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Mendenhall ranked far above Whittingham in coaches list

Published May 2, 2014 8:50 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Sporting News list ranking college coaches is going to make Cougar fans happy and might rankle the mood of Utes fans.

The list, which unsurprisingly ranked Alabama coach Nick Saban as number one, listed Bronco Mendenhall as the 23rd best coach in the nation with Utah coach Kyle Whittingham falling far behind at 62nd overall.

The ranking doesn't list a rubric for grading the coaches, but it appears the Cougars' stretch of success since 2006, winning an average of 9.5 games per season, played a factor in Mendenhall's higher ranking. However, the Utes have a distinct advantage head-to-head, as Utah has beaten BYU for four consecutive seasons with Whittingham holding a 6-3 overall record against Mendenhall's Cougars.

The Utes under Whittingham have played arguably tougher competition in the Pac-12, but haven't had a winning season since 2011 and have an overall 18-19 record since joining the conference.

Utah State's Matt Wells made an appearance on the list, landing at 100th overall after leading the Aggies to a 9-5 record and a bowl victory in 2013.

The highest ranked coaches with Utah ties were Ohio State's Urban Meyer at number three and Wisconsin's Gary Andersen at 27.

bsmith@sltrib.com

Twitter: @BrennanJSmith

-Brennan Smith