Ranking All 76 Head Coaches This 2018-2019 Bowl Season

Ranking All 76 Head Coaches This 2018-2019 Bowl Season

Bowls College Football Playoff

Ranking All 76 Head Coaches This 2018-2019 Bowl Season


40. David Shaw, Stanford

Hyundai Sun Bowl
Stanford 14, Pitt 13

Shaw’s team was awful. Couldn’t run, couldn’t throw, couldn’t convert on third downs – going 1-for-10 – and couldn’t force any turnovers. But somehow, the game was over, and Stanford won it. Don’t ask how, and don’t put this in a time capsule, but it was a bowl win.

39. Chris Creighton, Eastern Michigan

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl
Georgia Southern 23, Eastern Michigan 21

Creighton’s team outplayed Georgia Southern for most of the game, but it couldn’t come through in the final moments of the walk-off loss. He did make the right call of Mike Glass at quarterback, and the D did a fine job overall. It was a bad break that his D couldn’t come up with a fourth down stop.
5 Thoughts on the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl

38. Matt Campbell, Iowa State

Valero Alamo Bowl
Washington State 28, Iowa State 26

The defensive gameplan worked – the Cyclones held Washington State to 299 passing yards. However, the three turnovers, ten penalties, the failed late two-point conversion, and the inability to convert yards into enough points cost Campbell’s team the win. It had this, and couldn’t get it done.
5 Thoughts on the Alamo Bowl

37. Chad Lunsford, Georgia Southern

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl
Georgia Southern 23, Eastern Michigan 21

Yeah, Lunsford’s Eagles got the win, and the ground game ripped off well over 300 yards, but it took a slightly-miraculous play by QB Shai Werts, and a bomb of a field goal in the final seconds, to pull it off. Give the team and the coaching staff credit – it found a way.
5 Thoughts on the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl

36. Willie Fritz, Tulane

AutoNation Cure Bowl
Tulane 41, Louisiana 24

Fritz’s Green Wave got the win, but they had a hard time putting the game away. They got up big early, and the defense stuffed the Ragin’ Cajun O, but there was a whole lot of sweating until the final few minutes. Even with the drama, he brought the program a bowl win for the first time since 2002.
5 Thoughts on the AutoNation Cure Bowl

35. Dino Babers, Syracuse

Camping World Bowl
Syracuse 34, West Virginia 18

It took a fourth quarter surge to pull it off, but Babers’ team did it. Yeah, the Orange didn’t have to deal with Will Grier, and yeah, it wasn’t the smoothest of performances by his team, but the defense dominated in the second half and the O cranked up 17 unanswered points to get by. Even without Grier this was a dangerous Mountaineer team, and the Orange got it done.
5 Thoughts on the Camping World Bowl

34. Mario Cristobal, Oregon

Redbox Bowl
Oregon 7, Michigan State 6

Michigan State does that to almost everyone. Don’t get hung up on the 37 rushing yards. Don’t get weirded out by the seven points. Oregon won, it came up with the right plays at the right time, and is seemed to be the theme this bowl season, Cristobal’s team just found a way. In this case, a win is a win is a win, and now with this – along with the big recruiting class, Justin Herbert coming back, and Cristobal not going to Miami – Oregon is the hot program.
5 Thoughts on the Redbox Bowl

33. Kalani Sitake, BYU

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
BYU 49, Western Michigan 18

That’s exactly what the Cougars needed to close out the season – but it was a rough start to get there. Down at halftime, the BYU offense exploded and made it a laugher. How sharp was the offense? QB Zach Wilson hit all 18 of his passes in the blowout.
5 Thoughts on the Famous Idaho Bowl

32. Neal Brown, Troy

Dollar General Bowl
Troy 42, Buffalo 32

Before taking off for the West Virginia gig, Brown’s Trojans rallied with 21 fourth quarter points to pull away and beat Buffalo. The defense was brilliant against the UB ground game, the passing attack was great, and he left going 3-for-3 in bowl games over the last three seasons.
5 Thoughts on the Dollar General Bowl

31. Chris Petersen, Washington

Rose Bowl
Ohio State 28, Washington 23

Petersen’s guys almost pulled it off. It was a jacked up Ohio State team for Urban Meyer’s final game, and it was over. UW was down 28-3 in the fourth, and then the offense made it really, really scary late. It was another loss in a big bowl game for Petersen, but his team never quit, and it managed make the Buckeyes sweat.
5 Thoughts on the Rose Bowl

30. Nick Saban, Alabama

Orange Bowl & College Football Playoff National Championship
Alabama 45, Oklahoma 34 & Clemson 44, Alabama 16

His team figured out how to survive Kyler Murray and Oklahoma, but it took its foot off the gas a little too early in the Orange Bowl, and that was about it. The team never showed up in Santa Clara, getting badly and painfully outschemed and outcoached from the start. Saban and his staff get credit for what happened in Miami, but the miserable play calls and the horrendous fake field goal attempt made Alabama look desperate in the brutal blowout.
5 Thoughts on the CFP National Championship
5 Thoughts on the Orange Bowl

29. Urban Meyer, Ohio State

Rose Bowl
Ohio State 28, Washington 23

Ehhhhhhh, it was a fine last game. Not great, not amazing, but it was okay for a Meyer team that had way too much firepower and talent for this to be so close. The gameplan was terrific, but to give up 20 points in the fourth quarter in a near-collapse was a bit of a showcase for just how inconsistent the ultra-talented team was. But … 13-1 and the Rose Bowl champs. That’s a dream year for most programs, but for Meyer, it gets thrown on the pile.
5 Thoughts on the Rose Bowl

28. Josh Heupel, UCF

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
LSU 40, UCF 32

UCF fans don’t want to hear it, but even with a depleted defense, LSU was the far, far better and more talented team. Even so, and even after the game appeared to be over as the Tigers kept on rolling, the Knights made it scary-interesting late. No, you can’t win every game. But you can hold your own, and Heupel’s team did that.
5 Thoughts on the Fiesta Bowl

27. Mike Leach, Washington State

Valero Alamo Bowl
Washington State 28, Iowa State 26

This was a very good, very sound, very well-coached team that Washington State was able to get past. It might have been scary late, but the Cougars managed to get the win without the passing game going ballistic. After the way Wazzu failed to show up for bowls over the last few years, it was a good performance by Leach’s program.
5 Thoughts on the Alamo Bowl

26. Bill Clark, UAB

Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl
UAB 37, Northern Illinois 13

After getting destroyed by Ohio in last year’s Bahamas Bowl, Clark got his team rolling right out of the gate with an explosive performance. The Blazers took over the game on the first play and never let it go, putting the game away by halftime.
5 Thoughts on the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl

25. Dave Clawson, Wake Forest

Birmingham Bowl
Wake Forest 37, Memphis 34

Clawson’s team held up in the shootout, and now he’s 3-0 in bowls for his third straight winning season. QB Jamie Newman and the offense saved the day with a late drive – the team remained calm, needing a touchdown drive with just 1:15 to play.
5 Thoughts on the Jared Birmingham Bowl

24. Matt Rhule, Baylor

Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl
Baylor 45, Vanderbilt 38

Rhule’s team kept on coming. The defense got ripped apart, but when it had to come up with a big stop – allowing just three points in the final ten minutes – it survived. The offense was unstoppable, QB Charlie Brewer was amazing, and the Bears got out alive – and they’re keeping their guy. Baylor won again when Rhule didn’t get the New York Jet head coaching job.
5 Thoughts on the Texas Bowl

23. Doc Holliday, Marshall

Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
Marshall 38, USF 20

The reputation grows. Marshall might not be dominating the Conference USA world – the last title was in 2014 – but Holliday owns bowl games. Not only is he now 6-0 in bowls, but he did it with a blowout win over a USF team on its home field. The Herd were great from the start, getting up 28-7 in the breather.
5 Thoughts on the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl

22. Mark Stoops, Kentucky

VRBO Citrus Bowl
Kentucky 27, Penn State 24

It was never pretty this season, but the formula worked. Stoops got a huge day out of Benny Snell and the running game that took control early, and got a great defensive performance – for three quarters. The Cats had to hang on for dear life, but when they had to go on a four minute drive to win the game, they did.
5 Thoughts on the Citrus Bowl

21. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl
Northwestern 31, Utah 20

Utah doesn’t lose bowl games under Kyle Whittingham, but Fitzgerald’s team pulled out the discount table Rose Bowl matchup of Big Ten-Pac-12 title game losers. It looked like it was going to be all Utes after a 20-3 halftime lead, but the NU D shut out Utah in the second half, the O came up with 28 fourth quarter points, and the great season ended on an affirming high note.
5 Thoughts on the Holiday Bowl

NEXT: Bowl Coach Ranking No. 6 to 20


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