When college football’s most-busted coach is looking for a new job, he can’t get one without a college football program.
That’s why in April, the Associated Press released its list of the Top 50 College Football Coaches of All-Time, the latest edition of the prestigious magazine’s annual “Top 50 Recruiting Rankings.”
The AP says this list is the first time the magazine has put out a list of its own and is only the second time that a top college football coach has been listed.
Former Tennessee and New York Jets coach Urban Meyer, the No. 1-ranked head coach in the country, is the only coach on the list who has been at the helm of a college program since at least 1990, when he was at Alabama.
Meyer is no longer with the Crimson Tide, but the AP’s list includes several other notable coaches who have spent time at multiple schools.
In total, the AP has listed 5,936 coaches who’ve spent time with their teams at one point or another in college football history.
One of the most impressive examples of this was the 1999 Tennessee Volunteers, who hired Urban Meyer to become their coach after his departure from the University of Tennessee.
Meyer was just one year removed from winning the national title as the Volunteers’ coach, but his first season at Tennessee ended with a 1-7 record and a 1,000-yard passer season.
The Tennessee offense that season was one of the best in the history of college football, but he lost his job due to a lack of wins.
Meyer left for the NFL in 2000, and he was fired by the NFL before the 2001 season.
In 2003, Meyer was the first coach to take over a team in the SEC, but only after the Tennessee Titans won the championship.
After a year in charge, Meyer took over a program that had just missed out on the national championship game and was playing for a spot in the College Football Playoff.
He took Tennessee to a national championship in 2006, and they went on to a Super Bowl run that featured four of the four greatest college football teams ever.
In 2017, the SEC and Big Ten met in the Cotton Bowl, where the Vols defeated the Michigan Wolverines 34-10.
The Wolverines went on a seven-game winning streak and won the Big Ten West Division title, but Meyer’s team finished with a losing record.
The next year, Meyer’s Michigan team went to the College World Series, and the Tigers finished 5-7 in the regular season.
A year later, Meyer returned to Tennessee for the 2017 season, this time as the Tennessee offensive coordinator, which made him the longest-tenured head coach at the program.
Tennessee went 11-2 that season, and Meyer won the first of three consecutive national championships.
In 2018, the Tennessee Vols finished 6-6, and in 2019, Meyer and the Volunteers made the College Bowl.
But Tennessee’s offensive production declined in 2019 after a 2-14 record in the season before Meyer left.
A bowl appearance in 2021 would be nice for a lot of people, but after a disappointing 20-16 season in 2022, Meyer left the Volts.
The 2019 season was the worst in the program’s history, and a lot was made of how the Volunteers had a terrible run of injuries.
It wasn’t just injuries that hurt the program, though.
The loss of offensive coordinator Chad Morris, the departure of running back T.J. Yeldon, and other personnel decisions hurt the Volte Nation.
The Vols were ranked 18th in total offense and 28th in passing yards.
The team’s defense also fell to 21st in scoring defense and 23rd in yards allowed.
The problem was that the offense wasn’t getting the help it needed.
After going 1-8 in Meyer’s first season, Tennessee went 7-6 the next year and won its first SEC title since 2005.
The Volunteers also took down their archrival in the Playoff.
After the 2019 season, Meyer spent the next four years as the offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins, where he helped them win the AFC South title in 2020 and the title in 2021.
He led the Dolphins to a first-round bye in the 2021 NFL draft, and Miami also finished in the top half of the conference in both total offense (28th) and scoring defense (27th).
In the 2019 NFL Draft, the Dolphins selected running back Jay Ajayi with the first overall pick, and his Heisman-winning season was short-lived.
The Dolphins had two offensive coordinators in the NFL Draft in 2019 and 2018, but they finished in last place in both categories the next two years.
Meyer’s final year with the Voltes, however, was not a success.
He had an 8-10 record with the Volunteers that season.
He finished the year 5-8, and after a 4-12 season in 2021, he left for Miami in 2018.
The Miami Dolphins