So here’s a question that will be batted around each and every college basketball season — from this winter to when the NCAA Tournament features 256 teams in the year 2065.
What is the best college head-coaching job in the country — and more relevant in this part of the country, where does the Kansas job rank?
CBS Sports set out to answer that question in its summer Candid Coaches series, and the answer is at once predictable and interesting. Kansas, according to an anonymous survey of college basketball coaches, is rated as the fourth-best job in the country, behind the top three of Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina, in that order.
“Great tradition. Great fans. Coolest facility in the sport,” one anonymous coach told CBSSports.com, speaking of the KU job. “The only question is whether it’s a great job because it’s a great job, or because they’ve always had great coaches. It’s been 30 years since Kansas didn’t have a Hall of Fame coach.”
OK, there’s some circular logic at play there. But anyway, the results don’t include percentages, so we don’t know exactly how far Kansas was behind those schools. But the KU job ranked ahead of Texas, UCLA, Arizona, Indiana, Stanford, Gonzaga, Louisville and Florida, among other schools receiving votes.
There is no defined criteria on what makes a great job, of course, which is how programs like Gonzaga or Stanford can end up on the list. Sometimes the best jobs, coaches say, are places like Texas, where the resources and money resemble a blue-blood program but the expectations are slightly less daunting.
Of course, if you’re a Kansas fan, the more pertinent question might actually be about where the Kansas job ranks in all of basketball — not just among its college peers. Kansas coach Bill Self won’t be leaving for Kentucky, North Carolina or Duke anytime soon, but he could someday be tempted by the allure of the NBA.
Self likes to say he has a top-15 job in all of basketball — the thinking being, in part, that if you’re not in one of the 10 best jobs in the NBA, you’re better off at a place like Kansas. There’s stability. The money is just as good or close. The resources and facilities rival many pro outfits.
So yeah, that’s one opinion at least.