2014 Big 12 Preview: Coaches Unit Rankings

Posted Aug 15, 2014

Preview 2014 - Big 12 Coaches Unit Rankings & Breakdowns



- 2014 Big 12 Preview
- 2014 CFN Big 12 Schedules & Picks: Baylor to OU
- 2014 CFN Big 12 Schedules & Picks: OSU to WVU
- CFN All-Big 12 Team & Top 30 Players
- Big 12 Team Looks & Predicted Finish   
Unit Rankings QB | RB | WR | OL
DL | LB | DB | ST | Coaches

- 2014 Baylor Preview
- 2014 Iowa State Preview  
- 2014 Kansas Preview  
- 2014 Kansas State Preview
- 2014 Oklahoma Preview
- 2014 Oklahoma State Preview  
- 2014 TCU Preview 
- 2014 Texas Preview 
- 2014 Texas Tech Preview 
- 2014 West Virginia Preview  
1. Oklahoma
In an era of quick hooks and job-hopping coaches, Bob Stoops has been a model of consistency, on and off the field. Sure, the program expected at least one more national championship after winning it in 2000, but the Sooners have been the dominant force in the Big 12 since the start of the century. And not only does Oklahoma boast arguably the league’s best head man, but also the most complete staff. Mike Stoops has done a terrific job with the defense since returning in 2012, and co-offensive coordinators Jay Norvell and Josh Heupel complement each other well. All of the staffers have a part in perennially touted recruiting classes.
Unit Ranking: 9.5

2. Baylor
The Bears are on fire in all phases these days, and Art Briles has been stoking the embers ever since arriving in 2008. The coach has been a revelation in Waco, completely transforming the culture and the expectations of a once-lifeless program. Baylor is suddenly a destination campus for plenty of Texas high school stars, especially offensive playmakers. Briles has done well to keep his staff intact, namely Philip Montgomery, a shooting star at offensive coordinator, and proven defensive coordinator Phil Bennett. The uptick in personnel has been a collaborative effort, led by Briles’ son, Kendal, who’s developing into a terrific talent evaluator.
Unit Ranking: 9

3. Oklahoma State
Mike Gundy continues to flourish at his alma mater, while crafting some of the most diverse and explosive offenses in the country. And he’s done it, despite constantly losing talented assistants to bigger opportunities, and coaching in the long shadow of the Sooners. Gundy has really grown into this gig, while exhibiting a penchant for dealing with fluctuations in personnel. Young offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich could be the next Gundy pupil to use Stillwater as a stepping stone, but defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer is the gem of the staff. He had a great debut leading the D in 2013, and excels at talent acquisition.
Unit Ranking: 9

4. Kansas State
Remarkably, Bill Snyder is still going strong at the age of 74. Unlike most septuagenarian coaches before him, the soon-to-be Hall of Famer is getting better as he gets older, reviving the Wildcats for a second time. Kansas State has won 29 games over the last three years, including the Big 12 title. Snyder and his staff own the secret sauce on maximizing the ability of young athletes, particularly junior-college transfers. KSU has also benefitted over the years from staff stability, especially co-offensive coordinators Dana Dimel and Del Miller, who’ve got 35 combined years of experience in Manhattan.
Unit Ranking: 9

5. Texas
For the first time since 1998, when Mack Brown arrived in Austin from Chapel Hill, the Longhorns have a new head coach. Sure, leading Texas is a different animal, but Charlie Strong has proven himself every step of the way, from a successful defensive assistant to a program rebuilder at Louisville. He can lead, he can recruit and he can help toughen up a defense pining for more attitude. On paper, Strong has assembled a solid staff. Vance Bedford oversees the D, while Shawn Watson and Joe Wickline, a top developer of O-linemen, handle offensive duties. Bringing D-line coach Chris Rumph over from Alabama was a coup.
Unit Ranking: 9

6. TCU
Gary Patterson is a lot like Utah’s Kyle Whittingham—accomplished coach who’s been taken down a peg following a move to a tougher league. The Horned Frogs were darlings of the non-AQ conferences during this century’s first decade, but are just 11-14 as members of the Big 12. Still, Patterson is a gifted all-around coach, whose staff is littered with assistants who’ve been with him for more than a decade. Coordinator Dick Bumpas is a key reason that TCU is consistently one of the stingiest and saltiest defenses in America. And adding Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meacham to ignite a stale offense were smart offseason moves by Patterson.
Unit Ranking: 8.5

7. Iowa State
Paul Rhoads is doing his best in the challenging situation that is Cyclone football. He’s never going to attract elite recruits to Ames, yet his teams are always competitive, Even during last year’s uncharacteristic 3-9 plummet, Iowa State suffered five losses by no more than eight points. While Rhoads is a proven teacher and motivator, he has to get more consistency and pop from his offense. Enter coordinator Mark Mangino, the centerpiece of a reconfigured offensive staff. The defense remains in the capable hands of veteran Wally Burnham, who has a knack for coaching up unheralded linebackers.
Unit Ranking: 7.5

8. West Virginia
Remember when the Mountaineers tagged Clemson for 70 points in the Orange Bowl? It sure feels like longer than three years ago. The bloom has since jumped off Dana Holgorsen’s rose, the result of a 6-12 Big 12 mark the past two seasons. It’s now or never for Holgorsen and a collection of assistants that’s better than the recent downturn indicates. He’ll continue to have his finger on the pulse of the offense, while former Penn State fixture Tom Bradley was brought aboard to help make sense of the D. Joe DeForest is one of the league’s better special teams coaches, and Lonnie Galloway continues to win big on the recruiting trail.
Unit Ranking: 7.5

9. Texas Tech
Kliff Kingsbury is young, with a lot to learn, but the early returns have been glowing. The yin-yang of the head coach was evident in 2013, his team rising to No. 10 in the polls before losing the final five regular season games. Things will eventually come together for Kingsbury, much the way they did for Mike Gundy after a few years as a head coach. Whatever fluctuations Kingsbury faces in the short term, he can always count on his ability to recruit and to develop young hurlers. A largely unproven staff will grow up together, with 28-year-old offensive coordinator Eric Morris flashing the steepest trajectory of the assistants.
Unit Ranking: 7.5

10. Kansas
Charlie Weis is an enigma in the profession. The coach with four Super Bowl rings as an assistant has also been a disappointment as a head coach. Yeah, Weis inherited a train wreck in Lawrence, but there’s no glossing over a 20-41 mark dating back to the beginning of his slide at Notre Dame in 2007. His staff has a noticeable Kansas flavor coming from new offensive coordinator John Reagan, defensive coordinator Clint Bowen and running backs coach Reggie Mitchell, the program’s go-to recruiter. Like Weis, assistant head coach Dave Campo has a distinguished career, but much of which was built a long time ago.
Unit Ranking: 7