Ranking All 78 Head Coaches This Bowl Season

Ranking All 78 Head Coaches This Bowl Season

Bowls & CFP

Ranking All 78 Head Coaches This Bowl Season


Which head coaches did the best jobs this bowl season, and which ones struggled a bit? Here are all 78 head coaches this 2017-2018 bowl season, and how they did. 


Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews

Obviously, it takes a whole staff of coaches – some a lot better paid now than others – to prepare a team. Obviously, having one bad bowl game doesn’t make you a bad head coach, just as one great performance doesn’t make you the next Bear Bryant.

However, there were some particularly notable coaching performances this bowl season – for good and for bad. So who did a great job, and who struggled?

Loosely based on expectations, the way the teams played, execution, and how the team did compared to what the norm this regular season, here’s the ranking of all the head coaches this bowl season.

78. Jason Candle, Toledo

Dollar General Bowl 

Appalachian State 34, Toledo 0

Absolutely awful, Toledo came up with the most embarrassing bowl performance of the season. One of the most dangerous Group of Five teams in college football played like it was the second day of spring practice. 146 yards? Four turnovers? No, no, no. Candle is a rising star, but his team should’ve played far better than this.

77. Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia

Military Bowl 

Navy 49, Virginia 7

Yuck. The team that pushed Miami so hard and did so many good things to get bowling didn’t even show up. There was a kickoff return for a score, and that was it. The veteran defense couldn’t stop the Navy attack, and the passing game couldn’t get anything moving.

76. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan

Outback Bowl
South Carolina 26, Michigan 19

Michigan 1) had a month to try to tweak the red zone issues, couldn’t, and settled for four field goals to 2) be up 19-3 late in the third quarter, which shouldn’t have mattered because 3) Harbaugh’s defense was among the best in the country, which meant that all the offense had to do was not melt down. 4) Five turnovers later, the one Big Ten team that was supposed to win a bowl this season, didn’t. And now, it’s going to be a very, very grouchy offseason.

75. Sonny Dykes, SMU

DXL Frisco Bowl 

Louisiana Tech 51, SMU 10

To be fair, Dykes jumped into his new job with almost no preparation. But still – six turnovers? Even with the coaching instability and the new guy taking over, 294 yards for this offense – and a 42-10 halftime deficit – was among the uglier performances of the bowl season.

74. Mario Cristobal, Oregon

Las Vegas Bowl 

Boise State 38, Oregon 28

Pffffffffffft. That’s the air going out of the balloon after Cristobal was given the full-time head coaching gig. The players went to bat for him, QB Justin Herbert was healthy and … nothing. The offense couldn’t move the ball a lick until it was too late.

73. Bobby Petrino, Louisville

TaxSlayer Bowl

Mississippi State 31, Louisville 27

Petrino had Lamar Jackson. Mississippi State didn’t have a head coach, its star quarterback, or … Lamar Jackson. This was an inexcusable loss for Petrino and a team that should’ve won this on No. 8 alone.

72. Bill Clark, UAB

Bahamas Bowl 

Ohio 41, UAB 6

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Clark did a magical job this season getting the program up and rolling again, but it was a disaster against the Bobcats. Ohio might have been fired up and sharp, but 41-6 wasn’t okay. By the end of the season, the standards for UAB had changed.

71. Mark Richt, Miami

Orange Bowl
Wisconsin 34, Miami 24

The Hurricanes had the lead in a home game, and couldn’t do anything once they started getting steamrolled. All of a sudden, the Turnover Chain looked like a silly and ridiculous punchline, there weren’t any offensive answers, and worst of all, Richt lost his spit on the sidelines and should’ve been thrown out.

70. Clay Helton, USC

Cotton Bowl

Ohio State 24, USC 7

Helton’s defense actually did the job. But his team’s blocking scheme couldn’t handle anything Ohio State’s defensive front tried to do. It wasn’t just that USC lost to close out the season; it’s that it was such a total dud. There wasn’t anything happening in the second half for a team with enough talent to have made this competitive.

69. Gus Malzahn, Auburn

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
UCF 34, Auburn 27

It’s so, so, so hard to get a team that was one step away from being in the College Football Playoff to care about any other bowl. But even when the Tigers woke up and started to play, it didn’t matter. The double-digit favorite that beat Alabama lost to the Group of Fiver. Thanks, Gus. Now we all have to deal with the puffy-chested UCF fans.

68. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia

Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl 

Utah 30, West Virginia 14

It’s hard to blame Holgorsen for the loss considering he was without starting QB Will Grier and top RB Justin Crawford. But he and his coaches had several weeks to get ready for life without skill stars, and the offense couldn’t move the ball.

67. Terry Bowden, Akron

Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl  

Florida Atlantic 50, Akron 3

Bowden’s squad ran into a buzzsaw. The offense didn’t have any big ideas in a disastrous performance, and the defense didn’t have a prayer against the FAU ground game. Nothing worked.

66. Butch Davis, FIU

Bad Boy Mowers Gasparillia Bowl 

Temple 28, FIU 3

There will be better days. It’s not fair to say FIU was just happy to be here, but the team got outclassed – badly. The offense couldn’t move the ball, there were three turnovers. To manage just three points wasn’t okay.

65. Jedd Fisch, UCLA


Cactus Bowl 

Kansas State 35, UCLA 17

It was as if Fisch was trying too hard. Yeah, a few key fourth down plays worked, but the ones that didn’t turned out to be a killer. He didn’t have Josh Rosen to work with, and the run D was never going to be okay, but there weren’t any answers an ugly second half.

64. Barry Odom, Missouri


Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl 

Texas 33, Missouri 16

Texas was missing most of the best players in the secondary, and there was plenty of time to prepare, but when it came time to answer the question about whether or not the Mizzou bounceback only happened because of the lighter schedule … yup.

63. Rocky Long, San Diego State


Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
Army 42, San Diego State 35

Long had the run defense, he had the superstar back in Rashaad Penny, and he and his staff had the time off to prepare for the speed option of Army. The team tried, but it couldn’t do anything against the running game, and it couldn’t get control – ever.

62. Jay Hopson, Southern Miss

Walk-On’s Independence Bowl

Florida State 42, Southern Miss 13

There wasn’t much he could do. If Florida State cared, it was going to win this game easily. Florida State really, really cared. USM kept on fighting and never gave up, but it was outmanned.

61. Mike Bobo, Colorado State


New Mexico Bowl

Marshall 31, Colorado State 28

That’s two years in a row the Rams lost a bowl game they probably should’ve won. They won the turnover battle, and they didn’t make a whole slew of mistakes, but like last season against Idaho, the defense was a failure.

60. Blake Anderson, Arkansas State


Raycom Media Camellia Bowl

Middle Tennessee 35, Arkansas State 30

After a disappointing end fo the regular season, Anderson’s team came up with a nice offensive performance – it outgained MTSU by 110 yards – but three turnovers and a failed late comeback attempt meant a bowl loss.

59. Todd Graham, Arizona State


Hyundai Sun Bowl 

NC State 52, Arizona State 31

You can forgive Graham if the team didn’t exactly play all that well. This was one fo the weirder bowl coaching situations in a long, long time, and ASU at least gave a good effort.

58. John Bonamego, Central Michigan


Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Wyoming 37, Central Michigan 14

Is it Bonamego’s fault that the Chippewas turned it over eight times? The defense did a nice job, but turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. This was a pick ‘em game, and CMU gave up four picks.

57. Rod Carey, Northern Illinois

Quick Lane Bowl 

Duke 36, NIU 14

Once again, Northern Illinois was miserable in a bowl game. The offense couldn’t move the ball a lick, it was awful on third downs, and it was overwhelmed from the start. The Huskies proved this year they were better than they played.

56. Mike Sanford, WKU

AutoNation Cure Bowl

Georgia State 27, WKU 17

The Hilltopper passing game did what it was supposed to do, but it lost to an offensively challenged Georgia State team. WKU’s three turnovers, ten penalties, and no running game led to the upset.

55. Mike Norvell, Memphis


AutoZone Liberty Bowl

Iowa State 31, Memphis 20

That’s a second straight year when the Tigers cranked out a dud of a bowl performance. There wasn’t any running game, Anthony Miller struggled to get the ball, and the pedestrian Iowa State passing attack outplayed the MU offense.

54. Mike Leach, Washington State


San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl 

Michigan State 42, Washington State 17

Washington State was embarrassed in last year’s Holiday Bowl and lost to Washington with a thud. So was it going to come out hot against Michigan State? Nope. Granted, there was no Luke Falk, but the defense didn’t have any answers.

53. Rich Rodriguez, Arizona


Foster Farms Bowl
Purdue 38, Arizona 35

All things considered, with everything we now know, Arizona wasn’t all that bad. But with time to prepare and to get the team ready for a shootout, Purdue was better. In Rodriguez’s last game, offense good, defense bad. There’s the era.

52. Matt Wells, Utah State

NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl
New Mexico State 26, Utah State 20 OT

It was a good, tough game full of emotion. Wells’ defense was terrific against the pass first, pass often, pass always NMSU offense, but the USU attack couldn’t buy a first down.

51. Seth Littrell, North Texas


R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Troy 50, North Texas 30

North Texas lost to a better team. Littrell’s team could put up big numbers, but it didn’t have much of a defense all year – the Mean Green played like they were supposed to.

50. Steve Addazio, Boston College


New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Iowa 27, Boston College 20

Really, really disappointing, the BC defense did what it was supposed to do, the offense outgained Iowa by almost double, and everything was there to win, but … three turnovers. Addazio’s team did almost everything right.

49. David Shaw, Stanford


Valero Alamo Bowl 

TCU 39, Stanford 37

There’s no question that Shaw is one of the best coaches in the game, but he got outcoached by Gary Patterson in the second half. The Cardinal are set up to rely on the defense and the running game to put a game away, but up 21-3 in the first half, they couldn’t do it.

48. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa

New Era Pinstripe Bowl 

Iowa 27, Boston College 20

Somehow, Iowa won. It only gained 200 yards, it couldn’t move the ball a lick, and it was saved by three takeaways. Ferentz’s team – horrendous in recent bowl games – was horrendous again in a lost of ways. But it won.

47. Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech


Birmingham Bowl
USF 38, Texas Tech 34

There’s nothing to get into a twist over. The defense might have melted down late, but it was a fun firefight and Texas Tech came out on the wrong end. Kingsbury’s team lost, but it played hard.

46. Ed Oregon, LSU


Citrus Bowl

Notre Dame 21, LSU 17

Notre Dame came up with a terrific play to pull this off, but the offense and the ground game didn’t put the game away. LSU and it’s really, really expensive defensive coordinator, Dave Aranda, allowed 15 fourth quarter points – that’s going to stick in Orgeron’s craw all offseason.

45. Dabo Swinney, Clemson


Sugar Bowl

Alabama 24, Clemson 6

There wasn’t anything Swinney could’ve done. His top RB, Travis Etienne, got hurt, the offensive playmakers weren’t there for the passing game, and there wasn’t anything that was going to get past that Alabama defense on that day. The Clemson D played great, but no one will remember it.

44. Major Applewhite, Houston


Hawaii Bowl 

Fresno State 33, Houston 27

It was a great game that could’ve gone either way. The Cougar running game couldn’t get going, but the team played well and played hard throughout. It was a second straight bowl loss for Applewhite, but this was a “someone has to lose” bowl game.

43. Mark Stoops, Kentucky

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl 

Northwestern 24, Kentucky 23

Considering Stoops lost his star RB Benny Snell to a strange call, his team still played well enough to win – almost. Was it the right call to go for two late to try to win the game? Northwestern didn’t have starting quarterback Clayton Thorson – don’t you take your chances in overtime? It was a risk that backfired.

42. Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee


Raycom Media Camellia Bowl

Middle Tennessee 35, Arkansas State 30

The Blue Raiders were slight underdogs, they turned the ball over too much, they couldn’t stop the Arkansas State offense, and the committed too many penalties – and they won. Don’t ask how the sausage was made. It’s a bowl win for Stockstill.

41. Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech

Camping World Bowl 

Oklahoma State 30, Virginia Tech 21

There’s no reason to dog Fuente and the coaches or players – Virginia Tech lost to a better team. The Hokies didn’t have the weapons or the offensive talent to hang around with the Cowboys, but they did.

40. Chris Petersen, Washington


Fiesta Bowl

Penn State 35, Washington 28

Washington was badly outplayed, Jake Browning and the passing game struggled to get anything going, and the defense was getting hammered on several sides, and yet it was still close late. It was a bowl loss to a better team. Fine. The team kept fighting.

39. Jeff Banks, Texas A&M

Belk Bowl 

Wake Forest 55, Texas A&M 52

The Aggies lost their head coach, they were waiting for a new one, and they were playing out the string in a disappointing season. And what did they do? They put up one of the best offensive performances of the bowl season. The D was a dud, but this was all you could’ve asked for out of an interim head man.

38. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern


Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl 

Northwestern 24, Kentucky 23

Fitzgerald’s team managed to get out of a bowl game alive with a win despite the rough loss of QB Clayton Thorson – and with no passing attack to follow. However, the defense was playing well, and Fitzgerald almost blew it by going for it on 4th-and-1 on the NU 39 late, giving UK new life after coming up short.

37. Neal Brown, Troy


R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Troy 50, North Texas 30

The team came out red hot and rolling. The Trojans weren’t the most explosive of teams this year, but they ripped through the Mean Green. They were ready from the start.

36. Shawn Elliott, Georgia State

AutoNation Cure Bowl

Georgia State 27, WKU 17

It was an amazing job by Elliott just to get Georgia State to a bowl game, but to win it? Wow. The Panthers came up with a strong defensive effort as a six-point underdog. The D held WKU to -2 rushing yards.

35. Doc Holliday, Marshall


New Mexico Bowl

Marshall 31, Colorado State 28

Colorado State had the offense, and Marshall’s attack was supposed to be just okay. 501 Thundering Herd yards later, and Holliday’s team was more than ready to handle the shootout. The 11 penalties and two turnovers, though, kept the Rams in the game.

34. Craig Bohl, Wyoming


Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Wyoming 37, Central Michigan 14

This was supposed to be a dead even game. Getting back Josh Allen helped, but the defense put on a show with eight takeaways. The Cowboys were more than a little prepared – Central Michigan couldn’t do anything right.

33. Geoff Collins, Temple

Bad Boy Mowers Gasparillia Bowl 

Temple 28, FIU 3

Very, very nice. It took a while for the Owls to put it away, but Collins and his staff came up with a defensive gem. There were too many penalties, but to give up just one field goal was impressive.

32. David Cutcliffe, Duke


Quick Lane Bowl 

Duke 36, NIU 14

That wasn’t just any MAC team Duke faced – NIU beat Nebraska and should’ve beaten Boston College. The Blue Devils came out sharp, the defense shut down the NIU ground game cold, and once again, Cutcliffe showed off just how good he is.

31. Skip Holtz, Louisiana Tech


DXL Frisco Bowl 

Louisiana Tech 51, SMU 10

And, Louisiana Tech was the underdog, too. After a bit of a rocky season, Holtz’s team came up with a gem. The offense was fine, but it was the defense that got the job done, with six takeaways making this a brutal blowout from the start. The team was more than ready to roll.

30. Dave Clawson, Wake Forest


Belk Bowl 

Wake Forest 55, Texas A&M 52

Yeah, Texas A&M didn’t have its new or old head coach, and yeah, the Demon Deacon defense got ripped to shreds. But this is still Wake Forest, and it won a bowl game. The bar might be set higher now, but coming up with 646 yards of total offense and six touchdowns is still special.

29. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State


Camping World Bowl 

Oklahoma State 30, Virginia Tech 21

Sometimes, it’s hard for a team to play up to expectations. But the veteran offense full of talent did the job. It might not have been a high-powered day from the attack, but that was a real D OSU hung 30 on. Gundy’s team played like it needed to.

28. Frank Solich, Ohio


Bahamas Bowl 

Ohio 41, UAB 6

One of the few bright spots for the MAC, Ohio came out and made an immediate statement. After missing out on playing for the MAC title, the Bobcats were roaring from the start – the offense was brilliant.

27. Kyle Whittingham, Utah


Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl 

Utah 30, West Virginia 14

It’s Kyle Whittingham in a bowl game – he did what he was supposed to do. His defense made the West Virginia offense look – at times – like it didn’t know how to throw a forward pass, and his own O got the job done. His Pac-12 team won a bowl game. No one else’s did.

26. Jeff Tedford, Fresno State


Hawaii Bowl 

Fresno State 33, Houston 27

Tedford and his coaches were among the best in all of college football this year, and in a tight battle, the Bulldogs were able to come through late. They pulled out the win with a strong fourth quarter in a nip-and-tuck battle.

25. Jeff Brohm, Purdue


Foster Farms Bowl 

Purdue 38, Arizona 35

Fantastic, Purdue played like its fans have been hoping it would all season long. The defense struggled against the mighty Arizona ground game, but the Boilermaker passing attack made up for it. Purdue won a bowl game over a good team. Brohm’s great first season ended with a bang.

24. Bill Snyder, Kansas State


Cactus Bowl 

Kansas State 35, UCLA 17

UCLA didn’t have Josh Rosen, it didn’t have any run defense, and it was in a holding pattern before Chip Kelly took over. Snyder’s team played like it, running wild, playing a steady game, and dominating in the second half going on a 28-0 run.

23. Charlie Strong, USF


Birmingham Bowl
USF 38, Texas Tech 34

Fantastic, Strong chalked up a huge win for the American Athletic Conference. This was supposed to be a firefight, and it was. Strong and his staff – helped by a brilliant performance from Quinton Flowers – got the big fourth quarter for the win.

22. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame


Citrus Bowl

Notre Dame 21, LSU 17

His running game wasn’t working all that well, and the offense needed a spark. Give Kelly credit for putting in Ian Book when he did over a struggling Brandon Wimbush, and give the staff credit for coming up with a tough win over a solid SEC team. The D held Derrius Guice to under 100 yards.

21. Doug Martin, New Mexico State


NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl
New Mexico State 26, Utah State 20 OT

New Mexico State’s defense actually showed up a bit, but the passing attack sputtered and coughed all game long and … the Aggies got their first bowl win in about a bazillion years. The pressure on Martin to win this game was as big as it gets for one of the lower-tier bowls.

20. Dave Doeren, NC State


Hyundai Sun Bowl
NC State 52, Arizona State 31

It was a nearly perfect effort. The team got off to a hot start, and even without Bradley Chubb, the defense was outstanding until late. Doeren’s team had this thing on cruise control the whole way.

19. Matt Campbell, Iowa State


AutoZone Liberty Bowl

Iowa State 31, Memphis 20

Don’t dismiss this because a Power Five team beat a Group of Fiver. This was a home bowl for a Memphis team that pushed UCF to overtime, and Iowa State rolled in and closed down one of the nation’s best offenses. Campbell continued to show why he’s one of the rising superstars in coaching.

18. Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma


Rose Bowl
Georgia 54, Oklahoma 48 2OT

Yeah, Riley left Pasadena with a few potential Baker Mayfield overtime throws left in his pocket, but that’s nitpicking. It was an all-timer game that someone had to lose – Riley’s offense put up 531 yards and 48 points on a team that didn’t allow a thing for long stretches of time this season.

17. Odell Haggins, Florida State


Walk-On’s Independence Bowl
Florida State 42, Southern Miss 13

Terrific. Florida State didn’t have anything to play for, this was a disappointing season, and everything revolved around Willie Taggart taking over and Jimbo Fisher leaving. The team played really, really hard for Haggins.

16. James Franklin, Penn State


Fiesta Bowl

Penn State 35, Washington 28

The key? Get out to a hot start. If helped to have Saquon Barkley being Saquon Barkley – at least for one run – but Penn State was up 14-0 right away to set the tone. For good and for bad, Franklin tried to limit Barkley’s work, making it a bit of an uneven all-around game, but it was a big bowl win on a big stage.

15. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl 

Michigan State 42, Washington State 17

There’s the Michigan State we all know and love under Dantonio. Washington State didn’t have Luke Falk, but that didn’t have anything to do with the Spartan offensive performance that was balanced and brutally effective in the blowout.

14. Gary Patterson, TCU


Valero Alamo Bowl
TCU 39, Stanford 37

Never count out TCU in a bowl game. Even down 21-3, Patterson’s team kept on fighting. Just when it seemed like the Horned Frogs didn’t show up, they found an extra gear in all three phases.

13. Tom Herman, Texas


Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl
Texas 33, Missouri 16

Now that’s the Tom Herman Texas fans wanted. Without most of the stars in the secondary, and with other key parts sitting out, the Texas coaching staff still managed to come up with a gameplan that all but shut down the high-powered Mizzou offense.

12. Will Muschamp, South Carolina


Outback Bowl

South Carolina 26, Michigan 19

South Carolina could’ve packed it in. It didn’t have the playmakers, it was down, it was out, and it was going against one of the top defenses in the country. Muschamp didn’t even dial up the pressure – his D came up with the big plays, the team never quit, and USC had one of the best bowl comebacks of the season.

11. Lane Kiffin, Florida Atlantic

Boca Raton Bowl
Florida Atlantic 50, Akron 3

Kaboom. What more could you possibly want? Florida Atlantic came into the bowl season as the biggest bowl favorite, and it outproduced even the highest of expectations. The spotlight was on, and Kiffin’s team came through.

10. Kirby Smart, Georgia


Rose Bowl

Georgia 54, Oklahoma 48 2OT

That was some halftime adjustment. First, give credit to Smart for publicly blaming himself and the coaches for the problems in the first half – that’s how you win the players, always. Second, the attack mode worked. The subtle tweak slowed down the OU machine just enough.

9. Bryan Harsin, Boise State


Las Vegas Bowl
Boise State 38, Oregon 28

Absolutely brilliant, the Broncos came out roaring from the start. They overwhelmed Oregon’s offense and didn’t let it do a thing until late. Considering Boise State was a disaster in the 2016 bowl season, Harsin had his team humming.

8. Greg Knox, Mississippi State


TaxSlayer Bowl

Mississippi State 31, Louisville 27

Almost no team played well this bowl season in the midst of a coaching change, especially one with as much of an uphill climb as Mississippi State. Knox and his staff not only did a phenomenal job of getting Keytaon Thompson and the offense moving, but the defense did as well as possible against Lamar Jackson. This team played really, really hard.

7. Urban Meyer, Ohio State


Cotton Bowl
Ohio State 24, USC 7

There wasn’t anything to write home about offensively, but considering it would’ve been really, really easy for the Buckeyes to pout, be grouchy, and not care, they turned in a strong win over the Pac-12 champion. After what happened in last year’s Fiesta, Meyer needed this.

6. Paul Chryst, Wisconsin


Orange Bowl
Wisconsin 34, Miami 24

Slow and steady won the race. It looked like the Badgers were about to get their doors blown off, but nope. They kept on doing what they do, staying on an even keel the whole way. Give credit to Chryst for setting that tone – there’s never any panic on this team.

5. Jeff Monken, Army


Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
Army 42, San Diego State 35

46 minutes. Of course Army couldn’t stop Rashaad Penny. Of course the defense was going to have problems. But Monken and his staff had the option prepped and ready to deal with the the fantastic SDSU D. 440 rushing yards later, Army pulled it off.

4. Scott Frost, UCF


Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
UCF 34, Auburn 27

Complain if you must that he’s the Nebraska head coach now, but UCF doesn’t win if Frost doesn’t hang around for one more game. Complain if you must that Auburn didn’t care, or that some of the parts were missing. Whatever. Now UCF fans are complaining about the national title – because they must.

3. Nick Saban, Alabama

Sugar Bowl

Alabama 24, Clemson 6

The game preparation was peerless, the plan worked to near perfection, and it looked like the Alabama everyone was waiting for over the second half of the season. But Saban’s genius came in the motivation. Every hot button he seemed to push to get this team fired up and focused worked.

2. Scott Satterfield, Appalachian State


Dollar General Bowl
Appalachian State 34, Toledo 0

And remember, Appalachian State was more than a touchdown underdog. The Mountaineers were brilliant, stuffing one of the nation’s most dangerous offenses in a puzzling and ugly blowout. Satterfield and his staff did their homework.

1. Ken Niumatalolo, Navy


Military Bowl
Navy 49, Virginia 7

What else does the guy have to do to be seen as one of the elite head coaches in college football? Virginia was loaded with veterans who were fired up to be in a bowl game, and it didn’t do a thing after the opening kickoff. Niumatalolo’s team came up with a dominant performance.

More College Football News
Home