Topic: 2018 ACC Coaching Rankings
Replies: 26   Last Post: May 13, 2018 8:03 PM by: quozzel
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2018 ACC Coaching Rankings

Posted: Apr 22, 2018 12:23 PM

So, I've done this every year for the last few years and with the Spring Game done and us sort of in a dead period, I present you... the coaches in the ACC ranked, 1-14.

1. Dabo Swinney, Clemson: They've made the playoffs every single year for the last three years. There's no justification for anyone else to be ranked in the #1 position. Period.

2. Mark Richt, Miami: Did a very underrated job at Georgia. Then came back to his alma mater where he had them in their first ACCCG in year 2. Fisher's departure secures Richt in this spot right now as well IMO. I don't think you can really argue with anyone else deserving to be in this spot.

3. Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech: 2017 was probably an even better coaching job than the 2016's resurgence season due to personnel losses. Recruiting has been improving and the future for the Hokies is bright.

4. Willie Taggart, Florida State: I'm not as sold on this hire as many are. I don't think he's a bad coach, but he sure does have a reputation for jumping around and I don't think we've gotten to see his long term building potential.

5. Bobby Petrino, Louisville: As I said last year, he may be a horrible person, but he is a solid coach. But the Cards missed an opportunity to cash in with Lamar Jackson.

6. David Cutcliffe, Duke: I simply had him too low last year. He simply continues to take DUKE to bowl games. And now, even recruiting is actually formidable.

7. Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia: He's quirky as heck, but he's a good football coach. That UVA team had no business getting to 6-6 in the regular season. Yet, they made a bowl. This year is going to be a real test though with their personnel losses.

8. Dave Clawson, Wake Forest: He has made a big jump in my rankings this year. Wake has recovered and is a legitimate football program again. He might not take Wake to an ACC title like his predecessor did, but Clawson's accomplishments at Wake might be more impressive given the improved ACC Atlantic.

9. Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech: Home for the holidays in two of the last three years doesn't sit well in Atlanta. Frankly, if not for the Orange Bowl bid in 2014, he might have been out this season. Another failed bid for a bowl and this might be his last. The extension he received this offseason wasn't exactly a huge vote of confidence.

10. Steve Addazio, Boston College: BORING.... but he's another coach who has made a big jump. Boston College is a pretty tough job and yet the Eagles have bowled 4 of the last 5 years. And Addazio inherited a mess when he first arrived in Chestnut Hill.

11. Dave Doeren, NC State: They've had a couple solid seasons in a row. But will the Wolfies ever make a bigger jump under him? 2018 is going to be a pivotal season for his tenure IMO, though I doubt he gets outright fired thanks to his new deal.

12. Pat Narduzzi, Pitt: The Panthers have gotten worse each season under the Narddog, though they did have some reason for hope at the end of the year with a loss by a yard in Blacksburg and the win over the Canes in the season finale.

13. Larry Fedora, UNC: Well, this program certainly met a cliff. Similar to the cliff Southern Miss met when he departed there. The Heels should be a bit better this year. But I don't think anyone expected last year's nose dive either... at least not to the extent that they did.

14. Dino Babers, Syracuse: I don't think he's necessarily a bad coach. I'm just not sure I see him gaining any traction in a very tough situation at Cuse. They may continue to be good for an upset per season though.

Re: 2018 ACC Coaching Rankings

Posted: Apr 22, 2018 12:35 PM

Pretty cool. I'm not sure that I completely agree 100% with all of your assessments, but pretty cool anyway. And by the way, when you guys got Fuente, I felt like of all the hires that were happening that year, you guys got the best one out there.


This is a very good take on it

Posted: Apr 22, 2018 12:36 PM

I hope Richt can hang on the 2nd after this year because Fuente is coming...

Message was edited by: hufferbilly®

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Re: 2018 ACC Coaching Rankings

Posted: Apr 22, 2018 12:44 PM


Re: 2018 ACC Coaching Rankings

Posted: Apr 22, 2018 1:33 PM

Imo, Pawwwl Johnson has to be dead last. There's no excuse for him to keep trying to run that worthless, outdated option offense in this day and age in the ACC. Mix it up, try something different, maybe win some big games! G Tech has totaled like 50 yards of offense against Clemson the last 3 years. Navy and Army run the option the right way (if there is such a thing), but Johnson needs to abandon that and he would be a much better coach with much more success

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Re: 2018 ACC Coaching Rankings

Posted: Apr 22, 2018 1:50 PM

I still respect the butt whoopin he gave us in 2011 and 2014 given stoudt had to step in on that one.

Doeren #4? Lol***

Posted: Apr 22, 2018 1:53 PM

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Re: Doeren #4? Lol***

Posted: Apr 22, 2018 2:20 PM

Dudes a deusche, but i dont ever feel comfortable when we play him. Do you? What they end up 9-4 last year?

True and true on both of those statements regarding NCST...

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 12:44 PM

and If it weren't for Doeren, they probably would have fared even better the last 2 seasons

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Taggart last is kind of ridiculous

Posted: Apr 22, 2018 2:53 PM

He jumps around a lot, but he's done a great job rebuilding a couple of programs. WKU was 0-12 the year before he took over and he took them bowling in his 2nd and 3rd years before leaving for USF, and he also left a really nice foundation and plenty of talent there for Petrino and Brohm. USF was 3-9 when he took over and they won 8 games his 3rd year and 11 his 4th.

We will see what he can do at a program that's already elite and not a total rebuild, but I'm sure his reputation as an ace recruiter and his ties to the state of Florida will go a long way. I would expect FSU to sign top 5 classes and field top 10 teams while he is there.

Re: Taggart last is kind of ridiculous

Posted: Apr 22, 2018 3:31 PM

More of a default positon, hadnt really followed him previously

Richt lol***

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 8:47 AM

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There's something in these hills.

Good list, I like it.

Posted: Apr 22, 2018 1:21 PM

Addazio and Babers are still very solid coaches in my opinion.

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agree.Have to agree with almost all of this.Good work friend***

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 8:50 AM

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Best Is The Standard

VATECH fan, how big is the opener at FSU for VT?

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 8:53 AM

i would argue its the most important game of Opening Weekend for both teams in terms of the rest of the Season. Two teams in the same conference, cross-divisional game between teams picked to finish 2nd in their respective divisions (meaning both teams have eyes on a successful year)

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Best Is The Standard

I think it's CRUCIAL to FSU

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 12:37 PM

Honestly, I'm not sure it hurts us too much to lose. It does start us off with an ACC loss, but Miami (our biggest competition in the Coastal right now) ALSO plays FSU. However, a win for us would be enormous and would show that we're making real strides towards the top of the league. It could also set off some early alarms in Tallahassee that maybe last year wasn't such a fluke.

Honestly, I expect the Hokies to take a bit of a dip this year. But I actually expected one last year too and we were generally pretty good (we were about as good as we were the year prior, but got leapfrogged by Miami). DT is a HUGE concern (especially with Settle's departure). But we do have some young guys on offense that have some potential. And our QB Josh Jackson is being truly pushed this season (he'll likely still win the job, but he will have to earn it rather than be defaulted into the role) by the Kansas transfer Ryan Willis.

Re: I think it's CRUCIAL to FSU

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 12:45 PM

I'm not trying to start anything but if your being pushed by a Kansas football player are you really that good?

Well, he started as a freshman and left

Posted: May 12, 2018 10:44 AM

Largely because he didn't want to be around the losing and could do better for his future development. He has a rocket of an arm (though I don't believe he's particularly mobile). We also don't know how much he's truly pushing Josh Jackson.

That said, while Jackson doesn't have great physical QB tools, he is already great at the mental aspect. He grew up with quite the pedigree (his dad is longtime Michigan RBs coach Fred Jackson.... that little tidbit is probably the new "Bucky Hodges is 6'7"). He is a great leader. He has drawn a lot of comparisons to the QB who led VT into the ACC (Bryan Randall). Randall didn't have a great arm, he wasn't a great runner, but he was a very good college Quarterback. Jackson has a slightly better arm and is probably more advanced as a passer now, but he isn't quite as mobile.

Re: 2018 ACC Coaching Rankings

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 2:27 PM

Interesting how the Tigers lost to two of your bottom three the last few years. #notgood

Re: Babers should be higher; Pawwwwl Johnson last

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 3:33 PM

RB's $0.02 worth.

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Nov. 27th 2018- "I pull for the coots and celebrate helping Bama win" - Class of 09

The Coaching

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 4:08 PM

In the ACC, overall, is really quite solid. That said, the bottom three for me are Doeren, Fedora, and Paawwll J. NC State's going to take a big step back this year, especially if their QB can't be protected. UNCheat and GaTech are lifeless programs. I think Fedora's looking at training for the Senior Mr. Universe competition...and Pawwlll is working on his scowl and moobs. Doeren...he looks chronically constipated...miserable.

Re: 2018 ACC Coaching Rankings

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 5:28 PM

Va.Tech did a very smart thing snagging Justin Fuente.

He's going to be a very good coach for a very long time.

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You have Clawson way too low. What he has done at WF is

Posted: May 12, 2018 1:36 PM


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I agree that he has done a fantastic job at Wake

Posted: May 13, 2018 12:19 AM

Especially after the mess Grobe left (Grobe had done a great job at Wake as well... but he overstayed by about 2-3 years and the program deteriorated).

The fact that he's 8th shows what a great group of coaches we have in the league. Other than maybe Mendenhall, I just don't know who else to rank him above.

Interesting List VT

Posted: May 13, 2018 8:16 AM

I grew up in Hampton, VA and took my business school talents to Tiger Town in 1979. Great choice for me and never looked back. Never been to Blacksburg but have read and heard many good things about it being a beautiful place.

JF is the real deal but at a recruiting disadvantage competing against ACC teams in the deep south. That said, it will be interesting to watch MIA and VT compete for control at top of division. Looks like Clemson is making a run for some of the top kids in southeast VA but stays away from beltway. See you at the ACC championship ...

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Small world, I grew up in Hampton too

Posted: May 13, 2018 6:58 PM

Went to Phoebus where I played on the same team with Xavier Adibi and DJ Parker (both of whom started on the 2007 VT defense... Parker you may remember returned an INT to the house on the opening drive in that 07 game in Clemson).

Looking forward to hopefully making it back to Charlotte this year. Hopefully if we are fortunate enough to make it, we can give you a better game than Miami did.... or than we did the last time we met in Charlotte.

Re: 2018 ACC Coaching Rankings

Posted: May 13, 2018 8:03 PM

I won't rank them because I think that's pointless and ever-shifting but I will say that I think the ACC is extremely well-coached at the moment.

When some lists have guys like Steve Addazio - who's got BC competing again, and has them tough as nails at the LOS to boot even if they don't have a ton of team speed - and Dave Doeren (who just went 9-4) at or near the bottom, you have an extremely well-coached conference. (Keep in mind Doeren also got Northern Illinois to 12-1 and the Orange Bowl a few years back.)

When you've got Dino Babers at dead-last, stuff really is tough sledding. Babers is good and if he can get any kind of talent he'll have 'Cuse competing. That offense of his - which he got from Art Briles, who could coach some offense even if he was a poster boy of #MeToo atrocities against the female gender - is no joke.

Taggart's the big X factor. Everybody knows he can recruit. Everybody knows he's one cool cat and is also a very good players' coach. But can he call plays? And his defensive staff is suspect as well. We'll see. The ACC caught and almost buried Jimbo and it surely does look like Mark Richt is locking down South Florida again. Getting back up the mountain is not guaranteed for him.

Oh, and Bronco Mendenhall. The film junkies I know love him. They say he's one of the best pure football brains in the game.

The Saban clones are taking over the SEC - mostly, it seems, because they cheat like crazy (I wish I was kidding) - but other than Dan Mullen (who is an Urban Meyer disciple, not a Saban guy) they're reverting back to three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust on O at a wondrous rate and as far as offensive minds go, they're pretty much nonexistent in that conference.

The ACC, on the other hand....this honestly might be the best collection of offensive brains I've seen in one conference at one time in awhile...and no two of them really do it the same way. (Safe to say the ACC is by a bunch the most varied of any conference in terms of the number of different offensive schemes and philosophies out there.) Add in the ACC can actually play defense - unlike the Big 12 or Pac-12 - and I think there could be 4-5 teams vying for the title this year (though I think Clemson is ahead of all of them) - and another 4-5 that can really, really play.

It's a challenge. I'm frankly glad Clemson is as established as we are...because this conference is just way more challenging than it was even a few years ago.

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