The Big 12 conference has some of the most prestigious football coaches in the country. Who’s the best coach though? Better yet, who would you want leading your team going forward? That’s exactly what we’re talking about in this week’s roundtable.
Jacob Anderson –
I look at this in a variety of ways. Who has had the greatest career? Bill Snyder for sure. K-State was nothing, absolutely nothing, for generations. He built that program up over a period of time into an excellent title contending team in the late 90s. He then retired, and the team turned back into garbage. He returns, and they were once again in the National title conversation in 2012. The work he has done in Manhattan is beyond outstanding and that is why he is my choice for greatest career.
Who would I want moving forward though? I would go with Briles. His building job in Waco has been remarkable and I consider him one of the best leaders as well as offensive mind. It’s also clear he can recruit. If he stays at Baylor, and all signs indicate he will, the sky’s the limit.
Honorable mention goes to Gary Patterson, Mike Gundy, and Bob Stoops.
Talk about a team that has played their way onto the big boy table. I have so much respect for what Patterson has done in Fort Worth.
No coach has proven me wrong over the years than Gundy has.
If this poll were taken a decade ago Stoops would have been my choice. Hands down.
Tracy Guest –
I have to pick Snyder. In my opinion, the mark of a really good coach is to optimize the strengths and capabilities of your players, even if you don’t have the most talent. You also have to be willing to tailor your system to suit your strengths. No one has done that better over the years than Snyder. The Wildcats just always seemed to analyze their team, Snyder would say, “this is what we have,” and they would move forward. To consistently create contenders is very impressive.
Patterson is my pick going forward though. I give him the edge over Briles because he is more likely to consistently produce on both sides of the ball.
Robert Whetsell –
There are three excellent candidates. Patterson, Briles, and Snyder.
As opposed to going with reasonable commentary and facts, I’m going with something bordering on ridiculous which actually ends up with the same result if I had been logical, so this is more fun.
First guy eliminated in Briles. Yes, you have brought Baylor from the basement to the penthouse, but you’ve done so with guys who could also make a living as bad guys in the WWE.
Second man out is Gary Patterson. Can’t say enough about a guy who took the opportunity to bring a well-known mid-major program to the table in a Power 5 conference, and within a couple of years has them vying for conference titles.
But my vote is for Bill Snyder. He has twice brought Kansas State back from the ashes, and besides that, he’s old, just like me. The Purple Wizard it is.
David Potter –
I’ll give it to Art Briles, full stop. Baylor used to be a mess. They wouldn’t even have been a Big 12 school were it not for some key members of the Texas Legislature pulling strings when the old Southwest fell apart. Briles took that program from laughingstock to legitimate National Championship contender. Snyder has done similar amazing things for former-doormat Kansas State, but in a much longer span he still hasn’t been able to recruit enough of the top-level athletes needed to be feared at a national level. Briles has.
Not only has he masterminded an incredible turnaround at Baylor, he’s been at the forefront of the rapidly-evolving high-speed spread offense over the past decade. What he’s done is nothing short of incredible.
Robert Spradley –
What Art Briles has accomplished in resurrecting Baylor is extremely impressive. That being said, what Bill Snyder has done at K-State is nothing short of miraculous. When Snyder took the reigns of the program it was known only for its losing pedigree. He built this program, in a remote location, into a consistent winner despite having limited resources. He’s the master of maximizing talent to fit his system and game planning to highlight his team’s strengths.
Going forward I’d choose Patterson. Much of what he does reminds me of Snyder. He seems to have a clear understanding of using his talent to enhance his team’s strengths while minimizing its deficiencies. Patterson may come across as smug to some, but I find him very adept at being diplomatic when playing politics. This trait gives him the nod over Briles in my opinion.
Chris Ross –
Give me David Beaty.
The guy is undefeated, and can hold his own in a press conference.
Then, after week one, when Beaty suffers his first loss, give me Bill Snyder. He may be the greatest college coach of all time, and talk about doing it the right way. Living legend doesn’t fully do him justice.
Then, next season after he retires (disclaimer: I don’t actually know if he’s retiring next season), give me Bob Stoops. I’m a little surprised he hasn’t been mentioned more. Sure, he may benefit from some fantastic talent, but no other coach — not Urban Meyer, not Nick Saban, not Pete Carroll, and nor Mack Brown when they were around — has won every BCS bowl and a National Title. Things might not be as great as they once were in Norman, but that’s pretty hard to ignore.
Mike Gundy probably isn’t getting enough love either. Similar to Snyder and Briles he’s risen a program from the ashes, and for good measure Sports Illustrated had the NCAA make sure he’s doing it the right way. If Oklahoma State rebounds season, like we think they will, he has to be in the conversation at least.
What do you think? Snyder, Briles, and Patterson all received a lot of love, which speaks to the quality of the coaches in the conference right now, but who’s the best? Vote below.