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Kyle Whittingham Ranked Among Top 20 College Football Coaches

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NCAA Football: Pac-12 Media Day Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Fox Sports writer Stewart Mandel released a ranking of the top 20 coaches in c illegal football for the 2016 season, and he had Utah football head coach Kyle Whittingham at No. 17. Whittingham was one of only three Pac-12 coaches to make the list along with Stanford head coach David Shaw (No. 7) and Washington head coach Chris Petersen (No. 12). The top five coaches were Alabama head coach Nick Saban, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, TCU head coach Gary Patterson, Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio, and Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Whittingham has faced off against several other top coaches. He is 1-0 against Saban, 3-3 against Patterson, 1-0 against Harbaugh, 2-0 against Shaw, 0-1 against Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, 1-2 against Petersen, and 1-0 against Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo giving him an overall record of 9-6 against other top 20 coaches. He has coached with two other coaches on the list: Meyer and Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen (No. 20). Whittingham also has the incredibly impressive bowl record of 9-1. Whittingham led Utah to an undefeated 13-0 record and Sugar Bowl victory over Saban's Alabama team in the 2008 season. Whittingham was honored with the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award and AFCA Coach of the Year in 2008 as well.

I may be a bit biased, but I believe Whittingham should be at least a little higher on this list. It is true he had losing seasons at Utah after joining the Pac-12 and that. He followed those up with back-to-back seasons with Utah finishing ranked in the top 25. Where would you rank Whittingham heading into the 2016 season?