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Whittingham's national standing.

Graham Watson over at ESPN decided to rank the best non-BCS coaches and ranks Whittingham at 9th, saying:

9. Kyle Whittingham, Utah -- Whittingham is the only Utah coach to ever make three bowl games in his first three seasons, and the expectations are even higher this season. He held the Utes together after several starters went down with injury last season. They won eight of their last nine to erase a 1-3 start.

I want to find an objection with this ranking, however, when you see who's ahead of him, you can't really debate her choices. I guess one could question Rocky Long's position as the 4th best coach, but even that isn't as cut and dry as it seems. Long has kept the Lobos consistent since taking over for Dennis Franchione years ago and though he hasn't been able to take them to the next level, it isn't like Whittingham has accomplished more than Long.

Also ranked above Whittingham are Bronco Mendenhall (#1), Chris Petersen (#2), Howard Schnellenberger (#3), June Jones (#5), Gary Patterson (#6), George O'Leary (#7) and Pat Hill (#8). If I had to, I would flip Schnellenberger with Paterson and maybe O'Leary with June Jones. What O'Leary has done at UCF is simply amazing.

But these rankings show Whittingham still has a lot of work to do in building his national prestige. A conference championship and possible BCS bowl would undoubtedly catapult him up the rankings.