Rider's 10 Worst Coaches in College Football


Posts from Handicappers on hiatus

Rider's 10 Worst Coaches in College Football

Not surprisingly, Dave Wannstedt makes Tommy Rider's list of the 10 worst CFB coaches.

One of my main handicapping tools is looking at coaches, particularly bad ones. My guess is the average bettor on the street doesn't put a lot of stock in coaches. However, fading bad coaches in the right spot can make you a lot of money. I decided to rank my ten worst coaches in college football. These are the guys I trust the least and coaches I try and stay away from if possible. As you will notice, four of these coaches - including the Top 3 - reside in the Big East Conference. On Friday, I will list my rankings of the worst NFL coaches as well. Here is my list of the worst CFB has to offer, starting from No. 10:

10. Les Miles, LSU - Miles probably isn't the tenth worst coach in the country but I wanted to put him on the list because he is an idiot. People talk about how he "led" LSU to the National Title last year. I would argue that they won it in spite of Miles. Despite having an NFL-caliber squad, LSU dropped two games to inferior teams. I can live with the Kentucky loss. That was a tough SEC battle on the road. But being at home and losing to Arkansas with a spot in the National Championship Game on the line is inexcusable. Then, LSU was on the verge of losing to Tennessee until Erik Ainge hand delivered them the SEC Title. If you watch Miles during the course of a game, he makes a lot of terrible decisions. His team is loaded with talent but sooner or later his luck will run out. Miles staying at LSU is the best thing that ever happened to Michigan.

9. Tom Amstutz, Toledo - It's hard to argue with Amstutz's overall record (55-22) but I think this program is on the decline. Toledo used to be a MAC powerhouse but I don't see that being the case any longer. The other reason Dumbo is on this list is because I think he may be the one coach that's crooked. Don't forget, Toledo has already had a huge point shaving scandal and I'm not so sure that Amstutz isn't a part of all that. Two times in the last four years I've seen him give up early in the fourth quarter. Instead of trying to get back in the game, Amstutz was worried about running out the clock. I'm sorry but there's something fishy in that approach.

8. Tommy Bowden, Clemson - One of the way's I rate coaches is how they perform with the talent they are given. For example, Jeff Fisher gets a high rating from me because his teams are always competitive even though they don't have a bunch of Pro Bowl players. Nobody does less with more than Tommy Bowden. There is no shame in losing to an SEC team like Alabama. But to come in and get run off the field like you don't even belong there comes down to coaching. His teams are always tight and not well prepared in big games. I don't know how many more years Clemson can be loaded with talent and end up in the Music City Bowl before Mini Bowden gets the boot.

7. Mike Sherman, Texas A&M - There is one thing I hate. I hate when a coach comes in and says he's going to run his system even when he doesn't have the right players. When Bill Belichick came to New England, he ran the 4-3 at first because he didn't have the linebackers to use the 3-4. That's good coaching. Sherman comes to Texas A&M and puts in a pro-style offense with a running quarterback. Does that make sense to anyone? You know what Sherman is? A good offensive coordinator. You know what he isn't? A good head coach, as I'm sure the Packers fans on this board can attest to. He'll be out of a job in two years.

6. Tyrone Willingham, Washington - I'm sorry, I just think this guy sucks. I've seen enough of him screwing up gameplans, making terrible decisions and not being competitive against top tier teams. Washington used to be a football powerhouse. They need a big-time coach to come in and get this program back on its feet. Willingham seems like a nice guy but he's probably more qualified to be coaching in high school, not at a big-time Division I school.

5. Bill Stewart, West Virginia - Would you hand the keys of your brand new Porsche over to a blind man? Well, that's essentially what West Virginia did when it hired Stewart. This guy wasn't even a candidate before the bowl game win over Oklahoma and 24 hours later he's the head coach. And after he was hired, you couldn't find one single person who liked the move. I always get suspicious when a guy gets hired by his Alma mater and is gushing so much saying things like, "This is my dream job. I don't ever want to go anyplace else." Well Bill, you won't have to worry about that because no one else would hire you. As bad as things may be for the Mountaineers this year, wait until next season when Pat White leaves. My guess is that will be Stewart's last year in Morgantown.

4. Joe Glenn, Wyoming - Talk about an awful coach. I always love these coaches that change offensive systems every year. That's a great way to screw with the heads of 19-year old kids. Make them learn a new offense every season. Of course, none of those systems have worked. This team looked so putrid against Air Force you would have thought they just paid a bunch of guys off the street and put uniforms on them. Big things were expected out of Wyoming this year but my guess is you will see another losing season and the last of Glenn.

3. Steve Kragthorpe, Louisville - It takes a special man to come in and destroy an entire program within one year. Steve Kragthorpe is that man. Watching this team over the last two years, it looks like no one on the field has any idea of what they're doing. Players are always confused, putting their arms up in the air and arguing with each other. Kragthorpe installed a new power running game this season. It was so powerful that it managed a whopping three points against Kentucky. Louisville better can this guy at the end of the year because it doesn't take long for a program to fall of the map. Just ask Syracuse.

2. Dave Wannstedt, Pitt - I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Wannstedt because he was the Cowboys defensive coordinator when they won the Super Bowl back in 1992. But as a head coach, you'll be hard-pressed to find more of a clueless buffoon on the sidelines than the 'Stache. Someone I know once asked Bill Belichick who the biggest jerk he ever coached against was. His reply? You guessed it, Dave Wannstedt. The 'Stache was supposed to bring Pitt back to its glory days but instead, he's losing to teams like Ohio, Bowling Green and Navy. That's not going to get it done. Unless Pitt makes a serious run this season, Wannstedt will be the linebackers coach for an NFL team this time next season.

1. Greg Robinson, Syracuse - Was there ever any doubt? Did you really have to scroll down to see who was No. 1? It's hard to believe but four years ago Syracuse actually went to a bowl game. That's how far the Orange have fallen under this joker. Things went from bad to worse this season as Syracuse opened the year with losses to Northwestern and at home against MAC lightweight Akron. If that doesn't get Robinson fired, I don't know what will. They will probably win one game this year against Northeastern and to be honest, that is no longer a gimmie. Growing up near Syracuse - and I'm sure Matty and Oopie can back me up - the Carrier Dome was one of the biggest home field advantages in all of sports. When that place is packed, the noise is deafening. Now you can hear a pin drop in the mighty Dome. Syracuse has a long ways to go before its back on the national stage and I think everyone on the planet knows Robinson isn't the man to get them there.

  • Jerry Glanville (now coaching the Portland St. Vikings.......)

  • Tommy "Fat Head" Amstupid should be #1.  How many coaches can claim to be dumb and crooked?

  • He's a better coach than Roy Williams, that's for sure  LOL

  • I know this is the wrong thread for this...BUT ...it damn sure ain't Butch Davis...HELL YEAH!!!...GO HEELS!!!

    The best coaching staff in the nation, top to bottom. I know many of you will say not,no way in hell...blah blah blah, USC, or Ohio ST, or just pick 1 of them FRIGGIN SEC teams, God am I tired of the SEC hype crap, kinda reminds me of the friggin Obama Media Express. Is there another University that competes at the highest of levels in ALL sports??? I know IT'S the 1ST season of success and we're not even winning our conference BUT ITS FOOTBALL in Chapel Hill,PERIOD!! Michigan,Tennessee,Nebraska and others that supposedly have a birthright to Pigskin dominance, look up thats a foot with a Tarheel thats pressed on your face jumping over your asses and heading to the top. Sorry for the rant, Monday golf and cold beers, but I really don't give a damn.

  • Tommy Bowden by far the worst..he should have been fired last year but the team he returned this year was suppose to save his ass and pout them in a BCS Bowl.  Hows that going?

    Honorable Mention - Frank Solich - Ohio U , Tyrone Willingham Washington, Charlie Weis Notre Dame.

  • TR,

           We need to get ATS record of all the coaches on your List so far this season. Probably in the 35% range. Meaning ....if you PLAYED Against you'd be HITTING 65% $$$!

  • Tommy Bowden should have two national championships with the talent he's had - In my opinion because of this - He's the worst coach of them all by a long, long ways

  • Greg Robinson has my vote!

  • We're no. 1, we're no. 1!!!!!!!

  • A guy named Larry Coker once had a similar record and won a National Title with arguably the best team in CFB history. Anyone know where Coker is now? That's Les Miles. He'll be gone in five years. See ya.



  • The goof ball from Notre Dame. Even the year they went on that run (even though they were not his players) they finally played someone good and got ROLLED in their Bowl Game. Have been a joke ever since and almost lost as a 3 TD fav already this season.

  • Thanks Paul. I understand your point. My point is the players on his team always look lost, confused and unprepared. That comes down to coaching. We'll see if they can improve this season with the addition of Ron English as DC. The defense has looked much better so far but in my opinion, English should be the head coach anyway. We'll see.

  • Tom,

    I gotta disagree on Kragthorpe. The guy runs the pro style wing it around offense with multiple looks, all of them with an eye towards passing. When he gets to the Ville, he has Harry Douglas (who had a good year last year), Gary Barnridge (decent year) and a complete head case in Urrutia.

    Now they are all gone, as is their presumptive starter Scott Long at least now. Kragthorpe could not build his offense around Brock Bolen and Anthony Allen. He needs a few years to bring in his prototype H-backs, scat backs and slot receivers.

    Just my two cents.

  • Good job. Did your homework.