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Podcast Episode 057: Dissecting the ACC coaches

Stephen Prather from Coaches By The Numbers

If you like numbers and ACC coaches, this podcast is for you!

If you are like me you like looking at numbers when analyzing sports such as baseball and football. On a previous podcast Patrick Johnston of Big East Coast Bias introduced the idea of the Positive Impact Factor, a mathematical way of looking at and comparing quarterbacks in college football and the NFL. Today we begin what I hope is a series of podcasts with my new friends over at the Coaches By The Numbers.

Stephen Prather of the new site checks in today to take a look at how he and the rest of the guys working on the site look at coaches, and we focus on the ACC coaches to continue the ACC Week coverage for the upcoming season. The aim of the site is to bring an unbiased approach to the evaluation of coaches in college football, and I have adopted their logic in part and expect to be referring to it multiple times leading up to and during the 2011 season. Check out their Top 50 coahes ranking to see if your favorite school’s coach is listed. There are nine ACC coaches in the bunch.

Before I get to the podcast I thought I would share my personal ACC coaches rankings with you here. Unlike Coaches By The Numbers, I’ll let some subjectivity weigh in a bit. Only FBS records were included in the coaches records.

  1. Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech (198-95-2 overall) – Without a doubt the dean of the current coaches in the ACC. Would be nice to see him win another “big game” though.
  2. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State (10-4) – Win the ACC this season and he probably leaps Beamer based.
  3. Dabo Swinney, Clemson (19-15) – Swinney could benefit from a strong season in 2011 but he looks to be clearly in the top three in the ACC.
  4. Tom O’Brien, North Carolina State (100-70) – The Wolfpack almost made a run to the ACC championship last season, but he coudl easily slip a spot or two moving forward.
  5. Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech (71-43) – The master of the triple-option, even if it has some flaws, could benefit from recruiting some players to work on a passing game.
  6. Frank Spaziani, Boston College (16-11) – It can be tough coaching Boston College in a mostly southern conference, but Spaz seems to be a good fit for the school.
  7. Butch Davis, North Carolina (79-43) – We discussed Davis with Michael Felder the other day. No reason he should be on a hot seat in terms of on-field performance. Yet.
  8. Randy Edsall, Maryland (70-63) – Walking in to a good position, but will need to prove himself a bit in a new conference.
  9. Jim Grobe, Wake Forest (95-93-1) – Grobe has done a fine job overall with Wake Forest. It wasn’t so long ago they were in the ACC championship game.
  10. Al Golden, Miami (27-34) – I may be biased after watching him transform Temple up close, but I think this is pretty low for Golden. I suspect he will move up this ranking fairly quickly.
  11. David Cutcliffe, Duke (56-53) – It can’t be easy being the football coach at Duke. This ranking may not be a true testament for Cutcliffe.
  12. Mike London, Virginia (4-8) – The sample size is just too small to determine if Mike London has what it takes yet. For now, he’ll need to prove himself a little more before moving up the ranking.

Have a listen to the podcast below, then make sure you are subscribed in iTunes, and following the show on Get Glue! Follow Coaches by the Numbers on Twitter (follow me too).

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About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.
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