ESPN has spent the past month counting down their top 50 college basketball coaches - really 51, because they had a tie for 50 - and just finished up with Billy Donovan #1. I guess they are paying those writers, they might as well get some work out of them in June.
I kind of felt silly thinking I'd see Mark Gottfried when I started reading several weeks ago, before I realized "Wait - his record is way more impressive than some of these guys." 44 - Mike Brey? 47 - Bob Hoffman? Shit, if upsetting Duke in the NCAA tournament gets you in, that'll be half the list. (Had any person reading this ever heard of him before that game?) 39 - Tubby Smith - wait, Tubby Smith is still alive? And he's at Texas Tech now? I'm almost positive that's the plot of "Weekend at Bernie's IV: Live in Lubbock." Little Archie Miller at number 26 with a bullet, off of one tournament run. I'm so proud.
So I figured "Low 20's is probably about right." Greg McDermott at 23 - he had four losing seasons in four years at Iowa State, and rode his son to three straight first weekend tourney exits at Creighton - never been to a Sweet 16. Tommy Amaker at 22 - his last Sweet 16 was in 2000. Since then he had a six-year tenure in which he failed to ever make the NCAA tournament AT MICHIGAN. Yep, starting to realize that rankings that go past 20 are not all that exclusive.
It became fairly clear once they started getting close to the top 10 that Mark Gottfried wasn't going to make the list. And today, once they finished the top
50 51, they revealed the 25 people that "just missed" making the rankings. Among the people on this list: Andy Toole. Tim Cluess. Jake Erickson. Keith Dambrot. Brad Underwood. I dare you to pick which one of those names I completely made up.
Also on the "just missed list": BRUCE PEARL. Yes, the man who lost by 30 in an 8/9 game three years ago and hasn't coached since. Whose team lost 8 of its last 12 three years ago, and hasn't coached since. Who hasn't coached since BECAUSE HE IS STILL UNDER AN NCAA SHOW-CAUSE ORDER FOR LYING TO THE NCAA AND ENCOURAGING ASSISTANTS, PLAYERS, RECRUITS, AND RECRUITS' FAMILY MEMBERS TO LIE.
Somehow, all of these people rank ahead of someone who inherited a dumpster fire of a program and has taken it to three NCAA tournaments in three years. Taken a program that couldn't find relevance with a GPS for most of two decades, and in three years won three NCAA tournament games, gone to a Sweet 16, won six ACC tournament games, and made the ACC semi-finals every season.
Did Gott really piss off someone at ESPN? Is this just some really elaborate trolling of Wolfpack fans? Seriously, WTF?