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The Most Overrated College Football Coach Is Who?

Jim Harbaugh, Nick Saban, Brian Kelly
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Just because you win doesn’t mean you’re good.

That’s some odd logic, but it may apply. CBS Sports polled FBS college football coaches to find out the most overrated coach in the sport. To be fair, only 26 coaches took part, which comes nowhere close to covering the 130 schools at the FBS level, so take the results with a grain of salt.

Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh topped the survey, earning 13% of the vote. Harbaugh has taken Stanford to a top 5 finish, a BCS win, then made a detour to the NFL where he took the 49ers to the Super Bowl before doubling back to his alma mater, where he’s led the Wolverines to a pair of top 15 finishes in his first two seasons and brought them back to national relevance.

Nick Saban, who many consider one of the best coaches in the history of the sport, took second. That’s pretty surprising, since he’s won five national titles at two schools, two national coach of the year awards and coached two Heisman Trophy winners. As one rival coach said, “Nick’s got a lot of advantages. In [my conference], you could take five or six of us and get there a month before the season and win 12 games. There is a little [bleeping] machine underneath that stadium, and they grow them there.”

Here’s the complete list:

  • Jim Harbaugh (Michigan): 13%
  • Nick Saban (Alabama): 9%
  • Lane Kiffin (Florida Atlantic): 9%
  • Lovie Smith (Illinois): 9%
  • Brian Kelly (Notre Dame): 4%
  • Tom Herman (Texas): 4%
  • Will Muschamp (South Carolina): 4%
  • Choose not to answer: 48%

On the flip side, Kansas State’s ageless wonder, Bill Snyder, was named the most underrated coach.

  • Bill Snyder (Kansas State) – 24%
  • Chris Petersen (Washington) – 15%
  • David Cutcliffe (Duke) – 10%
  • Ken Niumatalolo (Navy) – 10%
  • 10 other coaches – 41%

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