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Top 10 College Coaches Who Could Have Success in the NFL

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Top 10 College Coaches Who Could Have Success in the NFL

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Every year at the end of the college football season, as the coaching carousel begins to spin, talk of college coaches to the NFL starts up, and certain coaches take the jump from the college football world to the professional football world.

We’ve seen this in the past with coaches like Steve Spurrier and Butch Davis and it always seems as though the masterminds in college look a bit overmatched at the professional level.

Spurrier took control of the Washington Redskins in 2002 and led them to a horrific 12-20 record in 2002 and 2003.

Davis didn’t do much better with the Cleveland Browns, racking up a record of 24-34 from 2001-2004.

Even the great Nick Saban made a move to the NFL, only earning a 15-17 record with the Miami Dolphins in 2005 and 2006.

Yet, even with all of the failed attempts, coaches still head to the NFL thinking they can do a better job. However, there are still college coaches out there that have the potential to be successful in the NFL.

For every Butch Davis and Steve Spurrier there is a Jim Harbaugh and a Pete Carroll, who take control of teams and lead them to the playoffs. There is always a chance for these coaches to make a splash at the next level.

Here are the top ten active college football coaches who could make a splash in the NFL.

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Les Miles (LSU)

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Les Miles is 113-42 in his 12 years of coaching at the collegiate level. He was 28-21 at Oklahoma State from 2001-2004 and is currently 85-21 with the LSU Tigers.

Miles has consistently led a competitive team throughout his tenure and with the right team is capable of having success at the next level, although he may be a bit disappointed by the lack of natural grass fields in the NFL.

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Bill Snyder (Kansas State)

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Bill Snyder transformed the Kansas State Wildcats program and built it from the ground up. He is a respectable individual and has the experience to make it at the next level. He is a strategist, capable of performing well at any coaching level.

Snyder is 170-85-1 in his college coaching career from 1989-2005, and 2009-2012. Remarkably Snyder hasn’t coached anywhere except KSU.

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Nick Saban (Alabama)

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As previously mentioned, Saban had a stint in the NFL that didn’t quite go his way. Keep in mind, Saban coached a weak Dolphins team led by quarterback Gus Frerotte. I’d say earning 15 wins with that team isn’t half bad.

Also, that was back in 2005. Saban has won three college championships since then, and has a lot more experience. If Saban took control of a decent NFL team, I think he would find much better success now.

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Brian Kelly (Notre Dame)

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Brian Kelly has a college coaching record of 199-67-2. Considering he coached 13 years at Grand Valley State and three years at Central Michigan, that’s not half bad. 51 of his losses came from these schools.

Kelly just led Notre Dame to a BCS title game and a 12-1 season. Kelly has the potential to lead an NFL team to success.

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Urban Meyer (Ohio State)

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Coach Urban Meyer has had a long, successful college coaching career. With a record of 116-31 from 2001-2012, Meyer is a coach that raises questions about whether or not he would be successful in the NFL.

One would have to at least consider the fact that he has the coaching experience to lead a professional team.

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Bob Stoops (Oklahoma)

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Hello. Aside from starring in AT&T commercials, Coach Stoops has built a career record of 159-36 over the course of fourteen years with Oklahoma. He has continued to lead competitive teams, never finishing lower than third in the Big 12.

Stoops could potentially have success in the NFL if he earned the respect of his players.

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Chris Petersen (Boise State)

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Petersen made Boise State relevant in the BCS picture. It’s as though he enjoys being the underdog fighting for a place among the big boys. This is exactly why I think he could take a weak NFL team and motivate it to greatness.

Petersen is 84-8 in his seven years with Boise State.

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David Shaw (Stanford)

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Shaw has nine years of NFL experience an assistant/position coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens. He coached the quarterbacks and receivers in Baltimore, coaching Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton to Ravens receiving records.

Experience is the name of the game in coaching, and Shaw has shown he is used to the NFL. In fact, Shaw has more experience in the NFL than he does in college. In his two years he’s coached Stanford, he is 23-4.

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Mark Richt (Georgia)

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Richt is 118-40 in his 12 years with Georgia, and has shown he knows how to lead a team to success. If Richt was given a fairly talented team, he could find success at the next level.

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Jimbo Fisher (Florida State)

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Coach Fisher only has three years of college coaching experience, but given time, he could blossom into an NFL caliber coach. He has led the Seminoles to a 31-10 record in his three years, and finished first in the Atlantic division of the ACC two of his three years. The year he didn't, he finished second.

Top 10 College Coaches Who Could Have Success in the NFL