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2023/24 College Football season: Ranking the top five head coaches

A new college football season is on the horizon, so it's time to ask the annual question: who are the top head coaches? 

It seems like the answer to that is ever-changing as well, but a few of the head coaches have done enough year in and year out to routinely end up on many lists. 

As we enter the 2023/24 season, we ranked our top five college football head coaches.

Kirby Smart, Georgia

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Kirby Smart lands at the top spot of our list of best college football coaches. 

The head man at Georgia has been absolutely stellar in recent seasons, but really he's been coaching to much success ever since he took over the Bulldogs squad in 2016. Since then, Smart has accumulated an eye-popping 81-15 record overall.

Georgia is now coming off of back-to-back national championships and they have the shortest odds to win it again at +220

The talent is obviously there year in and year out, as evidenced by their record 15 NFL draft picks back in 2022. One thing's for certain: with Smart as a head coach, any team is destined for success.

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan

This may come as a bit of a shock to some, but we have no problem listing Harbaugh as the second-best college football coach in the country. 

He was arguably one more season from falling to beat Michigan's rivals away from being fired, and flirts with the NFL every offseason it feels like. Still, Harbuagh now owns back-to-back victories over Ohio State and back-to-back Big Ten Championships.

It had been nearly 20 years since the Wolverines' last conference title, and at +220, they're in prime position to take home the trophy yet again this season. 

Everywhere Harbaugh has been, success has followed. He sports a 132-52 record in his NCAA coaching career including a 74-25 mark at Michigan since becoming head coach in 2015. Harbaugh's Wolverines have the fourth-shortest odds to win the National Championship at +1000.

Nick Saban, Alabama

Nick Saban is debatably the best college football coach of all time, and if we saw a list that had him listed as number one, we wouldn't complain. 

His teams just haven't been quite as dominant the last couple of seasons like they had been in years' past. With that being said, Saban still has 189 wins in his Alabama coaching tenure to just 27 losses and is 280-69-1 all-time as a college head coach.

With the second-shortest odds in college football at +550, Saban has a legit shot to reclaim the undisputed title as the nation's top head man this season if he can lead his Crimson Tide to another National Championship. 

As always, the talent is obviously already in place. Alabama under Saban hasn't finished a season worse than 10th in the AP poll since 2007.

Lincoln Riley, USC

In his first season as USC head coach, Lincoln Riley was just one win away from leading the school to its first-ever CFP appearance. That didn't come to fruition, but Riley's coaching talent truly can't be understated. 

He's 66-13 in his college career after a 11-3 first season at USC. Let's not forget that the Trojans were a dreadful 4-8 the season before he arrived and now they're in prime position to be in the CFP discussion yet again with the fifth-shortest odds to win it at +1400.

Where he works his magic is with the quarterbacks, as three of the last six Heisman Trophy winners (all quarterbacks) came from Riley's system. Riley's ability to get the most out of his players, specifically his signal callers, is what sets him apart from the rest.

Kyle Wittingham, Utah

As one of the most underrated head coaches in America, Kyle Wittingham has been manning the Utes program since 2005 and has done nothing but win. 

He's even produced an undefeated season back in 2008 and the team is perennial PAC 12 contenders. They've finished inside the AP Poll top 12 in each of the last two seasons, and they're at +5000 to win the National Championship.

What makes Wittingham's job so impressive is the fact that he's not getting the big-time recruits to Utah like these other coaches and schools are. He really is getting the most out of what he has, and that's why he's been so successful as the Utah head coach (154-74 record).

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