Paul Rhoads Reaches Top 40 in Athlon’s Coach Rankings


Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Late last week Athlon Sports released a ranking of all 125 coaches in Division I college football. Five Big 12 coaches ranked in the top 15, and the Iowa State Cyclones’ head football coach Paul Rhoads is shortly behind checking in at 38th overall.

Rhoads is behind a pair of Florida football coaches, Florida’s Will Muschamp and Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher. Here’s an excerpt from Athlon’s blurb about the coach by Steven Lassan:

"Rhoads is the textbook example of why coaches shouldn’t always be judged just by the wins and losses on their resume. Iowa State is arguably the most difficult job in the Big 12 and one of the toughest from a BCS conference. So while Rhoads 24-27 record isn’t going to wow anyone, it’s impressive what he’s been able to do during his time in Ames."

Kansas State’s Bill Snyder checks in at 3rd overall. Alabama’s Nick Saban and Ohio State’s Urban Meyer unsurprisingly top the chart at 1-2.

Rounding out the top five in the Big 12 are Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops is at 7th, TCU’s Gary Patterson at 10th, Baylor’s Art Briles at 13th, and Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy at 15th. Texas’ Mike Brown is ranked at 28th.

It’s arguable the Rhoads should be ahead of Brown considering how much the Longhorns have struggled recently. Both teams are trending in different directions despite Iowa State’s blowout loss head-to-head a season ago – Texas has underachieved with their recruiting while Iowa State has matched or exceeded most people’s expectations considering the tough task of playing the Texas schools every year in the Big 12.

Other than that, the top five seems pretty accurate, if not a little nit-picky on maybe putting Briles ahead of Patterson just based on creating a successful system and not simply thriving on Robert Griffin III’s tenure.

What are your thoughts on the Big 12 coach rankings?