Jeff Brohm and Josh Heupel were among major risers in the bottom two-thirds of our new rankings
The first college football game ever played took place on Nov. 6, 1869, between New Jersey (to become Princeton) and Rutgers on a field in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Rutgers won 6-4. It was a thriller, but it wasn’t as thrilling as what was happening across the Atlantic Ocean in Europe. That’s where Swiss chemist Friedrich Miescher made a startling discovery that would change what we knew about life on Earth.
Miescher discovered something within the nuclei of white blood cells in humans that he called “nuclein.” The term would change over the years until it became what we now refer to as DNA: the building block of all life. While Miescher couldn’t view DNA down to its blockchain at the time, if he were able to look at the DNA of that first college football game between New Jersey and Rutgers, he’d have discovered something else.
Inherent in college football’s DNA are rankings. Yes, Rutgers won the game 6-4, but who cares? Which team would we have ranked higher afterward? That’s the question. Sure, Rutgers won, but maybe it didn’t deserve to? Maybe if the coach hadn’t wasted that timeout in the second quarter, New Jersey would have held on, so New Jersey should be ranked ahead of Rutgers. If we’re ranking the coaches, though, Rutgers’ coach should be ranked ahead of the one who led New Jersey.
College football has changed a lot since that first game, but the same DNA remains today. The powers change, the names change, the conferences change, but the rankings remain.
As we’ve done annually, CBS Sports is back ranking the college football coaches of the Power Five conferences (and Notre Dame) ahead of the upcoming season. A panel of our experts turn in their ballots with a simple mission: rank the 65 Power Five coaches from best to worst. There are no parameters for how they should be ranked. One could rank strictly on records or accomplishments. Another could rank on what they think these coaches will accomplish or how they have lived up to expectations. There are no rules, only rankings.
Let’s begin our latest presentation of these rankings by examining the 40 coaches who finished outside the top 25. These rankings are final and irrefutable … until the season begins. (Also, if you don’t like where a particular coach is ranked, remember this: I agree with you. It’s all my fellow voters who are wrong.)
Power Five coaches ranked 65-26
Power Five Coach Rankings: 65-26