Independent Preseason Head Coach Rankings: Preview 2019

Independent Preseason Head Coach Rankings: Preview 2019


Independent Preseason Head Coach Rankings: Preview 2019


Going into the 2019 season, how do the Independent coaches stack up? Here’s the preseason ranking of all the head men. 

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CFN Preview 2019: All 130 Team Previews

Who do you want as your head coach for right now, and how good are the all the current Independent coaches?

Record and resumés aren’t necessarily everything, but of course they matter. Where are each of the teams going, which guys have the buzz, and which ones need to prove themselves a bit more?

These aren’t Hot Seat Rankings – those are coming later. These are the rankings based loosely on what the head coaches have done, and mostly about what they’re about to do.

Think of it this way. If you were to hold a head coaching draft …

6. Walt Bell, UMass

It’s not like the Florida State or Maryland offenses rocked and rolled over the last few seasons, but Bell – a former offensive coordinator at both places – is still a hot young star who’ll get the shot to make the UMass program his. Unfortunately, sort of like his issue at FSU, he’s walking into a rebuilding situation. At just 35, he’ll get plenty of time to show what he can do.

Last Season Preseason Ranking: Not Ranked
2019 UMass Preview

5. Doug Martin, New Mexico State

The guy keeps on fighting the good fight. New Mexico State is one of the toughest places to coach, but he was able to lead the way to a 7-6 season and a bowl win two years ago … and then it was back to the 3-9 world. He’s had just that one winning season in 13 years of coaching, but he can get an offense going, and again, he has a bowl win at New Mexico State.

Last Season Preseason Ranking: 6
2019 New Mexico State Preview

4. Kalani Sitake, BYU

He was able to survive the 4-9 season with wins over Wisconsin, Arizona, and in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, but going 7-6 isn’t okay at BYU, and losing to Utah  and Utah State really isn’t okay. The 20-19 run in three seasons needs to see a big boost in a big hurry, but to be fair, he’s had to deal with an absolute killer of a schedule so far – at least for long stretches. It would help if the O could start to pick things up to match the D – it’s BYU, after all.

Last Season Preseason Ranking: 4
2019 BYU Preview

3. Hugh Freeze, Liberty

Okay, so he was naughty, and Ole Miss is just getting out from under the issues of its past regime, but he’s also a terrific head football coach – at least on the field – winning 39 games and three bowl games in five seasons in Oxford. Before that, he won a Sun Belt title in his one season at Arkansas State, and before that, he turned Lambuth into an NAIA star. Past and all, he was a great get for Liberty.

Last Season Preseason Ranking: Not Ranked
2019 Liberty Preview

2. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame

The guy got Notre Dame to the College Football Playoff and a BCS Championship within the last seven years. Granted, he didn’t win either one, and yeah, it seems like the Irish are still miles away from actually taking home a national title, but winning ten games or more in three of the last four years is good no matter what.

It’s Notre Dame, though, and it hasn’t won a national title since 1988. It’s hard to argue with the recent success, but to go Mr. Burns here, Irish fans would trade it all for a little bit more.

Last Season Preseason Ranking: 2
2019 Notre Dame Preview

1. Jeff Monken, Army

You want bowl wins? How about three in a row. You want national relevance? How about pushing Oklahoma to the brink and winning 21 games over the last two seasons and 29 over the last three. You want wins over Navy? How about three in a row. You want wins over Air Force? How about two in a row.

It took a few seasons to get going, but the systems are in place, the consistency is there, and now there’s an attitude around Army football with the best three-year run since going 27-0-1 from 1944 to 1946. And with a good team returning, expect it to all keep going.

Last Season Preseason Ranking: 1
2019 Army Preview

CFN Preview 2019: All 130 Team Previews


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