Nebraska Football: Matt Rhule not among the top 35 coaches?!

Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Matt Rhule arrives (Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports)
Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Matt Rhule arrives (Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports) /

Is Nebraska football head coach Matt Rhule one of the best coaches in college football today?

There’s an argument to be made that Nebraska football fans should let the 2023 season play out before they say yes. On the other hand, this isn’t someone who doesn’t have something to lean on to pad his resume.

The debate as to whether Rhule counts as one of the best we reignited by a recent article by 247Sports that listed the 35 best coaches in college football ahead of the 2023 season. Rhule was not amongst them.

At the outset, it might seem like “yes of course,” a coach who has never overseen a down of a game for his team wouldn’t be on that list, but Rhule is a bit different. He’s someone who absolutely has a decent resume as a college coach.

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He’s built not one but two programs from the ground up to become bowl teams. Of the two, the job he did at Temple is likely the best ammo for an argument that Rhule belongs on a list that includes guys like Texas’ Steve Sarkisian. That’s the same Steve Sarkisian that currently boasts a 13-12 career head coach record. At Texas. Not Temple. Not Baylor after it had been gutted. But Texas.

Sarkisian isn’t even at the bottom of the list. He’s considered the 25th-best head coach in the game, according to this article. He’s really better than Nebraska football’s head coach? That doesn’t feel like a slam dunk. Certainly, if the Huskers had hired the Texas coach away from the Longhorns, there would have been plenty of people who thought Trev Alberts was nuts.

There are other coaches on the list that Nebraska football was suspected of giving a look at and eventually passing over for Matt Rhule. Matt Campbell checks in at 29. Dave Doeren is 33rd.

Chris Klieman is 18th. Dave Aranda is ranked 22nd. Kalen Deboer is on the list as well. And for quite a few of the coaches on the list, their standing is determined by one or two very good seasons.

What that tells me is that if Matt Rhule can do what Nebraska football fans hope he can do in Lincoln, he better rocket to the Top 10 on a similar list in 2024.