October 25, 2016 • Football

Sports Illustrated names college football’s 10 greatest coaches

Who are the greatest coaches in college football history?

si-college-football-greatest-bookSports Illustrated attempts to tackle that question in its latest book, “College Football’s Greatest.” Unsurprisingly, legendary Alabama coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant — winner of six national titles and 15 bowl games — leads the list, but the remaining top 10 is debatable.

Have a look:

  1. Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant. Longtime Alabama coach with a 323-85-17 record and 14 SEC championships.
  2. Nick Saban. Five national championships at LSU and Alabama. Carries a 108-18 regular season record at Alabama (includes current season’s 8-0 record).
  3. Knute Rockne. The pride of Notre Dame, who completed five undefeated seasons (1919, 1920, 1924, 1929, 1930) with a 105-12-5 career record.
  4. Joe Paterno. The Penn State coach retired with a 409-136-3 career record.
  5. Urban Meyer. Winner of national championships at Florida and Ohio State, with a 121-20 regular season record at the two schools (includes current season’s 6-1 record).
  6. Woody Hayes. The College Football Hall of Famer spent 28 seasons at Ohio State, where he had a 205-60-10 record.
  7. Bobby Bowden. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006, finishing his 34-year coaching career at Florida State with a 304-97-4 record.
  8. Frank Leahy. Another Notre Dame coach makes the list. Leahy won four national titles with six undefeated seasons during his career.
  9. Bud Wilkinson. The Oklahoma coach won three national titles with a career record of 145-29-4.
  10. Eddie Robinson. Paterno is the only coach on this list with more wins. The longtime Grambling coach and Hall of Famer has a career record of 408-165-15 with 17 SWAC titles.

Lists like these are always subject to the author’s definition of “best” or “greatest.” Do you favor wins, national championships or a coach’s place in history? I might slide Knute Rockne up to No. 2 and put Eddie Robinson a bit higher, but overall it’s difficult to argue against the coaches named here.

This is Sports Illustrated’s fifth book in its “Greatest” series, this time examining the best of college football. The book also takes a look at the best rivalries, position players and bowl games. It can be purchased here.

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