College football's best head-coaching jobs

Charlie Strong and Steve Sarkisian have two of the best head coaching jobs in college football. Getty Images

On the morning of Jan. 6, I sat in the media tent outside the Rose Bowl. The small handful of us already there was glued to the TV, watching as the Texas Longhorns introduced Charlie Strong as their newest football coach. That’s when one of the tent’s official attendants, who identified himself as a USC graduate, asked a question that has come up often in the past few months, especially when the jobs at USC (September) and Texas (December) became open. "If you were a football coach and you had your choice of any job in the country," he asked, pointing to the Longhorns' news conference broadcast with a hand that sported a USC class ring, "which one would you take?"

Inspired, I took that question around all day long, to current coaches, former coaches, former players and some of the suits who help run the nation’s most powerful athletic conferences. What’s the best head coaching job in college football and why? These were the five that came up the most, ranked in order of most desirable.

1. Texas Longhorns

Of the 24 people I polled in Pasadena, every single one mentioned Texas among their top five and more than half ranked it No. 1. “As a head football coach, you want to be put in position where football is priority one,” former Oregon Ducks coach and current ESPN analyst Mike Belotti said Monday. “At Texas, the numbers are just so overwhelming, whether you’re talking about the fan base, the size of the school itself, the tradition of winning, the massive number of recruiting talent in the state and, of course, the money.”

Ah yes, the money. No one spends more or makes more than Texas.