Mike Strange: Who will be the top-ranked coaches in 2022?

Mike Strange

No games, no spring practice. Recruiting in a lull. What's a college football fan to do?

How about reading all these lists that are proliferating because the college football media folks don't have much to do, either?

We've got hot-seat lists (see Derek Dooley), lists of the freakiest athletes (see Justin Hunter) and top pass-catch combos (see Tyler Bray-Da'Rick Rogers).

The big talker this week was the ranking of FBS coaches, from 1 to 124, by The Sporting News. Nick Saban was No. 1. Charlie Molnar of UMass was No. 124. Poor guy's never coached a game.

Dooley, Tennessee's coach, checked in at No. 99, right behind 66-year-old Norm Chow, who finally landed his first head-coaching gig at Hawaii, and 74 spots below Vanderbilt's James Franklin.

Hats off to Franklin for shaking up the status quo at Vandy in his first year as a head coach. But how that justifies shooting him up the chart to No. 25 is beyond me.

We can debate the rankings — which, of course, is why they're there — from now until the Poinsettia Bowl. But here's my wrinkle:

What will the rankings look like in 10 years? Who's in the top 20 in 2022?

We can eliminate Saban, Steve Spurrier and Frank Beamer. Saban isn't going to be coaching at 70. Bill Snyder's the only guy doing so now.

I was surprised to find 21 coaches 60 or older at FBS jobs. For the record, there are 15 older than Phillip Fulmer, who turns 62 and qualifies for Social Security on Sept. 1.

I'm going to further rule out the AARP guys who are at least 55. Cross off Les Miles, Kirk Ferentz, Tommy Tuberville and June Jones.

The guys in the 50-54 age group are borderline. The good ones are banking a ridiculous amount of money. Will they have the drive to stay at it? Based on the examples of Beamer and Spurrier, some will.

Some won't. I can't see No. 14 Mark Richt coaching at 62. Can Mike Leach carry on as a 61-year-old pirate? Probably.

Perhaps the biggest enigma is the guy who could be No. 1 in 2022. Or, he could be long gone.

Urban Meyer is 47. He's chalked up two national titles at Florida and won big at Bowling Green and Utah. He's also burned out once already.

After a one-year sabbatical, Meyer is back in the game at Ohio State. There's no reason to think he won't win big again.

His kids will be out of the nest. No reason to spend more time with the family. The hunch here is Meyer will be going strong in 2022.

So will Chris Peterson. Also 47, Peterson is 73-6 at Boise State. That's no misprint.

Sporting News ranks him No. 2 now and Peterson might still be there in 2022. The question whether he'll still be at Boise State.

Bob Stoops (51), Oregon's Chip Kelly (48) and TCU's Gary Patterson (52) could easily still be coaching in 10 years. What about Brady Hoke (53)?

He was an instant fit at Michigan last year. Maybe Hoke and Meyer settle in for a Woody-Bo rivalry that brews for a decade.

Mike Gundy is a man. He's 44. Oklahoma State's coach is 59-30, ranks No. 10 and could be even higher in 2022.

Bret Bielema is in the same category. At 42 with a 60-19 record at Wisconsin, Bielema has excellent long-term prospects.

The Sporting News likes Lane Kiffin. I agree Kiffin's a heckuva coach and Southern Cal is a place to win a ton of games. But I'll bet Kiffin's back in the NFL before 2022.

Some other relatively new head coaches will enjoy a prosperous decade. I'd bet on Jimbo Fisher at Florida State.

Maybe Franklin will be one of them. Maybe Will Muschamp, too. But one season is too little evidence for me to make that projection.

Keep an eye on Troy Calhoun, Chip Kelly, Kevin Sumlin and Al Golden. Don't count out 48-year-old Rich Rodriguez, who starts fresh at Arizona.

Here's a wild card: Bobby Petrino. He's 51, banished from the current rankings but there's still time to get back in the hunt.

And what, you're probably wondering, about Dooley? At 43 he faces a make-or-break season. The jury is very much out.

If he's still at Tennessee in 2022, he will have vaulted way up the rankings.

And if he is still No. 99, he won't be at Tennessee.

Mike Strange may be reached at strangem@knoxnews.com. Fol

low him at http://twitter.com/strangemike44 and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/strange.

© 2012 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 41

abnerPeabody writes:

I don't really care about football or who will still be coaching 10 years from now. At my age and with my health problems,I only worry for tomorrow. We don't have a promise for another minute. I will try and be the best I can be until it is over.I don't want to go ever but I am ready for the day. Are you?

rtrchatt writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Looks like gator softball and Gator fb have much in common. BLOWOUT..... man I wish you were still on our fb schedule. Roll Tide and Bama OWNS the Swamp.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

What's more amazing than the amount of fluff pieces that get published during the off-season is that so many people are apparently giving this sporting news fluff piece so much credibility. There are so many head-scratchers in there it's ridiculous. Muschamp took over a program full of 4/5-stars with tins of depth, and barely broke even. Franklin is Vandy's version of Kiffin, but will never have the resources to win. Chizik had one great season, which you can apparently buy for, what was it, $180,000?

Sorry, but one guy's opinion, who couldn't even get a job with a real sports outlet shouldn't get anywhere near this much credit. It's Matt Hayes, for Christ's sake. Isn't he a well known Vol critic from way back?

VolunteerLifer writes:

Franklin is a top 25 coach? On what basis?

tovolny writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good call, RockyMountainVol...good call.
By the way, good luck tonight. Give my regards to the Mrs.

Voltillyafall writes:

Is Mike Strange getting paid for this column? Its a column that says nothing.

What conclusion do you draw from this column?

See there...there is no "there" there.

tovolny writes:

Mike, well written piece. Good attempt at fighting the football doldrums.

Suggestion: why not get permission, from whomever, to report on the weight room stats of the football team. Stuff like Bray's weight and height when he first enrolled compared to now and maybe just list all the players. Dooley might like this idea as it would put pressure on the players to show improvements.
And, I believe us readers (fans) would enjoy keeping up with how well our team is coming along. The xxxx million dollar football training complex will be showing good results...I HOPE!!!

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Is that good?

FanNotSheep writes:

My guess is in 10 years Urban and Tim Tebow will be living together, Dooley will be practicing law and wondering why in the world he ever wanted to do something as crazy as coach football in the SEC in the first place, and the top 5 coaches will be guys no one has even heard of right now.

My other prediction is that sportswriters will still be writing stories that don't make any difference just because fans have to find something to do while they count down the 100 days until kickoff.

volvann writes:

CDD will be in top 50 next year. Franklin will be around 85 next year. Vandy is Vandy, and UT with depth on roster will show huge improvements. Prima Donnas are gone and players who want to be UT greats are now here. Go Vols and CDD!!!

BruisedOrange writes:

in response to Voltillyafall:

Is Mike Strange getting paid for this column? Its a column that says nothing.

What conclusion do you draw from this column?

See there...there is no "there" there.

Exactly. And that's why he deserves credit rather than criticism for this column. He has to write a column about something (in this case, football) that's simply not happening right now.

Writing about football in May is NOT EVEN like writing about grass growing. It's like writing about grass growing in January... to *Eskimos!

I think tovolny has a really good idea concerning the weight room. But whaduya bet there's some NCAA rule that makes the divulging of off-season weight training data a major program violation? If college football was like NASCAR, its fans could purchase access and have live training room weight/reps shown online like lap times, brake and throttle use.

(Gotta say there's something visually authentic about the image of an overweight Vol fan laying on his couch, pillows holding his head up to watch live weight room data flicker across the screen of his belly-perched laptop... on a webpage sponsored by Golden Flake and Budweiser!)
---------------

*Inuit–Yupik of course... lest I hinder our recruiting efforts in the Great White North!

JJFabulous writes:

Manning will be coaching the VOLS in 2022. Bet on it.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

I don't really care about football or who will still be coaching 10 years from now. At my age and with my health problems,I only worry for tomorrow. We don't have a promise for another minute. I will try and be the best I can be until it is over.I don't want to go ever but I am ready for the day. Are you?

Exactly what I was thinking when reading the article. "To live is Christ and to die is gain" is a win win.
Dooley will most likely win a lot more at UT. I hope. But it's only a game.

HOSSFLY writes:

in response to JJFabulous:

Manning will be coaching the VOLS in 2022. Bet on it.

bet on this..............manning will never coach because he is too much of a perfectionist (sp?). but he IS the greatest VOL ever !

oh, and this...........dooley will gone after next year.....further setting this program back.

the clock is unofficially on hart, and he better step up to the plate when the time comes.

JayTee writes:

My guess would be JESUS. According to the Mmayan calendar it all ends on Dec 21, 2012.

The answer fits the article.

CCLC writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

I don't really care about football or who will still be coaching 10 years from now. At my age and with my health problems,I only worry for tomorrow. We don't have a promise for another minute. I will try and be the best I can be until it is over.I don't want to go ever but I am ready for the day. Are you?

Sorry to hear about your illness....hang in there Vol!

Butterbeans writes:

Tennessee owes it to Vols like halloffamebowler to move from our caretaker football coach to our permanent coach as soon as possible. We need the man to lead us out of the wilderness as soon as possible.

tovolny writes:

Dooley...I like.

Sunseri...I like.

Chaney...I like.

Jay Graham...I like.

Darin Hinshaw...show me something.

Terry Joseph...is he still on staff?

Sam Pittman...I like.

John Palermo...Can he coach? What has he done to distinguish himself? Has he ever played on the D line?

CharlieCoiner...only person willing
to coach Special Teams

.
Kicking Coach...we do not have a single one.

UT's glaring no. 1 weakness...KICKING... What can I say?

born2ride writes:

Vandy made a terrific hire in James Franklin.

The Vols made a terrible hire in Dooley.

volfanz writes:

in response to tovolny:

Dooley...I like.

Sunseri...I like.

Chaney...I like.

Jay Graham...I like.

Darin Hinshaw...show me something.

Terry Joseph...is he still on staff?

Sam Pittman...I like.

John Palermo...Can he coach? What has he done to distinguish himself? Has he ever played on the D line?

CharlieCoiner...only person willing
to coach Special Teams

.
Kicking Coach...we do not have a single one.

UT's glaring no. 1 weakness...KICKING... What can I say?

OK, but Chaney?.....That guy does nothing more than disappoint! His play calling is atrocious and more than highly predictable. Honestly, I hope he does a better job this year or we are dead in the water. I know our boys had some work to do on the O-line, but this guy didn't help a bit. His plays set them up for failure and a spiral into disappointment, lack of motivation, and resulting efforts on the field.

clvolfan writes:

in response to JayTee:

My guess would be JESUS. According to the Mmayan calendar it all ends on Dec 21, 2012.

The answer fits the article.

I agree Brother.What a stupid question to for Strange to think any of us can see 10 years later. We could all be gone,and the main question is-where will one be? best take care of that while there is time,and make sure it is with "JESUS".

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

This is a "strange" article by Strange. Actually has nothing to do with anything in 2012. Sort of a nothing article similar to the comments from the whiny trolls and naysayers such as Merlot the sipper, the punk-brat Toady, Jeff wilted Flowers, born2B-atroll, rtrChatterbox, the name-copycat Bodeane, etc. Actually, just fast forward to football season 2012. This group is praying for the Vols to fail. And, if they do, then it's the same old garbage all over again if a new coach will need to be here.

But, there are more important things in life than all this. However, should the Vols be successful and they will be, there will be a traffic jam of naysayers crawling up on the band wagon saying "we were loyal Vols all along." Sure.........

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

I don't really care about football or who will still be coaching 10 years from now. At my age and with my health problems,I only worry for tomorrow. We don't have a promise for another minute. I will try and be the best I can be until it is over.I don't want to go ever but I am ready for the day. Are you?

That's something we won't have to worry about in 2022..Stupid comments from you and the like..

BruisedOrange writes:

As it stands right now, I would still rather be a Tennessee fan than an Arkansas fan.

They hired a "big name coach" who put their program on the fast turnaround. But suddenly that #5 ranking from last year smells rank, with all the character/moral/criminal problems their fans are marinating in through the off-season.

However long Dooley's career, whatever his won/lost record turns out to be, I will be forever grateful for the foundation he's established on which to re-build this program.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor throw the bones on this question and odd but they keep coming up with "Knox Kiffen"?? lol.
Bones never lie.

rainbow6 writes:

Who will be the top ranked coaches in 2022?
Well......I predict that Derek Dooley will be an assistant coach at a division one school or maybe he will be practicing real estate law in Athens Georgia.

GONAVY writes:

I truly think Strange was simply writing a piece to get some reaction which he did. It's May, 100+ days before the season and College Football Classics will start in a couple of weeks on CSS...I think. So, it's filler. The one poster who pontificated that Franklin was Vanderbilt's Kiifin and that he'll never win at VU due to a lack of committed resources is wrong on one count (Kiffin had already bailed at this time at UT) and on a second count... their is an amazing commitment of resources for football at VU now. Stick to hyping over Dooley and leave the bashing of other coaches alone.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

That's something we won't have to worry about in 2022..Stupid comments from you and the like..

Stupid?? "the like"?? what makes you so special? Besides the troll thing.

Huttdawg100 writes:

It's all about recruiting and defense. Ten years ago, Saban/ Stoops were the best in the business. Ten years later, nothing much has changed. They're both recruiting monsters. And they're both defensive minds.

Here's a name to write down:
Greg Schiano.... He's a big time recruiter. His defenses were always sound. The AD that plucks him out of Tampa will be a smart. I'll keep my fingers crossed that he'll be wearing orange in Knoxville some day.

TheVolSnake writes:

Some reading that bashers should read and understand:

A good article on our Defense this year, if our D. Excels as I believe they will watch out, I truly believe our offence will be much improved and very explosive

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/11...

This is one of the main reasons I feel we will have a 8-4 season if not better.

If anyone ever wondered why Phillip Fulmer got canned, just take a look at the development of some of his highly touted recruits at the end of his tenure. You'll see no less than four on this list.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/11...

I loved Fulmer (He was recruiting my son) and don't mean to slam him at all, but his last few years were not up to par at all and this list didn't take in account all the arrests our players had during that time.

He took way to many changes on recruits his last couple of years. I do wish he had become the AD I think he would have done a great job. Nothing against Hart but Fulmer is and will always be a legend in TN.

Kiffen took even more chances and as everyone knows most of them didn't work out and is highlighted in the hyperlink Gerry and myself has posted several times.

What's Wrong With Tennessee Football Has Nothing To Do With Derek Dooley

http://www.rockytoptalk.com/2011/10/3...

Tennessee Volunteers Football: Grading Derek Dooley's Tenure as Head Coach

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/11...

flatrock writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

Franklin is a top 25 coach? On what basis?

Maryland certainly won't agree...they would have dropped football before they'd promoted him from head-coach-in-waiting status...

dvhill100 writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

Some reading that bashers should read and understand:

A good article on our Defense this year, if our D. Excels as I believe they will watch out, I truly believe our offence will be much improved and very explosive

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/11...

This is one of the main reasons I feel we will have a 8-4 season if not better.

If anyone ever wondered why Phillip Fulmer got canned, just take a look at the development of some of his highly touted recruits at the end of his tenure. You'll see no less than four on this list.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/11...

I loved Fulmer (He was recruiting my son) and don't mean to slam him at all, but his last few years were not up to par at all and this list didn't take in account all the arrests our players had during that time.

He took way to many changes on recruits his last couple of years. I do wish he had become the AD I think he would have done a great job. Nothing against Hart but Fulmer is and will always be a legend in TN.

Kiffen took even more chances and as everyone knows most of them didn't work out and is highlighted in the hyperlink Gerry and myself has posted several times.

What's Wrong With Tennessee Football Has Nothing To Do With Derek Dooley

http://www.rockytoptalk.com/2011/10/3...

Tennessee Volunteers Football: Grading Derek Dooley's Tenure as Head Coach

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/11...

None of the links worked. Thanks for trying though. Everyone complaining about the article, get a grip. This is the dead zone for CFB and fluff articles like this will be the norm for the next two months or so. Nothing wrong with it and I enjoyed it. Keep it up Mr. Strange.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

Stupid?? "the like"?? what makes you so special? Besides the troll thing.

I may be an A##hole, but I'm no troll..VFL!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I may be an A##hole, but I'm no troll..VFL!

laughing

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to collegegrovevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

hmmm? Just what kind of fan are you oh "greatest" troll? His point was that you don't know what Dooley's record will be even this fall. He HAS established groundwork that will endure. Go somewhere else to babble.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Salma_Hayek_is_my_Wife:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Cowboys??? 'splains it.

Vol43 writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey 'E', were you by chance at the Players tournament in Jax. yesterday? I think there's a good chance of as I thought I heard you repeatedly yell 'Getindahole'! What a rude and unruly bunch of Fl. crackers. You were there leading the charge, huh?

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to collegegrovevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No, teeney bopper........we know why you're here. Just starving for attention aren't you kid?

We know your days are numbered and then you'll be shown the back door again. You might begin with a search for another screen name. Trolls do have a way with fooling the KNS administrator.

We'll give you this however........you're truly one of the 'greatest' failures to grace this site. There are many great Tennessee fans here...........and then......there's you.

BigBadVol writes:

People on here still calling Coach Dooley names. Can we all say immature?

orangecountyvols writes:

RockyMountain,

Well said friend. However, don't try to reason with the wine sipper. He's a message board coach after all. A waste of time paying any attention to him and his troll sidekicks.

Vol43 writes:

in response to MerlotGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"The only things that matters on the field" I must make a note of that. So do you and toddy share the same razor?

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