College Football Playoff: A Look at Bowl Records of the Coaches

BY Fansided and Charlie Lockhart/FanSided via Scarlet and Game • December 26, 2016

Jan 1, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer and Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban greet each other after the 2015 Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Ohio State defeated Alabama 42-35. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

With four very good teams with excellent coaches, the College Football Playoff should be fun to watch.

The College Football Playoff Committee chose four excellent teams to participate in the “Final Four”. Each team is led by a coach who has been very successful in bowl games as well so all four teams should be well prepared for the first round of the playoff.

Coaches Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Dabo Swinney and Chris Peterson are acknowledged as being four of the best coaches in the country. But often a great coach doesn’t necessarily have great success in bowl games. It’s a challenge going from a week to week schedule to a long layoff. Changing how a team prepares so they will be ready for the bowl game can be difficult.

Let’s take a look at how well each of these four coaches have fared in bowls and see if you see an advantage or disadvantage with any of them at the helm heading into the playoff.

Chris Peterson-Washington:

Peterson has brought the Washington Huskies back into the national spotlight like they were when the legendary head coach Don James was walking the sidelines. He also has a 6-3 Bowl record.

Coach Peterson’s Boise State teams often had to play Power Five Conference teams in bowl games and were often the underdog. His Broncos were 5-2 in bowls. Can his Huskies be a giant killer on New Year’s Eve when they face Alabama?

Jan 11, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) throws a pass during the fourth quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2016 CFP National Championship at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dabo Swinney-Clemson

Dabo Swinney has brought Clemson back to national prominence. After a late season loss his Clemson Tigers had to fight back to ensure their second consecutive trip to the playoff. The fact that his players picked themselves off the mat and came back strong is probably a reflection of their head coach’s attitude.

Swinney began his Clemson coaching career 1-3 in bowl games. His teams then won 4 in a row, including the first playoff game last season versus Oklahoma, before losing in the championship game to Alabama.

Jan 1, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Blake Sims (6) celebrates a touchdown with running back Derrick Henry (27) during the third quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2015 Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban-Alabama

You would think Nick Saban would have a tremendous record in bowl games with 5 national titles under his belt but that isn’t the case. Coach Saban is 10-8 in bowl games.

At Michigan State and LSU he was 3-5 with one national title. Since becoming head coach of Alabama coach Saban is 7-3 and four national championships.

With the success Alabama has had of late, I would certainly think Nick Saban will have his team ready to play in the first playoff game.

Urban Meyer is putting together a major offensive line haul in the 2017 class. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Urban Meyer-Ohio State

Urban Meyer has had pretty good success when it comes to bowl games. His 10-2 record at Utah, Florida and Ohio State is among the best ever.

Like coach Saban, Urban’s accomplishments include national championships won in bowl games including the recent playoff era. It’s safe to say Ohio State will be prepared to play on New Year’s Eve.

Final thoughts:

I think this year’s College Football Playoff could be a lot of fun. There are four excellent teams with great coaches who have had success in bowl games.

It should be exciting, and as a college football fan I can’t wait.

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