If you were a young hot-shot coach with your pick of Big 12 jobs, which would you take? I’m going to rank them from top to bottom, but if you disagree, don’t worry - you can vote in the poll at the bottom.
I know objectivity is frowned upon among the Red Raider fan base, but unfortunately I will not be succumbing to the pressures of our audience and ranking Texas Tech No. 1. I’m sorry. Well, sorta. Anyway:
This is really a no-brainer. It’s the school with the most money, resources and fans. It’s located in America’s favorite city (for whatever reason) and you can pretty much pick and choose from the state’s top talent to come to your school. It’s pretty hard not to succeed here, yet, over the past five years, coaches have found ways to fail. That doesn’t change the quality of this job, though, and it’s unequivocally the best in the conference and top-3 in the nation.
Again, not a tough choice. The Sooners have one of the most storied programs in college football and they’re extremely well-funded. If I’m a coach, I’m not going to be too excited about living in Norman, but if you succeed at OU, you will become a true legend in that state. And, like Texas, it’s not very hard (or at least, it shouldn’t be) to win 10 games every year with the resources, facilities, and talent available to you.
This is where it gets tricky. Six years ago, TCU wasn’t even a member of a Power 5 conference. Now, the Horned Frogs are perennially at the top of the Big 12 and only getting better. If you’re a coach, think of the benefits TCU offers. You’re located in one of the most talent-rich areas in the country. SMU is the only other school in the area, and no one wants to play for them. You have the most beautiful campus in the state. There’s just so much potential in this job, I really believe TCU has a chance to become an elite, top-tier college football program in the next 10 years.
4. Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State is a really good job. I don’t think many people would dispute that. However, the combination of living both in Stillwater and under the suppressive shadow of the Oklahoma Sooners is enough to keep OK State out of the top-3.
5. Texas Tech
You won’t find a more loyal, passionate fan base than the one you’ll get at Texas Tech. It doesn’t have quite the same amount of resources Texas or OU boasts, but it’s still in really good shape. The facilities are improving with the addition of a new training building, and Jones AT&T Stadium is an exceptional venue. Mike Leach has proven you can win on a consistent basis, so if I’m a talented coach, I wouldn’t shy away from the program at all.
6. West Virginia
West Virginia is a fascinating job to me, particularly because it’s in the Big 12. I mean, what other Big 12 schools have access to the east coast like West Virginia? Those mid-level players who aren’t good enough to play at Clemson but still want to play at a strong Power 5 school close to home have a great option in Morgantown. Now, living in West Virginia wouldn’t be all that appealing to me, but I would be confident in the amount of success I could have with this program.
7. Kansas State
OK, from here on out, I’m not taking any of these jobs if I’m an talented, up-and-coming coach. K-State can win some games consistently under the right leadership, or, should I say, under Bill Snyder. We haven’t seen the Wildcats win under anyone else. I’d be apprehensive in accepting this job, because not only do I have to live up to the expectations of a legend, but doing so would be next to impossible with the lack of recruiting advantages the team is afforded.
I was going to put Iowa State here, but honestly, I think I just like KU better. It’s a great academic school, it’s the state’s flagship university, Lawrence, KS, isn’t all that bad...I mean, it’s really not a terrible place to work. There’s zero expectations for you to succeed, so any game you win is a pleasant surprise. You physically can’t fail here, because going winless is normal. But the Jayhawks are perfectly capable of winning six or seven games, as we’ve seen before, so there’s some level of potential here. I’m OK with Kansas.
9. Iowa State
I literally have nothing to say about this job. Like Kansas, it’s more of a basketball school than anything. It’s just so plain. And boring. Like, what do you even talk about in Ames, Iowa? Anyone with any talent in that state is going to play for the Hawkeyes, or some other Big 10 school. Iowa State is everybody’s last option. Simply unappealing.
Maybe this will change many years down the road, but I wouldn’t touch this job with a thousand-foot pole. The stigma surrounding the school, the damage done to recruiting because of it, I mean, this is not a job you want. There are still several pending lawsuits against the school, and they are not pretty. I don’t even know if the place will have a program in two years. Side note: I will say, I think some of us Big 12 fans thoroughly enjoy talking down on Baylor and generalizing the entire student body and athletic staff as terrible people. I think we all know that’s not the case. There’s some really good people at that university and I feel bad they have to be associated with the horrific acts committed while they were in school. I sincerely hope Matt Rhule turns that program around. But for the sake of this article, nope. No way I’m touching this job.
OK, readers, it’s time to let your voice be heard. Cast your vote in the poll below, and let’s see how honest y’all actually are:
What’s the best coaching job in the Big 12?
This poll is closed