Top 50 Coaches: A guy on Twitter known as "Big Game Boomer" is the king of all lists related to college football. His lists might not be the gospel, but they are good conversation pieces.
As we prep for SEC Media Days in July, here's one to debate at the water cooler - The Top 50 Head Coaches Entering the 2023 Season.
The "All-Time" list is different. Many of those guys are no longer coaching. There is another element to the phrasing for this list, "entering the 2023 season." That means we're talking more about the now than what has been.
Not that I'm beating around the bush, but clarity is important here. Nick Saban is the best that's ever been. But... is he the best right now?
Saban still might not have slipped at all. He may prove it this season, but entering 2023 Kirby Smart is the top dog.
Smart has a ways to go to match Saban's resume. But he's on his way. At 47, he has two nattys. Saban got his first at 52.
We said the same thing about a young Dabo Swinney. He's now stuck on two and hasn't made the CFP the last two years.
A lot can change in the years to come. One thing that is certain is that Kirby Smart is at the top of the chain today. Maintaining that will be challenging.
So Smart is No. 1 and Saban is next. I don't disagree. Who is third? It's not Swinney. It's Jim Harbaugh.
I have defended Harbaugh's abilities for years but began losing favor with his continued struggles against rival Ohio State. It seems that he's knocked down that barrier. Is a national title next? With two playoff trips, he's had two losses in the semis.
Swinney is next in line ahead of Lincoln Riley at No. 5. Riley turned USC around overnight. He brought his luggage with him (sorry Deion).
Brian Kelly is sixth. No dispute there either. It starts getting difficult to debate from this point.
Kyle Whittingham has been good at Utah. He's No. 7. Ryan Day has been good at Ohio State. He's No. 8. Ohio State has fallen off some though since Urban Meyer's departure, hence the drop for Day.
My beef would be with Big Game Boomer's No. 9 pick - James Franklin. He's just overrated. Win a Big Ten title and change my mind. Kalen DeBoer of Washington rounds out the top ten. It might be premature to push DeBoer up so high.
Sonny Dykes, who was embarrassed by Georgia in the championship game last year, is ranked 14. Despite the slaughter in the College Football Playoff, I like Dykes. I'd take him over James Franklin.
I tend to still believe some of the best coaches are still in the SEC. Their numbers are skewed due to the competition. Put Lane Kiffin (15), Shane Beamer (16) or Josh Heupel (17) in the PAC-12. They'll have better records.
Of the SEC coaches ranked, Hugh Freeze is ranked 10 out of 14. He is No. 38 overall (just a few spots behind Gus Malzahn).
Is Freeze better? I think so. We always go back to what he did at Ole Miss, but what might be even more impressive is the work at Liberty. He took a brand new program and made them a winner.
We'll hear from Freeze, Saban, Smart and the other SEC head coaches during SEC Media Days on the Wake-Up Call presented by CB&S Bank and River Region Sports on July 18 and 19 on WTLS - Score 94.7/Hit 106.9.