winning record in BCS and New Year’s Six bowl games of 3-2. Unlike Stoops, Fisher has never won less than nine games in a season. He’s also never finished a season outside of the AP Top 25, which happened to Stoops three times and Carroll in his first season.
The argument for Swinney:
While Dabo Swinney took a little longer to get off the ground than Fisher, once he did he has been almost unstoppable. He has led Clemson to six straight seasons of 10 wins or more and would tie Carroll among those top tier coaches if the Tigers pull off the feat again this season. Swinney has been to two national championships and has been one of the few coaches who had made Saban’s defense look absolutely silly when they’ve played. Both times they’ve played, the Tigers scored 35 or more points against what was supposed to be the best defense in college football. In every full season Swinney has been coach — he took over midseason for Tommy Bowden in 2008 — he has only been unranked to end a season once and has finished top 10 in the AP Poll three times.
The argument for Miles:
Les Miles coached for almost as long as Bob Stoops, having started his head coaching career at Oklahoma State in 2001 and then taking over at LSU in 2005. He won a BCS title game in 2007, meaning more of those players were his than his predecessor’s at the time — which is more than Stoops can say. He also had a 7-4 bowl game record with two wins in BCS Bowl Games against one loss in the national title game against Alabama in 2011. While his record each year was kind of all over the place, Miles never won less than eight games — with the exception of his shortened 2016 season — while playing in the toughest division in all of college football
Here’s a updated list top 10 coaches since 2000 using our argument:
- Nick Saban
- Urban Meyer
- Jimbo Fisher
- Les Miles
- Dabo Swinney
- Pete Carroll
- Steve Spurrier
- Bob Stoops
- Chris Petersen
- Gary Patterson