In addition to having a top QB, it is also necessary to have a quality coach on your sidelines as well if you want to win championships. A while back, I ranked all of the coaches at the request of an ongoing coaching poll using the requstors weighted average of: recruiting, player development, gameday coaching, program control (ACC Results). Here is my ranking of coaches (with 2 yrs exp) based on my criteria in no particular order.
- overall record (vs ACC and non-conference)
- what you have done over last 3 seasons (what have you done for me lately?)
- what do you have to work with (are you State U with 40,000 students and a traditional power or a small private school or who prefers basketball?)
- how well can you recruit (can you get the cream of the crop on campus?)
- where your recruiting rankings are vs on the field results (are you taking no names to championships?)
- to be ranked a coach has to be a HC at least two season in the conference
- Randy Shannon, Paul Johnson, David Cutcliffe, and Jeff Jagodzinski are not ranked because of this - just not enough on the ACC resume to get a true ranking
Grobe is tops of my list for several reasons. He led Wake Forest to an ACC title just two years ago with a freshman QB and 3rd string tailback converted from WR. Grobe has elevated Wake Forest to play with the "big boys of college football" despite being the 3rd (edit) smallest Division I-A school. Despite being ranked near the bottom of the ACC every season in the February recruiting rankings, Wake Forest is likely head to their third straight (edit) winning season which would be a first in school history.
2. Frank Beamer - Virginia Tech
Beamer takes my second spot and before Hokie fans get riled up, think about the advantages Virginia Tech has over Wake Forest for football - enrollment, differing majors, tradition, recruiting area. With all that being said, Beamer is certainly no slouch at number two with 2 championship game appearances and 1 ACC Championship in the last three years. Beamer consistently brings in top 25 recruiting classes and has them ranked in the top 25 on the field the following fall.
3. Bobby Bowden - Florida State
Bobby's career is coming to a close at FSU and while the Seminoles have slipped on the gridiron, you can't ignore his accomplishments over the years at FSU. Bowden also has an ACC title in the last 3 years and can still bring in top 10 talent. FSU is in prime recruiting territory and needs to develop more of that talent to get back on top.
4. Butch Davis - North Carolina
Butch Davis is the first on our rankings to appear having come mostly from another ACC school - Miami. While at Miami, Davis restored the proud Hurricane tradition leading them to within a game of the national title in 2000. Davis put numerous players in the NFL recruiting from the rich South Florida area. At UNC, Davis will look to improve on his first year where the Heels suffered 6 losses by a TD or less.
5. Tom O'Brien - NC State
O'Brien had a rough 1st half of the year but ripped off four in a row before losing to Wake and Maryland down the stretch. The longtime BC head coach started a bowl winning streak in Chesnut Hill that still stands and is the longest active streak in FBS. Known for his no nonsense approach, O'Brien has been able to develop marginal talent into bowl teams over the years.
6. Tommy Bowden - Clemson
Bowden is one of most successful coaches in Clemson history, but the younger Bowden has yet been able to turn that success into an ACC title or even a championship game appearance. Tommy has certainly raised the recruiting level at Clemson to new heights, but the Clemson faithful are getting frustrated the talent hasn't lived up to its billing most years.
7. Ralph Friedgen - Maryland
The Fridge blew the doors off in College Park his first two years, but has slipped into mediocrity in the last several years. Known as an offensive guru, Friedgen has yet to develop a top QB talent like he did at Georgia Tech. Ralph has been able to bring in some talent to Maryland, but largely the Terps are middle of the pack in recruiting and on the field.
8. Al Groh - Virginia
Groh had his best season in years last year and some of his most talented players are no longer on the team (some voluntary, some not). Despite all the NFL talent Virginia has put into the NFL the last several years, Virginia has wallowed in mediocrity most of those.
Tomorrow, SEC Coaches Ranking