Before we go further, understand this: After the No.1 spot in Sporting News’ annual coach rankings, the debate begins.
There’s no question which coach has it rolling better than any other. No question who nails every criteria—wins, championships, recruiting, history at previous jobs, future potential and the intangible Q-factor.
Just how good has Nick Saban been in the BCS era? He’s approaching Bear Bryant status at Alabama. To even mention those words five years ago was preposterous.
After that, there are question with every coach. Chris Peterson doesn’t play the weekly grind of a BCS schedule; Urban Meyer ran away from Florida when it got tough; Brian Kelly won championships everywhere and got drilled in the biggest game of his career.
From the best coach at the best program in college football, to the worst coach at the worst program in college football, here is Sporting News’ ranking of all 125 FBS college football coaches:
1. Nick Saban, Alabama: It’s not a stretch to say Alabama had the best team in college football the last five years. In 2008, the unbeaten Tide lost to Florida in the SEC Championship after giving up three third down touchdown passes (and would’ve played Oklahoma in BCS NCG); in 2010, Alabama had the most talented team in the nation—a blown season that, to this day, eats away at Saban and motivates future teams.