At Minnesota Sports Fan, we’ve known PJ Fleck as one of the best college football coaches in the country, for a long time. Everyone else is starting to figure it out too, though.
Here is what he had to say, and then you can see the rest of the top-10 below Pete’s thoughts on PJ Fleck.
3. PJ Fleck, Minnesota
2017 Final Coach Ranking: 90
2018 Final Coach Ranking: 47
2019 Record: 11-2
Granted, it’s not like the Gophers dealt with anything scary in non-conference play, and Illinois and Georgia Southern were the only opponents in the first nine games to go bowling, but it was Minnesota’s greatest season in over 50 years.
Fleck’s team came through to give Penn State one of its two losses, was in the playoff and Big Ten title chase down to the last week, and even with losses to Iowa and Wisconsin, everything ended up great with a shocking Outback Bowl win over Auburn.
Top-10 Football Coaches in NCAA (via CollegeFootballNews.com)
- Ed Orgeron, LSU
- Matt Rhule, Baylor
- PJ Fleck, Minnesota
- Sean Lewis, Kent State
- Dabo Swinney, Clemson
- Ken Niumatalolo, Navy
- Scott Satterfield, Louisville
- Troy Calhoun, Air Force
- Ryan Day, Ohio State
- Mark Stoops, Kentucky
If you look at how quickly coaches rise and fall in this ranking system, and what schools some of the top-10 coaches draw x’s and o’s, you can see that it is more of a “heat index” poll for college football head coaches.
That becomes even more obvious when you see a guy from Kent State (Sean Lewis) ranked 4th, two of our armed service teams’ coaches in the top-10… and you have to flip 3 pages to find Nick Saban ranked 48th…
No matter what the ranking system keys on, it’s nice to see national writers give PJ Fleck and the Gophers their due…. and I enjoy watching Gopher fans freak out about losing Fleck, because I’m convinced he’s staying for a long time.
As much as I like to see our guy near the top of this list, PJ Fleck isn’t 3rd-best or 3rd-hottest coach in college football. He’s the #1 coach in college football. I’m not even exaggerating when I say this; I wouldn’t trade PJ Fleck for anyone or anything, in today’s atmosphere of college football.
He is the PERFECT mix of old school and new school. He is also someone these kids can trust, in a world of college football that doesn’t allow anyone to trust anyone.
We are lucky to have PJ Fleck. Now, let’s go win a Rose Bowl so we can make sure he sticks around.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan