1. Nick Saban, Alabama. Pretty simple. If the Crimson Tide wins a third straight national title, fourth in five years and Saban’s fifth as a head coach, he will make a serious argument for being the greatest coach in the 144-year history of the sport. Even if he doesn’t want to talk about it.
2. Urban Meyer, Ohio State. It’s a close call which is growing faster: Meyer’s reputation as the nation’s greatest rebuilder or his reputation for coaching scofflaws. A summer full of questions about Aaron Hernandez and an outbreak of legal problems for the Buckeyes will give way to an autumn of user-friendly scheduling and a chance to start his Ohio State tenure 25-0 (at least).
3. Mark Helfrich, Oregon. After spending his entire career in press boxes watching someone else lead a team, the rookie head coach heads to the sidelines to take over a national title contender. No new head coach walks into a better situation than Helfrich, who now must prove he can Win The Day as frequently and dazzlingly as Chip Kelly did.
4. Mack Brown, Texas. One of the giant figures in the game has been cut down to ordinary size the past three seasons, going 22-16 in that time after a nine-year run of double-digit victories. Brown believes his program is back as a national contender this year. It needs to be, or the end of his Texas tenure might not come on his terms.
5. Bobby Petrino, Western Kentucky. From savant-level coach to scandal-ridden pariah, Petrino begins his career comeback well off the main stage. But look at the opportunity at his disposal: WKU opens with Kentucky and Tennessee – two schools that wanted no part of Petrino when hiring other coaches last winter. Upset a pair of SEC teams and Petrino may suddenly be a hot name on the job market once again. And past precedent says there’s nothing Bobby loves more than shopping himself for jobs.
Continue Reading: College football’s Most Intriguing coaches (Yahoo! Sports)