OK, I have no evidence to support that accusation,* but that title is no more misleading than an alleged list of the ten worst coaches in college football that instead focuses solely on whether a coach deploys the right offensive scheme and makes good end-of-game decisions, as if those are the only roles for a college head coach. It's hard to pick a starting point for savaging a list that is to college football analysis what Sarah Palin's ramblings are to American history (Blutarsky is off to a great start, although I'm highly disappointed that he discussed the Muschamp section without ripping on the assertion that a John Brantley-led offense has "incredible spread talent"), but I'll pick the fact that Heisman Pundit assumes that blue chip players simply fall off of trees. If a coach recruits great talent and only produces good results, then that coach is not an idiot. Instead, he's a guy who succeeds in one area of his job (recruiting) and is not succeeding in another (motivating players, assembling a good staff, and/or making strategic and tactical decisions).
* - Just to be clear, I am in no way alleging that Heisman Pundit (or whatever other nom de guerre he is using today) is a bad person or otherwise acts in an illegal or immoral matter. Rather, I am making an analogy to illustrate that a post titled "The Ten Worst Coaches in College Football" is totally misleading when it reduces coaching to one or two aspects that HP finds important.
Take Les Miles, the alleged worst coach in college football. I'm not Miles's biggest fan. He was very fortunate to win a national title with two losses. He stuck with Gary Crowton for way too long. He destroyed his reputation as a late-game savant with inept game management against Ole Miss in '09 and Tennessee in '10. Like Lloyd Carr, his teams play far too many close games against inferior opponents. (How is it that two Bo disciples have the same weakness of respecting the opposition too much? This was certainly not a problem for Mssr. Schembechler.) That said, the notion that he's a bad coach is absurd. Records aren't everything, but look at these results and tell me that you see evidence of the worst coach in college football:
2005 - 11-2, Sagarin Predictor #8
2006 - 11-2, Sagarin Predictor #5
2007 - 12-2, Sagarin Predictor #4
2008 - 8-5, Sagarin Predictor #22
2009 - 9-4, Sagarin Predictor #13
2010 - 11-2, Sagarin Predictor #10
And I'm just using the Predictor because I'm intellectually honest (try it sometime, HP) and I favor rankings that account for margin of victory. If I used Sagain's BCS-approved rankings, then his teams would look even better.
We're well past the time when Miles's success could be attributed to Nick Saban. Larry Coker he's not. (Coker in year six: 7-6, #49. There was no year seven.) Honestly, you have to be an utter idiot to look at those numbers and conclude "worst coach in college football!" At a minimum, you ought to have a better argument than "a potted plant" could win at LSU. Perhaps Heisman Pundit never heard the names Gerry Dinardo or Curley Hallman? That seems odd for someone who is now branding himself as "College Football Pundit." If this list is an example of what we are going to see this season when HP branches out from Heisman patter, then I no longer have to rue the fact that Terence Moore left the AJC.
After the lame insults directed to Miles, the piece doesn't get better. #5 on the list is Jimbo Fisher, who has been a head coach for all of one year and in that year, led FSU to its best season in years. HP complains about Fisher's offense, but the 2010 Noles offense - the first one for which Fisher had total autonomy - finished second in the ACC in yards per play. If you prefer advanced metrics, they were eighth in the country in both S&P and FEI. Oh, the indignity! And HP implies that Fisher only accomplished this because of Christian Ponder, but who turned Ponder - a three-star recruit whom Rivals ranked as the #14 pro-style quarterback and the #50 prospect in Texas - into a first round pick?
HP sums up the fallacy of his mindset when he asks "Fisher can recruit, but can he coach?," as if recruiting isn't part of being a head coach. The funny thing is that there is an obvious, recent, high-profile example refuting HP's worldview and yet he rolls merrily along. Rich Rodriguez is HP's dream coach. Rodriguez is one of the originator's of the Spread offense that caused HP to forsake all others. By year three at Michigan, Rodriguez had the offense humming, producing prodigious numbers with a young set of players. However, Rodriguez was also a total failure at Michigan because he screwed up all of the other aspects of being a head coach. He didn't recruit especially well, player retention, motivation, and development were issues, and most importantly, he utterly butchered the defense with a mismatched set of an inept defensive coordinator and substandard position coaches who only knew a system different than the one favored by the coordinator.* By HP's definition, Rodriguez was a great coach. He had a terrific offensive scheme and he made reasonable end-of-game decisions. By the definition of Michigan fans and just about any other sentient being, the Michigan version of Rodriguez was a disaster.
* - I don't think that these flaws are endemic for Rodriguez. He did perfectly well in the other head coaching functions at West Virginia. Rather, Rodriguez is a good coach who made a number of big mistakes at Michigan. If he has learned his lesson (and I'll bet that he's a smart enough guy to do so), then he'll do well when he's the head coach at Clemson next year. The ACC might finally have an elite worth discussing if Clemson and FSU join Virginia Tech as annual contenders. Plus, I still like the guy.