Monday, we started our journey ranking each of the 65 Power 5 jobs. Today's installment includes college football's middle tier.
The central question to file away: If every Power 5 job came open tomorrow, which would be the most desirable? On the other side, which would be least appealing? (And everything in between.)
Though each coach sees things differently -- that's why it's such a subjective, hot-button topic for debate -- the criteria is roughly the same.
The list includes location, administrative stability, support from those bosses, facilities, recruiting base, path to conference titles/playoff, sense of tradition, fervor of fan base, too much fervor from a fan base ...
We hope and believe we have provided an intelligent and accurate overview of the jobs in college football, from worst to best.
To see the bottom rung of college football, click here.
Tier 7: The Underdogs
Some spunky, competitive programs the past decade or so, despite resource and location deficiencies compared to their peers.
Our perceptions have been shaped in part because of the recent squabbles between coach Kyle Whittingham and the school's administration, and they're worth noting, but stop to think about how far Utah has come in a short period of time. Urban Meyer's 22-2 record from 2003-04 had a great deal to do with Utah's vault into college football consciousness, even as a non-AQ at the time. The eventual move to the Pac-12 was vitally important for remaining relevant in the College Football Playoff era, but the jump has led to some of the growing pains you're now seeing. The administration might not have fully grasped what it was going to take to compete on the highest level. The athletic department's budget is in the bottom third of the league. Will the school adjust? If not, Whittingham will be gone (he nearly was already) and Utah will remain near the bottom of the conference.