How do the Pac-10 coaches stack up this decade?
Based on this list, which ranks them one through 10, the present lineup is pretty strong.
And, suddenly, there's gaping a void at the top because Pete Carroll, an obvious No. 1, jumped ship to the NFL.
Note: This evaluation covers only 2000 through 2009.
10. Chip Kelly (Oregon, 2009-present); Steve Sarkisian (Washington, 2009-present) [tie]: Kelly took over a winner and led it to a Rose Bowl in his first season. Sarkisian took over a team that went 0-12 in 2008 and led it to five wins. Let's just say the Pac-10 blog is impressed with both rookie efforts.
9. Jim Harbaugh (Stanford 2007-present): Harbaugh is 17-20 in three seasons, but does anyone doubt that he is an outstanding coach? (See all of the other programs and NFL teams that are looking his way). He's a charismatic recruiter, a great motivator and has built Stanford into a hard-nosed physical team that can compete with anyone.
8. Mike Price (Washington State, 2000-2002): Sure, it's just three seasons, but Price's final two at Washington State featured 10 victories and a Rose Bowl berth. Wonder how things might have gone for the Cougars if he'd stayed in Pullman and never bolted for Alabama?
7. Mike Stoops (Arizona 2005-present): Stoops has had his fits and starts -- he 's 33-39 after six seasons -- but he inherited a program at rock bottom and has rebuilt it into a winner that is on the cusp of challenging for a Pac-10 title. While he still has some media critics, it's interesting -- and revealing -- how respected he is among other coaches.
6. Rick Neuheisel (Washington, 2000-2002; UCLA, 2008-present): What seems to annoy Neuheisel's critics the most is that he keeps winning. He was 33-16 at Washington and won a Rose Bowl. He took over a UCLA program that had face-planted in the shadow of USC and led it to a bowl victory in his second season.
5. Dennis Erickson, (Oregon State, 2000-2002; Arizona State, 2007-present): Erickson went 31-17 at Oregon State -- winning a Fiesta Bowl in the process -- and is 19-18 at Arizona State. Erickson wins wherever he goes, which is why it's hard to write off the Sun Devils in 2010.
4. Jeff Tedford, California (2002-present): Cal fans may now take him for granted, but the Bears won four games the two seasons before he arrived. Meanwhile, Tedford has never posted a losing season and is 67-35 overall. Four times the Bears have finished nationally ranked during his tenure.
3. Mike Riley, Oregon State (2003-present): Riley is 40-23 overall and 5-1 in bowl games since returning to Oregon State in 2003. He paved the way for the transformation of one of college football's perennial losers into a Pac-10 contender.
2. Mike Bellotti, Oregon (2000-2008): Great coach, great guy. He went 77-34 in the decade, which included four top-12 finishes. The Ducks who went to the Rose Bowl after the 2009 season were all recruited by him.
1. Pete Carroll, USC (2001-2009): We don't really have to explain this one, right? He went 97-19 at USC with two national titles and seven consecutive Pac-10 crowns.