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College Football Coach of the Year Candidates

This year there are several worthy candidates in college football for the Coach of the Year. We’ve had some outstanding jobs turned in by several coaches, many who have fought through adversities other programs cannot imagine. Let’s look at some of the worthy candidates:

Brian Kelly, Notre Dame Fighting Irish– The Irish started the season unranked and ended 12-0 and playing in the BCS National Championship game. That has to be Coach of the Year material. The Irish were not even sure who their starting quarterback was when the season started. Now they are number one in the nation and the only unbeaten team.

Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M Aggies– The Aggies were starting with Missouri in their first year in the mighty SEC with an unknown freshman quarterback. At the start of the season if someone asked which of these two teams would be making a big splash in the first year in the league, most would have picked Mizzou. But A&M is on their way to the Cotton Bowl with a Top Ten ranking and a win in Tuscaloosa and a likely Heisman Trophy to show for its first year in the SEC. Not too shabby!

Urban Meyer, Ohio State Buckeyes– All Meyer did was show up in Columbus to coach a 6-7 teams that had no hopes of a championship or a bowl game and go 12-0 in his first season as head coach. Other than that he did nothing.

Will Muschamp, Florida Gators– Like Meyer, Muschamp took a Gator Bowl team that was 7-6 last year and started the season ranked #23 and take them to within a play or two of playing for the BCS National Championship. The Gators played five of the top 12 teams in the final BCS Standings, going 4-1 in those games, including road wins at Texas A&M and Florida State.

Bill Snyder, Kansas State Wildcats– Kansas State is the Big 12 champions and will be going to the Fiesta Bowl to play the Oregon Ducks while their quarterback Collin Klein will be going to New York as a Heisman Finalist. How may saw this coming in the preseason?

Bill O’Brien, Penn State Nittany Lions– No coach has overcome the adversity that Bill O’Brien and his players have. They watched as the Penn State football program was literally dismantled and disgraced. O’Brien had to replace a legend at coach. That’s hard enough. But to have to do it with the horrible backdrop of everything that coach built crashing around him, while star players were jumping ship left and right  is another thing entirely. Then to watch preseason predictions of 2-10 and 1-11 for your team and then start 0-2 with losses to the Ohio Bobcats and a bad Virginia Cavaliers team in heart breaking fashion. Then to turn all that around and go 8-4, is nothing short of remarkable. So our Coach of the Year goes to Bill O’Brien of the Penn State Nittany Lions.

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