You know it's the offseason when...
CBS Sports is back with its annual offseason cannon fodder, and they're once again ranking the best P5 coaches in college football. Penn State's head boss James Franklin checks in at No. 11 on the 2019 iteration of this list, the top coach in the Big Ten.
Congratulations, James Franklin. Now that Meyer is gone, you are the highest-ranked coach in the Big Ten. Franklin drops a spot out of the top 10 in this year's rankings, but it's likely due more to other coaches moving up than anything Franklin did. Yes, the Lions took a small step back to 9-4 after winning 22 games between 2016 and 2017 but most expected them to. 2018 rank: 10 (-1)
Last year, Franklin rocketed up eight spots to 10 following back-to-back NY6 bowl appearances and 11-win seasons. 2018 saw the Nittany Lions sag a bit as they tried to rebound from losing some of the best playmakers in program history. Still, Franklin's 31 wins over the last three seasons, coupled with multiple highly ranked recruiting classes clearly support his standing in the grand scheme of college football.
As with any list like this where subjectivity reigns, there are bound to be some weird results. How is Chip Kelly still in the top 15? Pat Fitzgerald is a good coach, but 16th in the country? Anywho, here's the top 10, the Big Ten, and others of note.
Top 10 and beyond (change from 2018):
- 1 - Nick Saban - Alabama (E)
- 2 - Dabo Swinney - Clemson (+1)
- 3 - Chris Petersen - Washington (+2)
- 4 - Lincoln Riley - Oklahoma (+11)
- 5 - Jimbo Fisher - Texas A&M (-1)
- 6 - Kirby Smart - Georgia (+2)
- 7 - Brian Kelly - Notre Dame (+20)
- 8 - Gary Patterson - TCU (-2)
- 9 - David Shaw - Stanford (-2)
- 10 - Dan Mullen - Florida (+3)
- 11 - James Franklin - Penn State (-1)
- 13 - Mark Dantonio - Michigan State (+3)
- 15 - Jim Harbaugh - Michigan (+3)
- 16 - Pat Fitzgerald - Northwestern (+4)
- 22 - Kirk Ferentz - Iowa (+1)
- 23 - Paul Chryst - Wisconsin (-4)
- 25 - Scott Frost - Nebraska (-4)
- 28 - Jeff Brohm - Purdue (+5)
- 44 - P.J. Fleck - Minnesota (-3)
- 45 - Ryan Day - Ohio State (n/a)
- 46 - Pat Narduzzi - Pittsburgh (+5)
- 48 - Joe Moorhead - Mississippi State (+10)
- 60 - Lovie Smith - Illinois (-1)
- 61 - Tom Allen - Indiana (E)
- 62 - Mike Locksley - Maryland (n/a)
- 65 - Chris Ash - Rutgers (-5)