Strong tops Sporting News' Big East list

Louisville's rapid rise under Charlie Strong has the coach on a roll like no other head man in the Big East. Whether that's good news or bad news for Big East fans, given the Cardinals' conference future, is a matter of opinion.

Strong tops Big East coaches on The Sporting News' Matt Hayes' list of all 125 FBS coaches, coming in at No. 19.

The next best? Cincinnati's Tommy Tuberville, who coached Auburn to a perfect season in 2004 and brings a proven track record to a school that has won at least a share of four of the past five conference crowns.

Four coaches from the conference finished in the top half nationally, with SMU's June Jones and USF's Willie Taggart coming in at Nos. 49 and 54, respectively.

Houston's Tony Levine is the lowest ranked among the group, coming in at No. 113.

AthlonSports had a similar list two weeks ago, also ranking Strong and Tuberville as the top two coaches in the conference, while flip-flopping Taggart and Jones to Nos. 3 and 4, respectively.

Levine finished ninth on that list, with Temple's Matt Rhule, who is in his first year as a head coach, coming in at No. 10.

Here are all of the Big East coaches from Hayes' list:

19) Charlie Strong, Louisville

44) Tommy Tuberville, Cincinnati

49) June Jones, SMU

54) Willie Taggart, USF

64) Kyle Flood, Rutgers

73) George O'Leary, UCF

80) Justin Fuente, Memphis

89) Paul Pasqualoni, UConn

91) Matt Rhule, Temple

113) Tony Levine, Houston