David Shaw (Stanford)
Of the finalists, I'd have voted for Sumlin. Took a .500 team from last year into a new league and went 11-2 and beat the national champions. Lost by three to Florida and five to LSU. Flip either of those games and they are playing in Miami. Also coached a Heisman winner.
Not sure which finalist I'd kick out for Nick. (Sorry for the bad rhyme). I guess he's a vicitim of his own success when it comes to being Coach of the Year. Even if we had beaten Texas A&M, I doubt he'd have fared any better in the voting.
No doubt Saban should have been in the finals for consideration but I have no quarrels with O'Brien getting the award. He had a great year with a team that faced a lot of adversity. The true testament will come in the next few years on how well of a coach he is, that is if he decides to stick it out at Penn State.
Sumlin did a fine job at A&M. Folks probably wonder two things: how much of it was Manziel and is he just getting more out of the talent than Sherman did?
"I don't know what class is but I can tell when one has it, you can tell from a mile away"
-- Coach Bryant
"We always talk about playing 60 minutes but this is a 60-10 game: the 60 minutes of the game and the 10 minutes in the locker room after the game that you remember for the rest of your life."
-- Nick Saban day after beating Clemson
I am more puzzled to why they gave the award to Chizik during his championship year in 2010 But they didn't give it to Saban in 2009 during his undefeated...championship year. Peterson got it in 2009. Last year Gundy got it.
Kind of ironic that Saban has only won the award, when he coached at LSU.
I had way more of problem with '09 than this year, although I agree he should have been a finalist. In '09, CNS beat the undefeated defending NC with a Heisman winning QB and a undefeated Texas team with a 2 time Heisman finalist and he both teams by more than 2 TD's. The award went the guy who the WAC and scraped by TCU in the bowl. C'mon man!!!
Typically these kinds of awards go to coaches of teams that did much better than expected not necessarily to the best coach. Coach Saban has better players because he and his staff are better at evaluating, recruiting and developing them. Winning 3 of the last 4 BCS Championships it's pretty convincing to me who the best coach is.