Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt is not one of the top 25 coaches in college football according to The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel.
Feldman and Mandel each recently ranked the top 25 coaches in college football and neither of them included Pruitt.
At first glance, I can understand why they didn’t. Pruitt is still a relatively young head coach.
But when you look at some of the names that were included, well then you start to question the rankings a bit.
Are we certain that Army’s Jeff Monken or Buffalo’s Lance Leipold are better head coaches than Pruitt?
That seems unlikely.
What Pruitt has been able to do in two years at Tennessee, with no previous head coaching experience, is actually pretty remarkable.
Taking a program that was at its lowest point ever, and turning it into an eight win team just two years later? With the roster Pruitt inherited?
There aren’t many coaches who can pull that off.
I’m not ready to say Pruitt warrants inclusion in the top 10 or even the top 15. But he should at least be nestled just inside the top 25. Or maybe a fringe top 25 head coach.
Feldman didn’t even have Pruitt among his seven coaches that “just missed the cut”.
Kentucky’s Mark Stoops, however, was included in Mandel’s top 25 and Feldman’s “just missed the cut”.
That’s the same Mark Stoops that Pruitt is 2-0 against (two of the best Kentucky teams ever, by the way).
Folks are skeptical of any coach at Tennessee because of how they got burned with Butch Jones. But Pruitt isn’t Jones. He’s a solid head coach with a great track record.
The Vols’ past failures shouldn’t affect how the national media views Pruitt. But unfortunately, that appears to be exactly what’s happening.
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