We have a new top dog in the year’s Big XII coaching power rankings. With the departure of Bob Stoops this summer, things are looking quite interesting in the Big XII this coming season. So without further ado, here are our 2017 Big XII Preseason Coaches Power Rankings.
1. Mike Gundy - Oklahoma State
Mike Gundy become one of my most favorite coaches in the nation last season when he started sporting a sweet mullet. I mean, his mullet alone catapults him to the top of this list. In reality, considering the departure of Bob Stoops, this power ranking was in need of a new leader, and by default Mike Gundy has moved to the top spot. Annually near the top of the Big XII standings, Gundy’s job is about as safe as it can be.
2. Dana Holgorsen - West Virginia
Last year I put Dana Holgorsen on the hot seat in my rankings. I knew he might be coaching for his job. Then he lead West Virginia to a 10-3 record and second place tie in the Big XII. He also happened to score a five year contract extension for his efforts. So I would say his job is safe for another few years. West Virginia will have a lot of talent again this year. Look for them to contend near the top once again.
3. Bill Snyder - Kansas State
The wizard himself has found a way to sneak into the top three. After a fourth place finish last year in the Big XII, Snyder has Kansas State primed to be a trendy sleeper pick in the conference. Jesse Ertz comes back at quarterback and will lead a consistent offense. Will Bill Snyder continue his magic? Looks that way.
4. Gary Patterson - TCU
Talk about a team and a coach that struggled last season. Gary Patterson and the boys were right on that boat. The Horned Frogs did manage to finish 5th in the Big XII, but also fell short of every expectation the experts had for them. Patterson is one the best coaches in the league, giving him the 4th spot. Look for TCU to be much improved this season.
SOMETHING TO PROVE
5. Tom Herman - Texas
I am not completely sold on Texas ever returning to their “prime” form. That said, I do think Tom Herman is a great coach. Having yet to coach a Big XII game is the reason he lands in the middle of the pack. If this list was based on coaching skills on paper, he may be near the top. In the long run, will the pressure of the Texas faithful hold him back? It will be interesting to see.
6. Lincoln Riley - Oklahoma
Sudden pressure anyone? That is exactly what Lincoln Riley is feeling. It’s not that he can’t win at Oklahoma. It’s the fact that Bob Stoops’ sudden retirement and being tossed into the Head Coach role will probably put a lot of pressure on the Big XII’s youngest coach. Luckily, he has a great staff and great players to help keep his feet under him. Expect Oklahoma to be right at the top of the conference standings and Riley to move up this list.
7. Matt Campbell - Iowa State
I am trusting the process so hard right now. The recruiting is great and all, but what gets me fired up the most is the improvement we saw from the UNI game to the end of the season. Iowa State went 3-9 last year, but could have easily won 6 games if they had not let a few slip away. I expect Matt Campbell to have Iowa State competing all year and maybe make a push for a bowl game.
8. David Beatty - Kansas
Kansas has struggled since the days of Mark Mangino. David Beatty is in that boat right now, but his 2018 recruiting class is looking awfully strong right now. Kansas may surprise a few people this year in a couple of games. The players for Kansas work hard for Beatty and that is somewhere to start for this program.
9. Kliff Kingsbury - Texas Tech
Probably our best looking coach in league (don’t judge me) is on the hottest seat right now. Texas Tech struggled last year and it looks like it may be more of the same this year. If Kingsbury can’t get the ship pointed in the right direction, it may be his last ride in Lubbock.
10. Matt Rhule - Baylor
You know, Matt Rhule isn’t that bad of a coach. It’s just the fact that he coaches for Baylor and I hope the NCAA comes down hard on them. That’s why I have put him down here. So good luck coach Rhule, you’re going to need it.