For Pete's Sake

Bill Snyder is fifth in Athlon’s ranking of college football coaches, but No. 2 in the Big 12

Kansas State head football coach Bill Snyder.
Kansas State head football coach Bill Snyder. The Associated Press

College football won’t kick off for another couple of months, so it’s as good a time as any to talk about which coaches are the best.

Athlon Sports ranked all 128 Divison I coaches, and here’s a sampling of the criteria:

“Our rankings also take into account a blank slate. If you start a program from scratch, which coach would you hire knowing what they accomplished so far and their career trajectory? Remember, you don't get the assistants — only the head coach. And head-to-head wins do not matter for this ranking.”

The top two coaches are from schools in the SEC and Big Ten, and I’m guessing you could probably name them.

But No. 3 is Art Briles of Baylor.

Says Athlon: “The Bears are 22-4 over the last two seasons and have three double-digit victory totals in three out of the last four years. Prior to taking over at Baylor, Briles went 34-28 at Houston. Briles is a Texas coaching lifer and has changed this program from one of the bottom teams in the Big 12 into a conference championship contender.”

Kansas State’s Bill Snyder is fifth. Here is part of what was written about Snyder: “Regardless of how much talent or key personnel Kansas State loses, the Wildcats are always a threat to win the conference championship and finish among the top 25 teams in the nation. Developing and finding talent in the junior college ranks is one of Snyder’s biggest strengths. Kansas State doesn’t recruit at a high level, so it’s important to develop talent and find ways to win games with less.”

TCU’s Gary Patterson is ranked seventh, followed by Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops at No. 8.

Missouri’s Gary Pinkel is ranked 17th.

“Despite a national recruiting rank of 39th nationally over the last five years, the Tigers won the SEC East in back-to-back years and will begin 2015 as one of the favorites in the division once again,” Athlon wrote. “That’s a huge credit to Pinkel and his staff’s ability to find and develop talent every year.”

David Beaty, the Kansas coach, was ranked 118th, last among Big 12 coaches, but that is to be expected.

“Beaty retained last year’s interim coach Clint Bowen but isn’t inheriting much to work with going into 2015 and just getting to three or four wins would be a good year for the Jayhawks,” wrote Athlon. “With a lack of head coaching experience and only two years as a coordinator on the collegiate level, Beaty is still largely an unknown.”

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to Follow him on Twitter: @pgrathoff.