Yesterday we dropped our 2019 power rankings on the Hourglass for the upcoming football season and you can read about those right here.
Now it’s time to get to things like coaching, quarterback play and individual teams. Our final rankings and College Football Playoff will come Monday April 15th.
Here at the Hourglass, we use a three-year metric to evaluate and rank head coaches in college football, and regardless of what happens on a staff, that coach is ranked based on the team’s overall performance.
A head football coach is like a CEO of a business, as they control the hiring, firing and daily process of the program. Yes, coordinators make a huge difference or can break a team, but the decision to bring those coaches in or promote falls squarely on the shoulders of the head guy.
We use a three-year number to rank coaches and if they are new coaches, we have designated values we assign those coaches, depending on if they are offensive or defensive coordinators prior to taking the job.
Coaching numbers can change from year to year and this year we will use the value of 5.5 as the average coaching rank in college football in the Power Five. For the Group of Five, that number is 2.2.
Anything above that, you are an above average coach and below, you are well – below average.
Average coaches in 2019 are guys like Kyle Wittingham at Utah, Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern and even Les Miles at Kansas as we adjust his numbers coming back into football.
The elites of coaching shouldn’t surprise anyone as names like Saban, Swinney, Smart, Riley and others are at the tops of the chart.
But others could be in trouble in 2019 like names like Malzahn, or Helton.
Regardless of what happens in 2019, it doesn’t look like a year that will bring a massive overhaul in college football at the years end on coaching.
Gus Malzahn is an intriguing commodity in 2019 as he is our 15th best head coach in the country at Auburn. But – after a sub-par 2018 and living in the same state as Nick Saban, Malzahn needs a good year to quiet the doubters on the Plains.
Clay Helton at USC has dropped drastically over the last three years in our rankings – coming in as the 34th best head coach in the country. USC missed a bowl game in 2018, but continue to recruit in the top ten nationally. That alone, combined with the name and brand of USC has Helton clearly on the chopping blocks in 2019 if they do not have a big year.
One big question on everyone’s minds though is can Dabo Swinney overthrow Nick Saban? On our scale, Saban is two points ahead of Dabo coming into the year, which is basically even. Swinney has defeated Saban two of the last three years in the National Championship and another one would push Swinney above Saban as the new king of college football.