The Sporting News published a list today ranking college football coaches from first (Alabama's Nick Saban) to last (Massachusetts Charley Molnar). Toledo's Matt Campbell slides in at 103. UT was represented on the list by former coaches Saban, Gary Pinkel (26) and Tim Beckman (69).
I'm not going to knock the list because A) the rankings are merely an opinion and are there to entertain and to promote debate, and B) I don't find much fault with them.
Is Campbell better than only 21 coaches in the country? I don't know. The sample size — winning a bowl game with a good team that was passed on to him — is limited. For what it's worth, he was ranked six of 12 MAC coaches. An unidentified BCS coach interviewed for the piece called UT's promoting of Campbell "a strange hire, at best." I don't disagree. Handing the reigns to a 32-year-old coordinator who has spent in his entire D-I coaching career in the MAC is unconventional. Doesn't mean it won't work though. As a beat writer covering Bowling Green in 2007 and 2008 I heard from several coaches and players who said Campbell was a head coach in the making. I didn't think it would happen this soon for him and I doubt he did either. He has a lot to prove, but so do the majority of the 124 coaches on the list.
Here's where MAC coaches fell in the rankings (My thoughts: Doeren overrated this early into his career; Hazell underrated)
66. Dave Doeren, Northern Illinois
76. Terry Bowden, Akron
84. Ron English, Eastern Michigan
94. Pete Lembo, Ball State
97. Bill Cubit, Western Michigan
107. Dave Clawson, Bowling Green
114. Darrell Hazell, Kent State
116. Don Treadwell, Miami
118. Dan Enos, Central Michigan
122. Jeff Quinn, Buffalo
124. Charley Molnar, Massachusetts