Pac Tracks: Rankman ranks league's coaches so far, from first to Helfrich and\or Helton

The latest Pac 12 coaches’ ratings, released Monday, likely had many people questioning the sanity of the author.

Who released these ratings?


There is a lot of discussion these days about coaches and just how much they mean to success.

The answer is: everything. Some Pac 12 coaches are doing better than others. Here's the list:[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

1: Kyle Whittingham (Utah). The guy has been rock-steady since taking over for Urban Meyer and, frankly, he just gets it. He was brilliant in Friday’s win over USC, going for the juggler on fourth down instead of playing for the tie.

He might have made a fine coach at USC.

2: Chris Petersen (Washington). I had my doubts early as Petersen looked lost in the big, bad Pac 12 North. But he appears right on schedule in his third year and has the Huskies undefeated and top 10 ranked heading into Friday’s home showdown against Stanford.

3: David Shaw (Stanford). He still thinks too much like an NFL coach to my thinking but is, unquestionably, on the short list of top coaches. I thought he really loosened up the play book last year to take advantage of Christian McCaffrey’s skills (a good thing), but has reverted back to his conservative ways this year (not a good thing). His decision to punt (twice) on two fourth-and-short nearly cost him the UCLA game.

4: Mike MacIntyre (Colorado). He is my first month Pac 12 coach-of-the-year after going 10-27 his first three years in Boulder. Colorado finally looks like a Pac 12 team again, solid in all departments. He scared the wits out of Michigan in Ann Arbor and last week won at Oregon playing his back-up quarterback.

5: Sonny Dykes (California). Probably ranked a little too high for some but I thought his Bears were going into hibernation after losing Jared Goff. And while the defense still leaks like a sieve, Cal owns the league’s best non-conference win, over No. 11 Texas. The Bears’ two losses were heart breakers to San Diego State and Arizona State.

6: Jim Mora (UCLA): There is something off kilter with the Bruins that I just can’t put my finger on. This team is two plays against Texas A&M and Stanford from being undefeated and ranked in the top 10. Why can’t they make those plays?

UCLA plays defense, though, in a sport where you hardly ever see it played. And having a future first-round draft choice at quarterback gives hope the Bruins can still pull off something special.

7: Todd Graham (Arizona State). Again, what is up with the defense? Graham made his bones as a defensive mind yet his unit is gushing 499 yards per game this year, which ranks No. 120 nationally out of 128 teams. The Sun Devils are 4-0 but haven't cracked the top 25 in either major poll. That should tell you something.

8: Rich Rodriguez (Arizona). I still think he’s a top-drawer coach who could lead a program to the four-team playoff. I’m not sure this is the program or how long Rich Rod will want to keep trying in Tucson. Arizona’s defense continues to be inexcusably bad for a unit that was overhauled in the off season.

9: Gary Andersen (Oregon State). His Beavers gave Minnesota a good game in the opener and didn’t give up last weekend after falling being Boise State. This is still a rebuilding job but there are signs Anderson is the long-term choice.

10: Mike Leach (Washington State). Should be higher ranked than this and capable of producing an upset at any time. But his slow starts and quirky behavior make you wonder how much longer this can last. Leach is 0-5 in openers with two straight defeats to FCS teams. Leach was supposed to help lift the league’s national reputation, not drag it down.

Tie-11: Mark Helfrich (Oregon). I said the biggest question in Eugene this year was going to be at the “head coach” position. There is no reason to doubt that after consecutive losses to Nebraska and Colorado. No way Chip Kelly, or Mike Bellotti, loses either one of those games.

Tie-11: Clay Helton (USC). Promoting a coach from within is always the easiest thing, but not always the best thing. Helton was handed a tough job and a brutal schedule and might have escaped some wrath had his teams just been competitive in losses to Alabama and Stanford. Helton finally put the right quarterback in for Utah, then punted from the opponent’s 37 trying to protect a three-point lead.

In case you missed it, he didn’t protect it.[/membership]