A while back, CBS Sports ranked head coaches in college football with Pat Narduzzi checking at No. 40. Athlon tried their hand at the same task and the Pitt head coach was in a similar position.
Overall, Narduzzi ranked 39th, one tick ahead of his CBS Sports ranking. Athlon expects him to continue to move up the charts, too, and picks the Panthers to win eight or nine games this season.
I always like to see how Pitt stacks up to local rivals and former coach Paul Chryst, so here's that verdict. Narduzzi is a good nine spots ahead of Chryst, who was No. 49. The site, as I have said numerous times, points out that 2016 will be a good barometer for Chryst, who has a much more challenging schedule this time around.
Narduzzi, too, is ahead of West Virginia's Dana Holgorsen, who checks in at No. 45. Holgo is certainly losing some steam in West Virginia trying to stay afloat in the Big 12.
The one I disagreed with a little is the ranking of Franklin, who at No. 31, is significantly ahead of Narduzzi. There's no doubt that what he did on the field at Vanderbilt was incredible, but a ranking that high seems to ignore his recent work at Penn State. He is recruiting extremely well, but the program has also been 7-6 each of the past two years and also has suffered losses to Temple, Illinois, and Maryland. They've also had narrow wins against some pretty average Army, Rutgers, Maryland, and Boston College programs during that time.
That's not to suggest that Pitt has been world beaters on the field or a much better program lately. But in terms of ranking Franklin as a coach, I'm not sure he belongs that far ahead (if ahead, at all) of Narduzzi based on some of the the Nittany Lions' recent history on his watch.
While CBS ranked Chryst ahead of Narduzzi, which I found odd, I do think their slotting of Narduzzi (#40) and Franklin (#41) was a little more accurate.