ATLANTA – With last week’s resignation of South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, college football didn’t just lose an icon, it lost a whole lot of entertainment value. We see trash talk on the field and in press conferences each week, but will anyone ever top “You can’t spell Citrus without U-T” or “FSU…Free Shoes University”?
While the Ol’ Ball Coach will likely take his zingers to ESPN, we can still look to the sidelines for some entertainment value – and much of it exists right here in SEC country. I leaned on our 92-9 the Game listening audience this weekend to help compile this list of the Top 5 Most Entertaining Coaches in (post-Spurrier) College Football.READ MORE: Environmental group's annual sunscreen guide released
5. Bret Bielema, Arkansas
Bielema is a rough-around-the-edges coach, preaching a power run attack in the era of spread offenses. He gets into verbal spats with coaches inside and outside his conference. He’s got a future as an actor, as evidenced a couple weeks ago against Alabama. And he spent part of a recent interview on 92-9 the Game talking about his favorite leisure time activity – cooking. If Bielema can turn the L’s into W’s – or if he can stay off the back of motorcycles – he’ll be entertaining the folks in Fayetteville for years to come.
4. Dabo Swinney, Clemson
3. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
It’s been more than eight years since Gundy unloaded one of the great rants in the history of sport, but just as Allen Iverson is still synonymous with “practice” and Jim Mora with “playoffs”, when we think of being a man and being 40, Mike Gundy immediately comes to mind. Oh, and when the NCAA comes to town to talk about sex, drugs and cash from boosters…well, that’s entertaining, too.
2. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan
READ MORE: What Taylor Swift tells grads at NYU commencement speech
Jim Harbaugh is a great football coach. Whether in college or the NFL, all the man does is win…and create awkward, intimidating, memorable moments. One of Harbaugh’s latest tricks was forcing an offensive lineman to share an apartment with his 80-year-old grandma.
Who knows how long this Michigan man will actually stay in Ann Arbor – he’s never spent more than four years as a head coach at any of his stops – but wherever he is, YouTube instant classics are sure to happen.
1. Les Miles, LSU
The nickname says it all: Mad Hatter. The man eats grass and puts on must-see press conferences, but it’s his on-the-field antics that catapult Miles to the top of this list. Whether he’s using a fake field goal to beat Florida, a fake punt to beat Florida or…oh yeah, another fake field goal to beat Florida, this guy is completely fearless when it comes to taking chances on the football field.
Miles is the best hope we have for entertainment in a post-Spurrier college football world, and largely because he’s just like Spurrier – the coach you love to hate, but can’t wait to see what he says or does next.
– Most likely to appear on the list in future seasons…Florida’s Jim McElwain.
McElwain reignited the debate over how coaches should reprimand players with his sideline barrage on Gator RB Kelvin Taylor. But recently we’ve discovered McElwain’s love of Hall & Oates and the inspiration he derives from staring at the stars. Keep an eye on this one…he may be a little bit “off”.
– Most likely to have appeared on the list in previous seasons…Washington State’s Mike Leach.
College football’s favorite “pirate” was equal parts crazy and brilliant in his decade in Lubbock. But the crazy took over (see Adam James “locked in a shed” incident) and the winningest coach in Texas Tech history soon found himself unemployed. Now he’s three-and-a-half seasons in at Washington State and has yet to record a winning season. Perhaps Leach will challenge next year for…
– Most entertaining FCS coach…Youngstown State’s Bo Pelini.MORE NEWS: Wingstop could soon raise its own chickens
Anger does not always equal entertainment, but Pelini’s seven year run in Nebraska had a certain “what’s going to happen next”-type excitement. He clashed with boosters and former players and made no apologies for any of it.