The Most Overrated Coaches

(Note: This list does NOT mean these coaches all suck…for the most part)

1.  Steve Spurrier, South Carolina–Clearly, Spurrier is past his prime.  His offense hasn’t worked well in almost a decade and the South Carolina program is stuck in neutral.  Still that doesn’t prevent the media from fawning over him every year.  If I hear the term ‘ol’ ball coach’ one more time…

2. Jim Tressel, Ohio State–Is any coach more stubborn about his system and way of doing things?  Sure, he is successful to a point, but he gets a ton of talent every year and lately has found a way to get pummeled in the big games.  It’s almost as if he is satisfied to lose, as long as it is his way.

3.  Les Miles, LSU–He recruits well and his roster is always stocked with future NFL players, but he generally makes some baffling decisions as a game coach and with regards to personnel.  His teams seem to be woefully unprepared at times.

4.  Joe Paterno, Penn State–He wouldn’t be here except for the fact that HE’S NOT REALLY COACHING THE TEAM ANYMORE.  Great career, great program builder, but Tom Bradley basically runs this team now.

5. Lane Kiffin, Tennessee–Okay, he hasn’t coached game yet.  But the fact that he got hired is confounding and clearly the result of some unfounded hype proferred on his behalf.

6. Mark Richt, Georgia–Nice man.  Program is very good.  But will he ever win big when he’s supposed to (like 2008)? 

7. Jeff Tedford, Cal–Looked like a genius early in his career at Cal.  But he hasn’t gotten his program over the hump, which leads one to point out that early in his career he inherited Kyle Boller and then stumbled upon Aaron Rodgers.   The great QB developer hasn’t developed a good one since and has even bungled his QB situation at times. 

8. Bobby Bowden, FSU–Yeah, the cat’s been out of the bag for some time on this one.  But he still garners accolades here and there based almost entirely on what he did 15 years ago.  What other coach gives interviews during BCS title games?

9. Dennis Erickson, ASU–Was a time when he was one of the best around, if not THE best.  But he’s another coach working past his prime, though he still is considered an elite head man by some.  I think the magic is gone and he won’t be long for Tempe.

10.  Mike Stoops, Arizona–This is the coach who is always predicted to have a breakout season and then it never happens.  Last year’s Arizona team had about as good a set-up as possible for Stoops and he still went 8-5!

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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73 Responses to The Most Overrated Coaches

  1. MDC June 4, 2009 at 1:38 am #

    -A lot of National Championships on this “overrated” list. Les Miles should not be on this list. He has too good of winning percentage to be considered overrated. Miles has won all of his bowl games, and has won a National Championship. I think Miles is a great recruiter and an underrated on field coach.

    -Charlie Weis is by far the most overrated coach in America. He is 29-21. He has never had a big win in his carer! His best win came in 2005, against #3 Michigan. Michigan finished the year 7-5. That same year ND lost a close game to USC. Who gets a huge extension for almost beating a great team?

    -How can Kiffin be on this list? You have to be rated first, then be deemed overrated. Kiffin is just a loud mouth child living in a man’s world.

    -For the person who said Nick Saban should be on this list. Really? Saban took over 3 programs that were in the crapper, and won. He built a national powerhouse at LSU, and he is doing the same thing at Alabama. Alabama’s program was in awful shape when he took the job in 2007. Saban went to the Sugar Bowl with one of the youngest teams in the nation. He is the best recruiter in college football. Saban has given Alabama back to back number one recruiting classes.

  2. john June 4, 2009 at 2:29 am #

    This writer is an idiot…..

  3. Justin June 4, 2009 at 5:15 am #

    What a crock of sh!t. Most moronic thing I’ve read in a LONG time.

  4. Dan Tracy June 4, 2009 at 8:04 am #

    Tressel? Really? He wins the big Ten every year- has completely dominated his rivals. No real bad losses in like 4 years- but have been outplayed and outcoached in NC and BCS games… I mean- that is a flaw- but what about the hundreds of coaches that don’t win conference titles and go to the BCS every year?

  5. Justin June 4, 2009 at 8:09 am #

    Sites like this are proof positive that you should be required to post a warning like on cigarettes packs:

    “Warning! The surgeon general has determined that reading this tripe will make you stupid.”

  6. Michael Strasser June 4, 2009 at 8:58 am #

    “Miles’ only title was with a two loss team that had to be bumped from No. 7 to No. 2 in the final poll. Without that gift, he’s a coach who doesn’t do a whole lot with a ton of talent.”
    Sorry, but I have to disagree, on several points. First of all, with the new 12-game schedule and more conference championship games, get ready for more 2-loss teams in Nat. Championship games. As to the second sentence quoted, Miles has lost a total of 2 games per year (before last season) playing in the toughest conference in the country and has won every bowl game he’s coached at LSU. Seems to me that’s doing a LOT with the talent he has. Last year’s problems can be directly attributed to uncertainty at the QB spot (Thanks, Ryan Perilloux!) and bad coaching on the defensive side. (There is talk that Miles was prevented from hiring a big-time coordinator when Pelini left by the bean counters and was forced to promote from within. Whatever the truth, Miles certainly recognized and addressed the problem. That’s a sign of good leadership, in my opinion.) Those kinds of blips can happen to anyone. A big test will be how the team comes back this year. Oh, and don’t blame Miles for the overblown hype surrounding the Michigan situation. Just ’cause you’re mad at the pundits, don’t take it out on the subject of their breathless speculation.

  7. Donald Calvert June 4, 2009 at 9:57 am #

    ROFLMAO at what I’m reading right now…”Share Your Wisdom.”… You would’nt know what wisdom is if it came up and bit you on the ass. To put coaches the caliber of Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden on this list shows you dont have 1 ounce of wisdom, only ignorence. I dont know were you get you imformation from, nor do I care, but your statement about Paterno not really coaching anymore should have nothing to do with the quality of coach he is, nor does it matter whether Bobby Bowden can still coach as well now as he has during his career, the reason they should NOT be on this list is their body of work over the years. They will go down in college football history as two of the geatest coaches ever, and to put them on this list is totally wrong and an insult to the intelligance of college football fans everwhere.

  8. Baylor June 4, 2009 at 10:28 am #

    Man, how stupid can you be.

    YOu have a coach on the list that isn’t even coaching anymore!! Summer getting you down??

    What about the guy at Iowa? at Notre Dame?

    Get a life

  9. Anonymous June 4, 2009 at 1:25 pm #

    Kirk Ferentz

  10. Bob M. June 4, 2009 at 5:56 pm #

    A) Been on your site about 5 minutes and smell a Gator bias – am I correct? Let me know

    B) Writing tip = phrase “ton of talent” used twice in 3 subsequent sentences.

  11. Heismanpundit June 4, 2009 at 6:42 pm #

    No Gator bias here. What gave you that idea, because I think Jeff Demps is fast?

    As for the writing tip, thanks. Sometimes you crank things out and need another set of eyes to catch stuff like that. Duly corrected.

  12. Anonymous June 5, 2009 at 6:14 am #


    “People forget that his championship team had 2 losses”. people forget that he beat 4 top 15 teams. tell me how many times a team has done this.

    “Georgia was probably more deserving of the title shot.” georgia didn’t even win their DIVISION, much less the conference, much less the ccg.

    “Les also won with Saban’s players”. dumbest argument ever. ’07 was THREE SEASONS after saban left. besides, miles is doing better with them than saban did with his earlier players.

    “last year was the first time that most of the LSU players on the roster were recruited by Miles and his staff and they had a losing SEC record.” again, lsu’s problem last season was defense. the offense ended up in the upper half of the sec. the word is that there was a problem with miles getting the d-co he wanted. now, he’s got a good one who is proven in the sec.

    “LSU was garbage prior to his arrival.” you must have started watching college football in the ’90’s, the worst decade of lsu football ever. lsu was in the top 15 all time wins BEFORE saban ever stepped on to campus. go to college football data warehouse and look at wins by quarter century and wins by decade. you’ll get educated on how good lsu was prior to st. nick.

  13. Anonymous June 5, 2009 at 6:22 am #


    “Yes, he won a national title, but so did Phil Fulmer and Lloyd Carr at their powerhouse schools.” please tell me you can see the difference between the state of lsu at this time and tenn/mich. both fulmer and carr won IN ANOTHER DECADE. lsu is still recruiting like wildfire and now has two of the most respectable coordinators in all of college football. the offense was still above average last season despite losing the starting qb and unless chavis has had a complete lobotomy, it’s highly unlikely that he will let the defense be as bad as last season.

    “Miles’ only title was with a two loss team that had to be bumped from No. 7 to No. 2 in the final poll. Without that gift, he’s a coach who doesn’t do a whole lot with a ton of talent.” gift?? beating 4 top 15 teams is a gift? look, the numbers were crunched and lsu was more deserving based on their body of work. it was objective. your assesment is subjective. plus the actual game vindicated lsu. miles doesn’t do alot?? you must have missed the post earlier that listed all of his accomplishments. he’s at the top of college football in almost every category while coaching in the toughest conference. name the coaches who have done more. i guarantee, it’s a short list and includes coaches who aren’t in the sec.

  14. Anonymous June 5, 2009 at 2:41 pm #

    all great coaches on this list. look to notre dame and michigan for over-rateds.

  15. Tyler June 5, 2009 at 3:08 pm #

    Horrible list by a horrible website.

  16. HP's "Most overrated list" June 7, 2009 at 1:18 pm #

    You can’t be serious? Do you really watch college football? Or seen a quarter? I think u should stick with figure skating or horse racing, guy.

  17. Mattyice31 June 7, 2009 at 8:51 pm #

    Anyone that mentions Pete Carroll is a fool, he gets everyones best shot… underrated teams foam a the mouth to pull off the upset against USC. He and Urban Meyer are indisputably the best coaches in College Football today… Mack Brown and Bob Stoops are not far off those two though.

  18. Mattyice31 June 7, 2009 at 9:00 pm #

    Attention Mark Richt lovers… dont lose to Paul Johnson’s rebuilding Yellow Jackets when you are the team to beat before the season. Seriously, losing to your two rivals in the same year is pretty sorry for that program. GT pulled off the upset and the Gators virtually ran the Bulldogs out of town with that shitshow.


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