With all the recent coaching changes in the college game, I’ve decided to break down the best coaching jobs in America. I originally wanted to write this last year, but thanks to procrastination and laziness, I put it off until this year. A lot of different factors went into my rankings, including program history and tradition, location of the university, the conference they compete in and some additional extras for each particular school. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the rankings.
The Cornhuskers job might not be one that many high school-age students look at as prolific, but the history and tradition behind Nebraska football is unquestionable. With five national titles and 43 conference championships, Nebraska is a premier job in college football. While the Huskers don’t have an overly attractive location for incoming recruits, Nebraska has a history comparable to many of the most prestigious programs in the country and are starting to find their winning ways again.
This job is particularly interesting because it will probably be the next one open on this list. The Longhorns are the biggest brand in the biggest recruiting hotbed of a state in college football. With four national championships and 32 conference crowns, Texas is almost always one of the top competitors in the Big XII, if not the country. Recent success is definitely a key factor in recruits’ minds and with a national title as recently as 2005, the Longhorns would be appealing to any high schooler. Once Mack Brown is fired or retires, this job will have a ton of takers.
This job got a lot better in the last fifteen years. While Florida has always been a great program, the three recent national championships and plenty of stars in the NFL make it a very attractive position. Obviously the location is a recruiting advantage, playing in the SEC and having big exposure to high school recruiting in Florida. Facilities in Gainesville are top-notch and as I said earlier, playing in the SEC against the best competition in college football will always bode well in recruiting pitches.
OU is a consistent power in the Big XII and nationally, winning seven national titles and 44 conference titles. The Sooners have kept up their great tradition since Bob Stoops took over, winning a national championship in 2000 and along with Texas, dominating the conference since its inception. Great facilities and a storied history slot the Sooners at number seven in my rankings.
The tradition of Oregon is without a doubt the least spectacular of the schools on this list, but recent success along with other factors bring the Ducks into the discussion. Oregon has recruited very well in California for quite some time now, but the Ducks are finally attracting players from all over the country. So why are so many recruits considering Oregon? Well, with Phil Knight, the Chairman of Nike, being an Oregon alumni, the Ducks are constantly getting new and flashy uniforms that always cause discussion. Any publicity is good publicity and Oregon is becoming a hotter and hotter job.
The Wolverines have as good of history as anyone in the nation. 11 national titles and 42 conference championships along with three Heisman Trophy winners will do that for you. Michigan has excellent facilities, the aforementioned great tradition and is a constant power, making the Wolverines appealing to any recruit from Big Ten country or nationally. The historically great rivalry with Ohio State is often called the best rivalry in college football and any recruit would love to play in it.
4. Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish are back, folks. Brian Kelly will probably have the keys to the city of South Bend and the hearts of Irish fans nationally for years to come. With the resurgence of Notre Dame in the 2012 season, they fly up the list to number four. The Irish are different in that they are a private school and have a fan base that extends nation-wide. With 11 national titles and seven Heisman Trophy winners, Notre Dame can hang with anyone in the discussion of the greatest coaching jobs in the country.
3. Ohio State
Hate ’em or love ’em, there’s no denying the The Ohio State University is arguably the best coaching job in the nation. The Buckeyes have seven national championships, 36 conference titles and seven Heisman Trophy winners. Like Michigan, they are in what is dubbed, “the greatest rivalry in college football.” Great facilities and a huge fan base make this place attractive to any recruit or Head Coach candidate when the job is open, just ask Urban Meyer.
This one is really tough; although Alabama is a job that any coach in the nation would be thrilled to have, they come in at number two on my list. The Tide have won 14 national and 27 conference titles and have been a perennial power since the days of Bear Bryant. In my opinion, Nick Saban is the best coach in the country and has made this Alabama job a lot better than it was before he got there. With two national titles in the last three years and a chance at another this year, this job is very attractive.
While I do think Lane Kiffin is an ass, he does have the best coaching job in the country. USC has won ten national titles (or elven, depending on who you ask), 38 conference championships and has seven Heisman Trophy winners throughout its prolific history. The location of Los Angeles is appealing to any recruit or coach in the country, the tradition of the program goes without question and the perks of being one of the biggest cities in America’s best football team, professionally or collegiate, are endless. While it is close, USC is the best coaching job in the country.