A panel of ESPN experts drafted programs, not players. The results are occasionally objectionable for a panel supposedly versed in the business of college football, but a fun exercise nonetheless
My criteria are simple:
If every job in America were thrown open, where do the top coaches go? You have to evaluate resources, positioning in the competitive landscape (conference, geography, dollars), and the future as much as tradition and the past.
So here's how the Big 12 fared. The Aggies aren't going to like this:
25. Texas Tech
26. Oklahoma State
39. Texas A&M
Texas A&M squeezed into the Top 40, the 2009 NFL fantasy draft equivalent of taking Derek Anderson in the 12th round. They were the last of 8 Big 12 teams selected. Aside from the obvious picks of Texas and OU, they were selected behind has-been Nebraska, their archrival Texas Tech, T Boone Pickens U, a school that gives up 50 ppg to Big 12 South opponents, and a basketball school. Harsh. A&M is a better potential program than most of the Big 12 schools drafted ahead of it, but their underachieving has definitely left a stain with the national press. Given A&M natural resources, that's a pretty harsh judgement on Mike Sherman. Recruiting and winning is their only ticket up because right now they're viewed as a penny stock.
Some random Maisel, Forde & Schlabach buffoonery:
The Utah Utes (#17), Wisconsin (#18), Boise St (#20 ), perennial underachiever Clemson (#21), BYU (#23) are all drafted ahead of the U? And if you're so infatuated with minor programs with big records, where is TCU? These guys have almost no ability to delineate betweens wins, quality of opponent, resource base, and program future once they get out of the Top 10.
Maisel offers his Miami rationale, when not harvesting his keyboard drool:
But the Canes don't play on campus and have a fickle fan base. It's a good thing that tradition and the richest talent pool in the country are right at Miami's fingertips.
Riiight. Let's see, experts: five national titles, charismatic NFL alumni who return to the program every summer, located in the heart of the best recruting ground in America, considered the prestige recruiting visit destination for national prospects. But the fans are fickle. What idiot would want that Cane job if Boise St were available? Miami is in the teens, not the mid-twenties, you jackanapes.
The top 10 are fairly straightforward, though you could debate positioning. It gets tricky after that.
Nebraska at #12 is probably being viewed optimistically. Take a look at their last coaching search. The conventional wisdom among college coaches is that this is a program with Top 40 resources and Top 5 expectations. Dangerous.
Virginia Tech at #13? What was Virginia Tech before Frank Beamer? What are they after he's gone? Yeah. Not #13.
Florida State at #14. Debatable. You're making a big bet on Bowden's successor. They'll be second billing in Florida for as long as Meyer is in Gainesville - which is forever - and a strong Georgia, Alabama & LSU hurt them right where they live.
UCLA at #30? A sleeping giant in a great recruiting area with only major competitor. 5 spots too low, minimum. I'll argue 10. Texas Tech & Oklahoma State ranked over them is absurd.
What jumps out at you?