Analyzing the coaching situations in each conference
By Richard Cirminiello
Best Coach – Pete Carroll, USC – Only a fool or a contrarian would argue with Carroll’s 54-10 record that includes four straight Pac-10 titles, three BCS bowl wins and shares of two national championships. Yes, no one has better talent or depth, but managing and mollifying so many different mega-stars is far tougher than some would make it out to be. Carroll has created a unique environment that fosters individuality and somehow keeps an eclectic group of players and coaches from becoming discontented. Faced with getting back up the mountain for the first time in a while, he appears more motivated than ever for the upcoming season.
Most Underrated – Jeff Tedford,
Most Overrated – Tyrone Willingham, Washington – Not many coaches in recent college history have straddled the .500 mark and won a single bowl in 11 years, yet commanded so many headlines. Willingham continues to be all that’s good in amateur coaching, but the attention he gets is hardly commensurate with his production in the fall or in February. He was a good hire for a
Coach on the Hot Seat – Bill Doba, Washington State – With a team constructed by Mike Price, Doba went 10-3 with a Holiday Bowl win over Texas in 2003, but ever since, he’s won just nine times. The Cougars have been terrible in close games, and the defense, Doba’s forte, has reached its lowest point in five years. A third consecutive bowl-less December would be catastrophic for a coach some felt was best suited as a career assistant when he got the job. Would Wazzu and Price ever reunite? It’s not as if he left the Palouse on bad terms.
Bucking for a Promotion – Jeff Tedford, Cal – With each passing season, the price to pry Tedford out of
Best Offensive Coordinator – Dirk
Best Defensive Coordinator – Bob Gregory,