If you haven't gotten a chance, I urge you to check out Andy Staples piece in Sports Illustrated this week chronicling Rich Rodriguez's first 48 hours on the job at Arizona.
(A quick aside, I think the Rich Rod hire is a great one for Arizona. The guy didn't forget how to coach football at Michigan. But he did have a lot of forces working against him in Ann Arbor that never allowed him to create a sense of team and unity.)
But back to Staples' piece...evidently Arizona AD Greg Byrne spoke to Urban Meyer about the Wildcats job. Although Meyer was not interested in the job, he did give a recommendation for Rodriguez whom Meyer called "one of the top five offensive minds in college football".
This got me thinking...who would be the other four in Meyer's top five?
In no particular order this is who I think would be in Meyer's top five.
Kelly has the Ducks in line for their third straight BCS bowl in three seasons as a head coach. Oregon ranks 5th nationally in yards per play this season at just over seven yards a snap and 6th in total yards per game. Kelly's scheme is very similar to Meyer's with the hurry up offense thrown into the mix.
The current West Virginia coach has had a non-ideal first year as a head coach but he built his offense at Houston and Oklahoma State who both rank in the top 5 nationally in total offense running his system and was also an assistant under Mike Leach. It is just a matter of time before he has WVU there.
Some people may not like his offense, but that fact is he moves the ball down the field consistently with less talented players than many teams have. Georgia Tech ranked 6th in yards per play this season and their ball control offense is the only thing that kept them down in total yards and points. Also, Meyer consulted with Johnson early on in his head coaching career to discuss blocking schemes and implemented many of them.
The Hogs are just (just?) 14th in yards per play this season, but were 4th last season at 7.1 yards per play. As much as he disliked for his personality he is respected for his offense and QB development. Petrino is about the closest thing today to Steve Spurrier in the 90s at Florida.
I would have had Mike Leach on this list (instead of Petrino), but when the discussion with Meyer took place Leach was out of coaching.
Who is on your list for the top offensive minds in college football?