NCAA Football

College Football Power Rankings: Top 15 College Football Coaches

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Top 15 College Football Coaches Power Rankings


There are a lot of speculation around a lot of teams in College Football with just a month to go until the Conference Championship Games.

And just like every season that has come and gone before, there have been just as many surprises to go along with the ole, “I told you so’s”, from everyone in the media and that guy Barry you can’t stand hanging out at the microwave on Monday morning.

(don’t you just hate that guy…)

But at this point every season, everyone from fans to Athletic Directors either have the twinkle of dollar signs or the flame of disgust in their eyes.

Those coaches who are on the hot seat were discussed a few weeks ago in the Top 15 Getting Fired…

Now it’s time to turn to the coaches who are shaping up to solidify their legacy and legend…

With the election of Most Powerful Man in the World now over, fans can turn their time and attention to worship the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen of College Football

To make this list, a coach must do two things…

First, they must win and be a major player in the BCS Rankings

Second, they must have the eye of another school, an NFL team or be add to their already stellar resume at their current school…

So did your favorite coach make the list…

Or did the guy you hate with a passion find a way to win his way on this list…

For the record, John Gruden, Bobby Patrino or Houston Nutt...

Besides those three, there is a great argument for Urban Meyer or Mack Brown

But Meyer is not eligible for a bowl and Brown needs to smoke one with the team he has this season…

Other than these guys, it is fair game for any other current coach in the BCS picture.

So click away and see who the Top 15 Power Coaches in College Football rank as the 2012 campaign nears the end…

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No. 15 - Bill Snyder, Kansas State Wildcats


The senior statesman of the list is Kansas State Head Coach Bill Snyder.

At 73 and in his 21st season, Snyder has his Wildcats on the verge of something he hasn’t been able to accomplish in his storied career…

Play for a BCS Title.

Snyder was with K-State from 1989 to 2005 in his first stint and was pulled out of retirement in 2009 and has simply been perfect in his second run.

The stadium is even named after him and his family…

But win or lose at his shot at his first National Championship, Snyder is a legend and demands the respect of every fan, coach, player and administrator in College Football.

Unlike others on this list, Snyder will not use his success to increase his wealth or position himself to take a dream job at another school or in the NFL.

He will just simply add to his legend…

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No. 14 - Mark Richt, Georgia Bulldogs

Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Georgia Bulldogs are probably pulling their hair out over their boy Mark Richt making the Top 15 Power Coaches at No. 14.

Half of Georgia Nation probably thinks he is too low…

The other half have been out in Richt front yard with a moving truck since the day he was hired wearing their Vince Dooley is God T-Shirt…

Quietly, Richt has become one of the most polarizing coaches in football, especially in the states of Georgia and Florida.

Why, though, is still baffling…

Besides the 10-3 season in 2011 and the 9-1 mark so far this season and the fact the he will lead the Bulldogs to a second-straight SEC Championship Game, Richt has coached a pair of Heisman Trophy Winners and has won a pair of National Championships with the Florida State Seminoles.

Richt has just signed a long-term extension and has a career record of 114-39, is on the verge of his 4th SEC Title Game, 6th SEC Eastern Division Title and has been SEC Coach of the Year two times. Oh and he is 7-4 in Bowl Games too!

So when you put all that together, there are few coaches in all of College Football with the power Richt has…

Get over it Georgia Fans, he is gold and there is not a single person out there better for the state and your program.

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No. 13 - Kyle Flood, Rutgers Scarlet Knight


Here is the first of a few Rookies in the College Football Coaches Power Rankings.

Kyle Flood is in his first season with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and has pushed them to a 7-1 record and a 4-0 mark in the Big East.

Pretty solid for a man who has not had any big head coaching experience…

And is what is making Flood one of the sexy picks by Athletic Directors on their short list for coming in and turning their program around.

Winning and making a BCS Bowl for Flood and Rutgers also means some major extra cash flowing his way sooner than later.

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No. 12 - Matt Campbell, Toledo Rockets

Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

And the second sexy pick of the night in another first-year head coach in Matt Campbell of the Toledo Rockets.

The Rockets are 8-2 overall and 5-1 in the Mid-American Conference and are ranked at No. 25 in the BCS Rankings.

And all this is coming under the direction of the 32-year-old Campbell…



So who thinks the Illinois Fighting Illini were wishing they would have hired Campbell and not Tim Beckman

So with a great first year under his belt, Campbell will be on many AD’s radar this offseason and throughout 2013.

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No. 11 - Dabo Swinney, Clemson Tigers

Joshua S. Kelly-US PRESSWIRE

If you can believe it, Dabo Swinney just celebrated his fourth anniversary with the Clemson Tigers.

Yes, four years since Swinney took over mid-season for the heralded Tommy Bowden

And to believe everyone though the no-name Swinney was not head coaching material…

Well after two ACC Championship Game appearances later and an overall record of 37-20, it is pretty clear Swinney has found a comfortable home in the hills of Clemson, South Carolina.

Swinney has the Tigers at 8-1 overall, 5-1 in the ACC Atlantic Division and ranked No. 13 in the BCS Rankings.

Despite his 1-3 record in Bowl Games, Swinney will be heading into the final season of his contract in 2013.

There is no doubt Swinney will be a hot commodity on the College Football market and that is why he comes in at No. 11 in the College Football Coaches Power Rankings.

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No. 10 - Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M Aggies

Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

The third and final first-year head coach to make the College Football Coaches Power Rankings at No. 10 is Kevin Sumlin of the Texas A&M Aggies.

Sumlin was hired and given the impossible task of winning with an extremely young team…

Difficult for any coach in any conference, but next to just silly impossible in the Aggies first season as a member of the SEC.

But no one told Sumlin winning in the SEC was hard as he has the Aggies at 7-2 overall and 4-2 in conference. Overall, Sumlin is 42-19 in five seasons as a head coach (35-17 at Houston).

No one thinks Sumlin will be going anywhere, but if he coaches his team up and takes out Top-Ranked Alabama Crimson Tide he can pretty much name his prices.

Next to Bama, there is not a team more consistent and playing better than Sumlin’s Aggies.

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No. 9 - Mike Riley, Oregon State Beavers


It is easy to say Mike Riley is one of the most powerful coaches in the game.

In 12 seasons with the Oregon State Beaver, Riley has amassed a 79-64 overall mark and a 51-49 Pac-12 record while going 5-1 in Bowl Games.

Impressive when you consider the recruiting difficulty Riley faces with the Beavers.

Add a 7-1 mark overall, 5-1 in conference and the No. 11 spot in the BCS Rankings and there is no doubt Riley is a hot ticket property.

Did we mention Riley is an Alabama Crimson Tide graduate and has NFL head coaching experience with the San Diego Chargers?

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No. 8 - Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern Wildcats


Pat Fitzgerald is making the most of 2012…

In his 7th season as the head coach for his alma mater in the Northwestern Wildcats, Fitzgerald is 7-2 overall and 3-2 in the Big 10 and is at No. 22 in the BCS Rankings.

There is no doubt Fitzgerald is an elite coach with less than elite talent and he definitely had the eyes of some Athletic Directors and even some NFL executives.

Fitzgerald did play with the Dallas Cowboys

Just throwing that out there…

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No. 7 - Sonny Dykes, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE

There is no question the results of 2012 will bring a big new payday for Sonny Dykes.

The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs are 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the WAC.

Dykes has the Bulldogs playing as well as anyone in the country and has had them in the BCS Rankings for most of the season.

With a number of jobs opening up, Dykes will be at the top of many lists…

Reports are he is already listed as the top candidate as the new man for the Kentucky Wildcats.

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No. 6 - Charlie Strong, Louisville Cardinals


From a buzz standpoint, Charlie Strong is the hottest of the hot but is still not able to crack the Top Five in the Coaches Power Rankings.

His time is either up with the Louisville Cardinals or they are going to have to pay him royally to stay.

At 9-0 overall and 4-0 in the Big East, Strong is quickly getting calls from all over, especially the SEC.

Strong is not doubt capable of taking that next step, but his career mark is 23-16 overall and 12-6 in the Big East.

Is that enough of a resume to take on a big time rebuild at another program?

Only time will tell because Strong’s power it high and will get a big bump in pay or a jump to a bigger program.

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No. 5 - Les Miles, LSU Tigers


Oh the Riverboat Gambler

What is there not to like about Les Miles

Any man crazy enough to make the Cajun fans of the LSU Tigers crazy is a coach you have to love!

The facts here are amazing…

Under Miles, LSU is the winningest program in the SEC, is second only to the Vanderbilt Commodores in graduation rates and has played in two BCS Title Games.

He is 110-41 overall, 82-20 at LSU, 44-17 in SEC play and has a BCS National Championship

Oh and those 82 wins are the most of any coach in College Football over the last 8 seasons...

He is locked in about as tight as a coach can be, but there are a lot of NFL folks that would love to see him on the sidelines on Sundays.

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No. 4 - Chip Kelly, Oregon Ducks

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

There are only a handful of coaches who embody the ideals of their programs…

And Chip Kelly is one of them for the Oregon Ducks!

Can you imagine the Quack Attack without the scheme of Kelly?

In four season, Kelly has amassed a 43-6 mark overall and a 31-2 Pac-12 record…


31-2 in conference

That is beyond power!

The guy has won the conference every year and has played in one BCS Title Game.

What more can Kelly do?

Only the rest of this year will tell…

But someone will come calling or Oregon will have to pony up big time…

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No. 3 - Jimbo Fisher, Florida State Seminoles

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Alright folks…

Stop screaming about Jimbo Fisher being in the Top Three of the Power Coaches in College Football.

Fisher is 27-9 overall and 16-6 in ACC Football play as the leader of the Florida State Seminoles.

The big reason Fisher is this high is there are major rumors growing big time legs that the Auburn Tigers are going out of their way to try and hire him as their new head coach.

Two weeks ago, the FSU faithful laughed at this thought…

But after multiple reports had Fisher around the Auburn campus during the ‘Noles off week, his power just shot through the roof.

Add multiple reports this week that his coaching staff will be plucked for other jobs around College Football and you can start to a big new deal for Fisher either in Tallahassee, Florida or elsewhere.

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No. 2 - Brian Kelly, Notre Dame Fighting Irish


So Brian Kelly has done something no one else said could be done…

He has walked in and has made the Notre Dame Fighting Irish a BCS National Contender.

And all this is just three season…

How has Kelly done this?

What is his secret?

Well, it’s pretty simply…

Kelly is a winner!

With a career mark of 196-66-2, including an incredible 34-6 mark with the Cincinnati Bearcats, Kelly knows how to maximize the talent he has to win.

Probably the greatest trait of any legendary coach…

And with the largest endowment fund and an unlimited budget at his disposal, there is no one with more power than the leader of Touchdown Jesus.

A power that will not lose any of its charge anytime soon…

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No. 1 - Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide

John Davis Mercer-US PRESSWIRE

Was there even a doubt that Nick Saban would be the No. 1 Most Powerful Coach in College Football?

Saban has the Alabama Crimson Tide primed to win its 3rd BCS Title in six years and his fourth overall.

Add that he has the Tide 38-8 overall in those six years in the SEC is just mind blowing…

Saban is making right at $6 million a year and even garnered enough votes to be listed as a candidate for President in Tuesday's Election in the state of Alabama.

It is clear that no one has the absolute power of a program and in all of College Football maybe in history as what Saban has right now.

The only thing that can possible derail this juggernaut Saban has built is the new Legalization of Weed in Colorado and Washington

But until then, Saban and Bama will be the continued example of what every coach in college football wants to be and every Athletic Director prays to find…


M Shannon Smallwood has over 10 years of experience in broadcasting and journalism in professional baseball and college athletics and is the ACC Football Guru, SEC Voice of Reason and College Football Comedian for Rant Sports.

Follow him @woodysmalls.