Alabama’s Nick Saban sits atop the list — no surprise there — and one-time San Jose State coach Ron Turner of Florida International resides at the bottom.
But where does Athlon magazine place Cal’s Sonny Dykes in its ranking of all 128 Division I coaches in the country?
Actually, pretty much right in the middle.
Dykes is No. 60 on Athlon’s list, which makes him last among Pac-12 coaches, but ahead of 68 others across the land.
Here’s what the magazine had to say about Cal’s second-year coach:
“It seems unfair to rank Dykes at the bottom of the Pac-12, but there’s not a bad coach in the conference. Dykes’ debut at California did not go well, as the Golden Bears finished 1-11 and winless in conference play for the first time since 2001. While the final record was not pretty, California had a handful of injuries to key players on defense, and Jared Goff was a true freshman getting his first snaps at quarterback. Dykes took steps this offseason to ensure last year’s 1-11 won’t be repeated. The defensive staff got a major overhaul and a solid recruiting class will help with the overall depth. Prior to his one season at California, Dykes went 22-15 at Louisiana Tech, including a 17-8 mark over the final two years.”
Here is how Athlon lists the Pac-12 coaches (with their national rank):
12. David Shaw, Stanford
13. Chris Petersen, Washington
19. Todd Graham, Arizona State
27. Mike Price, Oregon State
28. Mike Leach, Washington State
30. Rich Rodriguez, Arizona
31. Jim Mora, UCLA
44. Steve Sarkisian, USC
45. Mike MacIntyre, Colorado
51. Kyle Whittingham, Utah
58. Mark Helfrich, Oregon
60. Sonny Dykes, Cal
An interesting list. My reactions:
— Shaw atop the Pac-12 heap is deserving, and reinforces the notion that he has made Stanford stronger since replacing Jim Harbaugh.
— Washington actually traded up 31 spots, using this list as a measuring stick, when it lost Steve Sarkisian to USC and hired Chris Petersen from Boise State to replace him.
— The recent trajectory of UCLA’s program has me thinking Jim Mora will soon climb on this list.
— Mark Heflrich goes 11-2 in his debut season with Oregon and Dykes is 1-11 for Cal, yet Helfrich rates just two spots better. Expectations.
Here is Athlon’s national top-10:
1. Nick Saban, Alabama
2. Urban Meyer, Ohio State
3. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina
4. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
5. Art Briles, Baylor
6. Bill Snyder, Kansas State
7. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State
8. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
9. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
10. Guz Malzahn, Auburn