Top 10 College Football Coach Rankings – Week 5

    The top 10 college football coach rankings heading into Week 5 has Paul Chryst rocketing up the charts following a huge victory over Michigan State.

    September 30, 2016

    The top 10 college football coach rankings heading into Week 5 has Paul Chryst rocketing up the charts following a huge victory over Michigan State.

    Wisconsin put a Week 4 beatdown on Michigan State in East Lansing. And without any surprise or hesitation, Paul Chryst rocketed up five spots on the Coach of the Year rankings, while Mark Dantonio vanished out of sight for now. Such is the nature of a race with highly sensitive gauges.

    Through the opening month of the 2016 college football season, certain coaches are standing out among their peers. As such, they’ve maneuvered into the inside lane in the race toward Coach of the Year, a fatter pay check and possibly a high-profile promotion now that openings have already begun springing up.

    Week 5 College Football Coach Rankings

    10. Chris Petersen, Washington (Last Week: 10)

    Petersen has been lurking near the rear end of this list throughout September. This Friday night, he gets a chance to zoom into serious Coach of the Year contention when No. 7 Stanford invades Husky Stadium. U-Dub is a top 10 team for the first time since 2002, escaping Arizona in Tucson last week behind a monster effort from the ground game. However, handle the defending conference champs this week and the Huskies instantly become the Pac-12 team to beat and a serious playoff threat.

    9. Mike MacIntyre, Colorado (NR)

    It has taken more than three seasons and a ton of sweat equity. But the time invested by MacIntyre and his staff is beginning to pay dividends in Boulder. The Buffs have actually been playing at a higher level since last year. This fall, though, they’re flipping moral victories into actual ones. Take last Saturday, for instance. Colorado moved to 3-1 with a statement upset of Oregon in Eugene. Even better, the catalyst was backup quarterback Steven Montez, who accounted for 468 yards and four touchdowns in his first career start.

    8. Mike Riley, Nebraska (9)

    The Week 4 trip to Evanston looked like a potential landmine game for Riley and his Huskers, who were still on a high after defeating Oregon one week earlier. Instead, it was further confirmation that the second-year coach is making inroads in Lincoln. Nebraska has put last season’s tough campaign in the rear view mirror by opening with four straight wins, three by double-digits. Furthermore, Riley is now 7-1 going back to last November, a stretch that includes wins over Michigan State, UCLA and the aforementioned Oregon Ducks.

    7. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan (8)

    Harbaugh’s Wolverines rolled through Penn State a week ago, picking up their first Big Ten win of the season. Michigan has captured each of its four games by at least 17 points, though Colorado had the team on the ropes past halftime. Harbaugh faces his first ranked opponent this Saturday, when No. 8 Wisconsin comes to the Big House. The coach won’t take his team on a perilous road trip until later in the month, when the Wolverines head to East Lansing to face Michigan State.

    6. Nick Saban, Alabama (2)

    The Crimson Tide began September as the No. 1 team in America. It’ll end the month there as well, despite tricky games with USC and Ole Miss outside of Tuscaloosa. And Bama has stayed the course, in spite of a rookie quarterback, Jalen Hurts, in the huddle and a permanent target on its chest. The team hosts Kentucky this weekend before a tough and telling four-game stretch with Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas A&M and LSU, three-quarters of which will take place on the road.

    5. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M (6)

    After a couple of tough and trying seasons in College Station, Sumlin is turning things around in 2016. Unranked when the year started, the 4-0 Aggies are all the way up to No. 9 in the AP Poll, thanks to wins over UCLA, Auburn and Arkansas last Saturday in Arlington, Tex. Sumlin’s U-turn actually began early in the offseason, when he landed Oklahoma transfer quarterback Trevor Knight, and hired John Chavis and Noel Mazzone to coordinate his defense and offense, respectively.

    4. Tom Herman, Houston (4)

    The buzz around Herman had somewhat died down since the splashy upset of Oklahoma in Week 1. And then LSU fired Les Miles on Sunday. Welcome back to the front page, Tom. Herman’s name will be loosely associated with every major job opening, because he’s the hottest young coach in the country. As far as the coach rankings go, he could be stuck in neutral for a while, as his Cougars navigate the soft underbelly of the American Athletic Conference schedule.

    3. Urban Meyer, Ohio State (2)

    The Buckeyes enjoyed a break in the action, a chance to fully digest the magnitude of annihilating Oklahoma in Norman, while getting some hands-on time with the underclassmen. Meyer has done a magnificent job with a young team that had lost a dozen players to the 2016 NFL Draft. And with the staff that’s in place, Ohio State should get better each week. The Bucks exit their bye with home games versus Rutgers and Indiana, so they’ll have a head of steam entering the Oct. 15 trip to Wisconsin.

    2. Paul Chryst, Wisconsin (7)

    Chryst is this week’s big mover, a well-deserved bolt up the ranks after his Badgers beat a top 10 team for the second time in four weeks. Maybe the Badgers caught LSU off guard in Week 1, or maybe Lambeau held some special magic for the instate team. But after Wisconsin rocked Michigan State … in East Lansing … with a redshirt freshman quarterback starting his first game, it’s clear this team is for real. Chryst is getting it done old-school, with stout line play and a blue-collar defense led by underrated linebackers Vince Biegel, Jack Cichy, T.J. Edwards and T.J. Watt.

    1. Bobby Petrino, Louisville (1)

    Petrino’s Cards have already destroyed one ACC powerhouse, Florida State. Beat Clemson in Death Valley this weekend and the Coach of the Year race could be over weeks before the Halloween directions go up. Quarterback Lamar Jackson was talented when he arrived a year ago from Boynton Beach, Florida, and Petrino has helped transform him into a weapon of mass production. Jackson has accounted for 25 touchdowns in four games, and the Cards are outscoring opponents by an average of 63-22.

    MORE: 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 5


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