TOB: FBall Coaching Rankings Shine

In recent years, Sports Illustrated’s Stewart Mandel made quite a name for himself with his rankings of the best – and the WORST – college football coaches.

Perhaps NC State fans followed Mandel’s rankings a little closer than other schools because of the presence of our own Chuck Amato. In June of 2005, Mandel listed Chuck Amato as the nation’s most over-rated coach; in June of 2006, Mandel demoted Chuck Amato and called him the nation’s worst coach. (Link)

Before anyone mistakenly claims that Mandel harbors an anti-NC State bias as opposed to anti-CTC feelings, you need look no further than Mandel’s recent comments praising NC State’s program

Now, you might say to yourself, is N.C. State really that kind of place? In my experience … yes. Say what you want about Chuck Amato’s coaching abilities, the one thing he did well was galvanize that community and turn what was traditionally considered a basketball school into a place with a legitimate football atmosphere. At his introductory press conference, O’Brien specifically mentioned how impressed he was with the enthusiasm when his team played there on Sept. 23. Look at it this way: The Wolfpack averaged nearly 20,000 more fans per game (56,540) during a 3-9 season this year than BC did at 9-3 (38,843).

NC State’s coaching change has brought a new national respect for our sitting head coach. Since TOB’s arrival positive praise has flowed from various corners of the media as TOB has been lauded as the best hire of the off-season while some pundits wonder if TOB’s presence elevates the Wolfpack into an instant contender for the ACC Title?

Over the last few weeks significant praise for TOB has continued…primarily from the staff of The Sporting News; much to the dismay of EagleinAtlanta. (I can only imagine the outcry if SFN had harped on Herb Sendek after his departure as much as Eagle has harped on TOB).

(1) On April 13th, TSN’s Tom Dienhart ranked TOB as the #3 coach in the ACC behind Jim Grobe and Frank Beamer.

Look, it’s this simple: O’Brien is a great coach. He worked for too long in anonymity at Boston College, where he never was fully appreciated. This is O.B.’s chance to make noise without fighting for headlines in a major media market. Sit back and watch him thrive.

The fact that BC’s Jeff Jagodzinski was ranked last in Deinhart’s list really rubbed EagleinAtlanta the wrong way. “Jags” has never coached a college game in his life. What does BC want? I know that Randy Shannon also has never coached a college game…but, Shannon has been at Miami for years and is familiar with many facets of the the college & ACC game that Jags must re-learn. It’s not a big deal…I just don’t understand why anyone – even BC fans – could expect some college unknown named Jeff Jagodzinski to get any benefit of the doubt until he gets out there and proves himself.

The good news for Jags is that he inherits one of the most solid, consistent programs in America. As TSN said, “know this: Jags inherited a loaded deck”. Since Jags is such a super coach, BC fans should be very excited about the coming season.

(2) On April 26th, Coach O’Brien was ranked as the #13 best coach amongst all BCS coaches. (Link).

It’s a pretty interesting exercise in which to engage. Current head coaches – Greg Robinson of Syracuse and Ted Roof of Duke – join the newer coaches in the country at the bottom of the list (with BC’s Jeff Jagodzinski ranked #64 out of 66.

(3) On May 2nd, Dienhart parsed his lists into some pretty interesting categories. (Link)

Wow! NC State has definitely shifted 180 degrees from the ‘leadership’ style of the testosterone-laden, meathead approach of former linebacker, Chuck Amato. Dienhart ranks TOB as one of the 5 best “Deep Thinkers” as defined by “X-ing and O-ing”. The list of five include: Mike Leach, Texas Tech; Tom O’Brien, N.C. State; Mark Richt, Georgia; Rich Rodriguez, West Virginia; Jeff Tedford, Cal.

I think that most people would also be interested in the five most overrated coaches which include: Lloyd Carr, Michigan; Dennis Franchione, Texas A&M; Phillip Fulmer, Tennessee; Les Miles, LSU; Charlie Weis, Notre Dame.

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48 Responses to TOB: FBall Coaching Rankings Shine

  1. Trout 05/04/2007 at 11:01 AM #

    I’m thinking that TOB “heavy-handed” the media to get these positive rankings. 🙂

  2. McPete 05/04/2007 at 11:37 AM #

    Wow. all the positive press for both football and basketball has me very excited for the fall. cuz let’s face it, from september to early march was the pits. as bad as i can remember for both sports in the same year in a while (though i admit i’m relatively new to the area and missed the les robinson years).

  3. redfred2 05/04/2007 at 11:38 AM #

    I didn’t see or hear any evidence of TOB being “heavy handed” with the media until he decided to make a move to NCSU. But that was our regional focus, maybe he isn’t a media darling afterall. Irregardless, I don’t care at all about how gingerly TOB handles the media, just as long as he still recruits, and consistently improves the football program at NCSU.

    There’s a guy I have posted about a few times before, but he coaches in another sport, and his media coverage is always loaded disdain. Yet they’re still right there, waiting to bait him, and anxious to report every time he opens his mouth. That coach has had a little success along the way, media’s help, or not.

    If you’re good, there’s no need to placate and cater to the media. The higher ups in Raleigh can’t quite grasp that concept. TOB just needs to be TOB, and let the rest fall where it may.

  4. TampaPack 05/04/2007 at 11:51 AM #

    Wow it just hit me when I reread those links, but he also outranked the “great” new coach over at UNX. Hopefully the results on the field will quickly mirror these rankings…. Go PACK!

  5. lush 05/04/2007 at 11:58 AM #

    All this high praise scares me. Im excited for the new season sure, but i just dont want to get my hopes up, only to be crushed, like the last 3 years.

    Well i guess technically we were supposed to be crap last year but i didnt beleive it.

    If we can get good Oline play, and solid decision making from the QB, whoever it is, i think our backs and wideouts can carry the offense. Defense should be about the same as last year.

    I think 7 wins, with unc and ecu being 2 of them, should be the benchmark, anything more than that is gravy.

  6. scpackman 05/04/2007 at 12:20 PM #

    I’d be surprised at 7 wins with our QB situation being as it is. I’m also done predicting a win vs. Chapel Hill. From now on, I’m going to assume all football games vs. the Holes as losses until proven otherwise.

  7. redfred2 05/04/2007 at 12:28 PM #

    Tampa, I hate to say it, but I think maybe Bunting left Butch with more overall balance than we have right now. TOB has his work cut out for him, but maybe he can tap into the potential on both sides of the ball, without it being a one sided focus on either D or O. The more I study up on TOB the more I believe he’ll do it as well, and as quickly, as anyone could. But we’ll just have to wait and see how much potential went untapped in the past.

  8. old13 05/04/2007 at 12:33 PM #

    I’m trying to avoid getting too excited. Sooner or later Foulup will issue a letter to the press chastising Wolfpack Nation for too much exuberence and bemonaing the absence of Herb and CTC, and Oblinger will cancel all tailgating and will not open the gates to any sporting event until 15 minutes before kickoff/tipoff/etc. After all, this is NC State!

  9. lush 05/04/2007 at 12:40 PM #


    carolina was worse than we were last year. they probably had better coaching but nowhere near the talent. the only had three wins last year, against duke 0-12, us 3-9, and furham who is division 1aa. at least we beat 2 good teams, there is no reason to think that carolina will be in better shape than we will.

  10. lush 05/04/2007 at 12:41 PM #

    oh yeah and app. state would have beaten carolina.

  11. redfred2 05/04/2007 at 12:49 PM #


    I hope you are right, but UNC/Bunting did successfully recruit talent. It’s yet to be seen if Butch Davis can make better use of it? I’m thinking the answer will surely be a yes though. Then POOF…what happened? Where is BD now?

  12. StateFans 05/04/2007 at 12:52 PM #

    Very tough schedule this year. Very unsettled QB situation. Still unsettled OLine.

    If we can get to 6-6 this season I’d be very happy. If this were Vegas…I’d expect the O/U line to be set at 5.5 wins

  13. tobaccordshow 05/04/2007 at 1:18 PM #

    Wow… another “deep thinker.” I thought we just got rid of a guy just like that…

  14. noah 05/04/2007 at 1:21 PM #

    Seven wins ought to get TOB the national coach of the year award.

  15. Trout 05/04/2007 at 1:22 PM #

    ^ Agree.

    However, part of me thinks like this:

    DO WE HAVE AS MUCH TALENT AS BC? Is the answer to that is YES, then why cant we hope to win 8-9 games, like this staff had been doing at BC for the past 7 years? We essentially have their coaching staff now. That staff knows the teams in our league as well as anyone. Yes, there will be an adjustment period, but football isnt rocket science either.

    If the answer is no, then how much talent are we lacking in relation to BC?

    Our OOC schedule, overall, is tougher than what TOB traditionally faced at BC. But honestly, L-Ville is the ONLY team that should have more talent that we have. UCF, Wofford and ECU dont. 3 OOC wins with 4 ACC wins gives us 7 wins. I think we can get there.

  16. redfred2 05/04/2007 at 1:26 PM #

    I’m with you Statefans. I think the schedule and those other factors will put a definite strain on a first year coaching staff. I expect to see some feeling out and early struggles, followed by constant improvement and disciplined play evolving as the season goes by. I may be overly optimistic, but I think the disciplined coaching style will greatly benefit the OL more than anywhere. That can’t help but motivate the horses in the backfield. But I think maybe even to a point where OL play improves enough so that the QB position may become a positive factor also. If TOB does better than your 6 win projection, then we’re ahead of schedule, as was the case with Coach Lowe in BB. If that happens, then WATCH OUT!!! Here comes WOLFPACK FOOTBALL too!!!

    Speaking of BB, as always, any news on how Sidney Lowe and family are dealing right now?

  17. lush 05/04/2007 at 1:44 PM #

    “Seven wins ought to get TOB the national coach of the year award”

    is this similar thinking to:

    “this will be one of the worst basketball teams in the history of the acc”


  18. pakfanistan 05/04/2007 at 2:14 PM #

    ^ Yes, it worked last time so don’t jinx it.

  19. lush 05/04/2007 at 2:22 PM #

    ^im cool with that

  20. MadWolf92 05/04/2007 at 2:23 PM #

    Heh, you can’t spell “noah” without “no”.


  21. noah 05/04/2007 at 2:41 PM #

    I’m not exaggerating. Can TOB win seven games next year? Maybe. If he does, he OUGHT to get national coach of the year.

    Seriously, Daniel Evans name was Corky McChunky and he played for anyone other than NC State….would you ever stop and say, “Gee, I wish that guy played for us!”

  22. noah 05/04/2007 at 2:41 PM #

    Make that…”IF Daniel Evans…”

  23. noah 05/04/2007 at 2:44 PM #

    One more thing, since we seem to have had a rash of delicate little flowers around here…I’m not trashing Corky McChunky. However, if there was a waivers system in college football, I’d be really, really interested to know if he could clear it.

  24. lush 05/04/2007 at 2:54 PM #

    well then noah, who do you think will get the starting job? burke or beck?

  25. redfred2 05/04/2007 at 3:12 PM #

    Evans should at least have been more motivated in the off season since he had the starting job practically dropped in his lap without warning last season. The OL sucked anyway. Plus, it’s too early, no one really knows about Burke or Beck either? I’ll stick with a positive outlook, just like I did in BB, until something convinces me otherwise.

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