Coaching just doesn’t matter that much

TCU, Minnesota, Kentucky all proved the point this weekend

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Former TCU coach Gary Patterson’s former team took down #12 Baylor on Saturday.
Former TCU coach Gary Patterson’s former team took down #12 Baylor on Saturday.
Image: Getty Images

Maybe college football coaches are overrated. Not individual college football coaches. The entire concept of college football coaches.

This week, P.J. Fleck signed an extension at Minnesota through 2028. Saturday, the Golden Gophers got shut out until the final five minutes of the fourth quarter. Minnesota, which just entered the rankings at No. 20, still had a chance against Illinois, because Illinois, but dropped a 14-6 verdict.

Meanwhile, a week after Gary Patterson abruptly called it quits at TCU, the Horned Frogs took down 12th-ranked Baylor, 30-28, with freshman quarterback Chandler Morris throwing for 461 yards.


No. 18 Kentucky managed to convert 4th-and-24 on its final drive after a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on coach Mark Stoops, but the Wildcats still lost at home, 45-42, to Tennessee. The Wildcats weren’t the only ranked SEC school to fall to an unranked foe, as No. 17 Mississippi State went to Arkansas and went down, 31-28. There was nearly real chaos down south, but somehow-No. 2 Alabama hung on for a 20-14 home win over LSU, itself a team showing the uselessness of the college football coach position with their absolutely-no-fucks-given work since Ed Orgeron became a lame duck.

Between all of that and North Carolina ending Wake Forest’s unbeaten run, somehow none of it marked the day’s biggest stunner.


Purdue, for the second time this season, derailed a top 5-ranked Big Ten rival’s hopes of making the College Football Playoff, as the Boilermakers followed up their October upset of then-No. 2 Iowa with a 40-29 stunner over No. 3 Michigan State.

The Boilermakers are about as weird as it gets. They only beat Illinois by four points, Nebraska by five, and Oregon State by nine, but now they have double-digit wins over the Hawkeyes and Spartans. The three losses that make Purdue a non-factor in the title picture aside from ruining others’ dreams? At Notre Dame, and home to Minnesota and Wisconsin.


Next week, it’s Purdue at Ohio State, which figures to move into the CFP top 4 this week. Given the Buckeyes’ struggles to put away Penn State last week and Ohio State on Saturday… well, who knows what to expect? It’s Purdue.