The 2009 college football season starts in early September and you can bet that the college coaches all want to win and win big. But beyond winning, coaches often want prestige and recognition as the best coach in college football. Here is an early college football coach of the year candidates list.
College football coaches are a rare breed. Even more rare is the college football coach who succeeds and wins on a regular basis. Beyond that are the coaches who achieve unexpected success.
1. Pete Carroll, USC Trojans
It is hard to imagine Pete Carroll and the USC Trojans ever being underdogs, but Coach Carroll and USC have been out of the national championship the last four years, which is a rather long drought for them. If the Trojans can go undefeated in 2009, Pete Carroll could be voted Coach of the Year for 2009.
2. Urban Meyer, Florida Gators
Coach Urban Meyer of the Florida gators is certainly the most successful college football coach of the last three years. With national championships in 2006 and 2008, Coach Meyer will win the Coach of the Year honor if the Gators have another brilliant season.
3. William Mack Brown, Texas Longhorns
The Longhorns had an excellent season in 2008 and made it all the way to the Fiesta Bowl which they won 24-21 over Ohio State. Their one loss to Texas tech prevented them from going to the national championship. They should regroup in 2009 and if Mack Brown can get by with no losses, he should get the credit.
4. Jeff Tedford, California Bears
The Cal Bears had a sub-par season in 2008 and everyone knows they can do better. They enter the 2009 college football season with a #12 ranking in both the AP Poll and the USA Today Poll. Coach Tedford was named Pac-10 coach of the year back in 2002 so we know he has great talent as a coach. He led the Bears to a Pac 10 co-championship back in 2006. If Coach Tedford can maximize his players’ talents, he could be voted COY again.
5. Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide
We know Coach Nick Saban can win national championships because he did it before with LSU in 2003. What we don’t know is if he can get the Tide past the Florida Gators in the SEC. He didn’t do it last year when the Gators beat the Tide in the SEC championship game. Coach Saban must beat the Gators if he wants a Coach of the Year honor.
6. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma Sooners
Coach Bob Stoops is considered by many to be the best college football coach in America. Though he and the Sooners lost in last season’s national championship to the Gators, Coach Stoops can bring his team back from that loss. Coach Stoops must win a national title for a COY award.
7. Les Miles, LSU Tigers
Coach Les Miles of the LSU Tigers certainly has a shot at the COY award. He won a college football national championship as recently as 2007 so if the Tigers can do it again then Coach Miles should get recognition for the effort.
8. Chip Kelly, Oregon Ducks
Coach Chip Kelly is the new coach for the University of Oregon Ducks football team. He was previously their offensive coordinator. Expectations are generally low for him now, but the Ducks are ranked at #14 and #16 in two preseason polls so the coaches and sportswriters expect big things. If Coach Kelly can lead the Ducks to a winning record and a decent bowl, he has a chance to be Coach of the Year.
9. Jim Tressel, Ohio State Buckeyes
Coach Tressel won a national championship with Ohio State back in 2002. He needs to bring the Buckeyes back to prominence for any COY consideration.
10. Chris Petersen, Boise State Broncos
From a winning-percentage basis, Coach Petersen has amassed a highly impressive record of 35-4 over the last three years. Petersen needs to take Boise State to new heights this year.
Division I College Football Champions, Wikipedia
College Football Polls, ESPN.com