Athlonsports.com recently released a ranking of every single FBS coach in the country, with Alabama head coach Nick Saban topping the list. A little bit further down, UConn head coach Bob Diaco came in at 78th.
The Huskies went 6-7 last season behind a strong defense and a lackluster offense. Diaco has a stellar defensive background having playing linebacker at Iowa and having been the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame for four years, where he won the Broyles Award for best assistant in the country and helped the Irish to a national championship appearance. But the results at UConn are what have him so far down the list.
His career record at UConn is just 8-17 after two seasons, but it's clear he has taken the program out of the ditch it was in before. The freshmen and sophomores who saw a lot of playing time in 2014 were sophomores and juniors in 2015. Those players will be juniors and seniors for this upcoming season and also benefiting from three years of continuity under Diaco's system and staff.
Tom Herman, of Houston, was the highest-ranked American Athletic Conference coach, tied for 14th. He is also the highest-ranked Group of Five coach. The American had another coach in the top-50, with Navy's Ken Niumatalolo taking the 40th spot.
Diaco was the seventh-highest ranked coach in the American Athletic Conference. In addition to Houston and Cincinnati, Tulane (Willie Fritz - 53rd), USF (Willie Taggart - 56th), Temple (Matt Rhule - 58th) and Cincinnati (Tommy Tuberville - 59th) all had their head coaches ranked ahead of Diaco.
Meanwhile, Tulsa (Philip Montgomery - 80th), SMU (Chad Morris - 98th), Memphis (Mike Norvell - 99th), UCF (Scott Frost - 109th) and East Carolina (Scottie Montgomery - 119th) fell below.
The rankings were based on the premise of, "If you start a program from scratch, which coach would you hire knowing what they accomplished so far and their career trajectory?" Do with that information what you will, but Bob probably has a legitimate claim to a slightly higher position. What do you think?