Thursday, August 21, 2014
Stanford's Shaw Has the Best Win Percentage, While Oklahoma's Stoops Has the Most Impressive Record
August 19, 2014
From Darren Everson's "How College Football's Coaches Have Fared Against Top-25 Teams"
The Associated Press college-football poll came out Sunday, which got us thinking: Which coaches fare best against ranked (i.e., real) competition?
The Count compiled the records of all 64 major-conference coaches (plus Notre Dame's Brian Kelly) against AP top-25 opponents. We included both their career record and their record at their current school.
Granted, this is a harsh measuring stick. Coaches who faced ranked opponents while they were rising through the profession at small-conference schools are at a disadvantage. So are the coaches of traditional doormats. But it is interesting for once to see coaches' résumés against elite competition—as opposed to their overall records, which are larded up with cupcake opponents.
David Shaw, Stanford (14-4): The best winning percentage (.778). Granted, it is a relatively small sample size—Shaw has been a head coach for only three seasons, and he took over a strong program—but 18 ranked opponents in three years is a ton. Urban Meyer has faced seven in three years at Ohio State. (Also, two of Shaw's four losses were in overtime.)
Bob Stoops, Oklahoma (50-23): The most impressive record, bar none. Consider: Nick Saban, the gold standard of college coaches, is 28-12 against ranked opponents at Alabama—a slightly higher winning percentage (.700 versus .685), but barely half the games. Stoops's big-game reputation took a hit in Oklahoma's 55-19 loss to Southern California in the 2004-season national-championship game, but looking back at that now, that USC team was one of the greatest teams of all time—and its Bowl Championship Series title was later vacated because of rules violations.