Thursday, March 23, 2006

Analyzing the Big 12 Football Coaches

Rich Cirminiello from Fox Sports recently analyzed the coaches from each conference and had some interesting things to say about the coaches of the Big 12.

Best Coach
Bob Stoops, Oklahoma and Mack Brown, Texas

Cirminiello tried his best to give props to Bob Stoops without taking away from Mac Brown citing both coaches’ accomplishments and recognizing Brown’s recent success. However when it came decision time Stoops was his man, “With a gun to your head and one game to play, Stoops is still the choice.”

Most Underrated
Dan McCarney, Iowa State
Kirk Ferentz at Iowa overshadows McCarney’s success but don’t be fooled into thinking that Iowa State is the perennial doormat they once were. Cirminiello points out that McCarney has won at least seven games and earned a bowl invitation in five of the last six seasons.

Most Overrated
Dennis Franchione, Texas A&M
Here’s a surprise, not! After three seasons Fran is 0-6 versus the 'Horns and Sooners, and has drifted way behind Texas Tech on the Big 12 South totem pole. You can even throw a loss to Baylor in there as well. Cirminiello also mentions Nebraska’s Bill Callahan stating that wins over Colorado and Michigan to end the season bought him some breating room.

Coach on the Hot Seat
Dennis Franchione, Texas A&M
Fran was the only coached mentioned twice and neither was for a good reason. “One more season like last year's 5-6 debacle, and you can see the headlines now: Fran Canned or Fran Told to Scram. Franchione took his most talented A&M team, and promptly guided it off a cliff over the season's final month.”

Bucking for a Promotion
Mark Mangino, Kansas
Ahhhh the coach everyone likes to make fun of. When you beat Nebraska for the first time in 37 years it goes a long way but when you do it in blowout fashion (40-15) you become a cult hero. Cirminiello warns that Mangino may be the coach lured away to bigger and better things.

Best Offensive Coordinator
Mike Leach, Texas Tech

Mike Leach is the Mad Scientist of offensive ingenuity! Coaches fear what he is tinkering with this spring and would pay top dollar to peek inside his secret playbook. “So fine-tuned is Leach's system that he's been able to plug in an average, first-year starter at quarterback for three straight years, yet still churn out points as if he's calling plays with a joystick.”

Best Defensive Coordinator
Gene Chizik, Texas
You just thought it was Vince Young who made the difference in Texas’ magical run to the national championship. Don’t forget someone had to figure out how to stop Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart. Chizik was a part of the Auburn staff that went undefeated in 2004 and then Texas in 2005. Then man hasn’t lost in 28 games. Bill Young at Kansas gets honorable mention here.