Power rankings for coaches tend to change from year to year. Bill Snyder gets older and continues to be immortal. Bob Stoops sports another visor and the drum beats on. Meanwhile, Kansas continues to pay for Charlie Weis and hope for a brighter future.
Winning from year to year is what drives these types of rankings usually. I wanted to factor in what coach we would pull off the street and toss in there to go and win a national title. Also factoring in was a small percentage of wizardry that Bill Snyder may have left in the tank. These rankings broke off into tiers.
The Top Dogs
1. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
Depending on which way you look at it, the No. 1 spot can go several different ways. Based on last year’s performance and what looks to be another promising year I elected to go with Bob Stoops. The Sooners are coming off an 11-2 season with an appearance in the College Football Playoff. Stoops has only failed to reach 10 wins four times in his 17 years at Oklahoma. If that isn’t enough to keep you atop a list like this, I don’t know what will.
2. Gary Patterson, TCU
Fans hoped 2014 would spring again for the Horned Frogs in 2015. Though 11-2 is an impressive record, fans were looking to jump into the playoffs. Patterson was grasping to take over as the lead dog until Oklahoma made a nice run to end the season. Patterson has always had great defenses, and to slow down these Big 12 offenses, he usually has a solid plan in place. He’s been one of the nation’s top coaches for years, and in 2016 he’ll look to win another conference title.
3. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
First off, anyone catch Gundy’s mullet at media days? “Look good, coach good” is probably what he was shooting for. Gundy has consistently reached the 10-win mark. Last year’s 10-3 record was good enough to gain a trip to the Sugar Bowl. He hasn’t had a losing season in over 10 years, and this year will be no different. Look for Gundy to have the Cowboys near the top of the Big 12 again.
4. Bill Snyder, Kansas State
I was a little reluctant to put Snyder this high, but what lines up behind him and what could happen makes it a little easier to see him crack the top four. The Wildcats lost to Arkansas in the Liberty Bowl last year and are picked to finish 8th in the Big 12. Can Snyder work up some of his magic again, or will this be the last spell the wizard casts?
On The Hot Seat
This is where things start to get interesting. I have a group of three coaches that may not necessarily be shown the door, but their seats are a little warm these days. Any one of these coaches can be moved up or down in these rankings. Just depends on how you view them.
5. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia
Holgorsen has led the Mountaineers to bowl games for many years, and last year they won eight games. The athletic department in Morgantown has yet to sign him past 2017. Word is Shane Lyons, the athletic director, wants more wins out of Holgorsen. If WVU fails to make a significant jump, could we see the end of Holgorsen at West Virginia?
6. Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech
Kingsbury isn’t necessarily on the hot seat. In fact, his seat is probably the coolest in this tier. What plagues him is the inconsistency in his three years. His win totals have been all over the place: eight wins in his debut, then four wins in 2014 and seven last year. With this being year four, Red Raider fans are going to want him to push Tech into that top half conversation in the Big 12.
7. Charlie Strong, Texas
Is there a coach that has been scrutinized more in the Big 12 than Charlie Strong? With all the money, support and high-level talent that walks through the doors in Austin, you would think the Longhorns could win more than 11 games in two years. It has yet to happen. The way Strong has been recruiting lately gives hope to the Longhorn faithful. But if the success on the recruiting trail doesn’t turn into wins, we could see a new leader as the face of Texas next year.
8. Matt Campbell, Iowa State
I hope next year I am sitting here writing that Campbell is higher than eight. A brand-new coaching staff has come into Ames looking to overhaul the culture, and that should be a good thing. Cyclone fans are fired up about the season, but with uncertainty of what the on-field talent will produce in Campbell’s first season in the Big 12, I chose to rank him rather carefully.
9. Jim Grobe, Baylor
This guy has inherited a mess. No other way to put it. Recruits are fleeing and the 2017 recruiting class is dead last in Big 12 recruiting rankings. On top of that, Grobe is only signed for one year. More than likely, he won’t be back on the sidelines next year, but Baylor has enough talent to contend in 2016. Question is, can Grobe run the show?
10. David Beaty, Kansas
Technically, Beaty is not a newcomer, but he does coach at Kansas. Need I say more why he is ranked last? In all seriousness, Beaty has shown he can recruit a bit, but he may need a couple of more seasons to really show the cards he has.