Athlon Sports did something nifty in preparation for the 2016 college football season, ranking all 128 FBS coaches.
Hey, Cincinnati has one of those! Tommy Tuberville fit in at No. 59 in the rankings, just a spot behind Temple’s Matt Rhule and ahead of Maryland’s D.J. Durkin.
Tuberville was a bit of a high-profile hire by the Bearcats when he came in for the 2013-14 season. Well, at least because he was a big name. He was following in the footsteps of Butch Jones, who won 23 games in three seasons with UC. Tuberville, who coached at Ole Miss, Auburn and Texas Tech before coming to the Queen City, has pushed the Bearcats to 25 wins in three seasons, but is under far more heat that Jones ever was due to the fall from conference favorite to 7-6 finisher and 42-7 Hawaii Bowl victim last season.
Tuberville was sixth-highest ranked coach among American Athletic Conference honchos, falling behind Houston’s Tom Herman (14), Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo (40), Tulane’s Willie Fritz (53), USF’s Willie Taggart (56) and Rhule. UConn’s Bob Diaco (78), Tulsa’s Philip Montgomery (80), SMU’s Chad Morris (98), Memphis’ Mike Norvell (99), UCF’s Scott Frost (109) and East Carolina’s Scottie Montgomery (119) finished off the AAC’s representatives.
All in all, its tough to complain about Tuberville’s standing. Herman and Niumatalolo both led their teams to double-digit win totals, bowl wins and national rankings last season. Taggart and Rhule are both behind the wheel of two programs on the rise (both of which beat UC last season). Fritz may be the head coach for a program that has won six total games as a member of the AAC, but his work at Georgia Southern lifts his stock.