The “Friday Fivesome” comes at you and then I’m taking a long weekend like everybody else. Please enjoy the Fourth of July weekend and remember why we’re celebrating. And for gosh sakes, be careful with fireworks.
1. So, the theme this week is going to be the Sporting News ranking of 130 FBS coaches that was published this week and has made the rounds on talk shows. Jeff Cardozo and I tried to get to it on The Tailgate, but we had too many callers to give it a proper look. That’s a good problem to have. Like all lists, there is going to be some disagreement, but that’s why knuckleheads like me do so many lists. We like to put out things that get people talking. (Look for my latest on the Book of Lists on Gators Wire.) So, let’s pick apart this list by starting with this gem. Florida starts the season with coaches who have the following ranking:
Willie Taggart, FAU, 99th
Jeff Scott, USF, 123rd
Nick Saban, Alabama, 1
Clearly, there will be a massive upgrade in the guy on the other sideline.
2. Coaches coach and sometimes they take lesser jobs because they didn’t get it done at Power 5 schools. Therefore, they receive low rankings. Here are some names for you:
Dana Holgorsen, Houston, 95th
Butch Davis, FIU, 94th
Jim McElwain, Central Mich., 90th
Buch Jones, Ark. State, 88th
And yet, McElwain just received his last check from UF, so it’s not like he’s hurting.
3. We all know that Florida has been pretty good under Dan Mullen. Three straight New Year’s Six bowl games and one Eastern Division title. You’d all like more, but he has Florida on the right track in so many ways. So, let’s look at the three top candidates for the job when it came open in 2017 and their rankings:
Chip Kelly, UCLA, 50th
Scott Frost, Nebraska 49th
Dan Mullen, Florida, 8th
I think those first two rankings are a little high. They get too much credit for previous coaching stops, I guess, because Kelly is 10-21 at UCLA and Frost is 12-20 at Nebraska. Mullen is 29-9 at Florida. Bullets, dodged.
4. One problem I have with this list is that it is too exclusive. You have to go all the way to No. 79 before you find a Power 5 coach (Jedd Fisch, Arizona). I don’t think there are 50 coaches worse than any coaches in the Power 5. And some of those Power 5 coaches have never been a head coach before.
5. One more thing. Gus Malzahn is at 36. Brian Harsin is at 35. So, I guess Auburn really did make an upgrade at its head coaching position. Thanks, I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.
Actually, I won’t be here and am taking Monday off from radio and the Back Nine. But there will be a new podcast up on Monday (pre-taped) and Jeff and I will return on Tuesday. Enjoy the weekend, everybody.