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Drafting college football coaches we’d least want to fight

And then it’s your turn in the comments.

It’s hard to say exactly why, but “which college football coach would be best in a fight?” is a nearly constant conversation on CFB internet. Maybe it’s because there are so many of them, in such a wide variety of shapes and sizes? Because there are so few games per year, meaning so few chances for them to beat each other on the field? Because of college football’s overwhelming intensity at all times?

Whatever the case may be, COACH FIGHTS are in the discourse again (as usual), so we made a random draft order amongst ourselves and each picked a coach we would not want to tangle with. Join in, in the comments below!

Caroline Darney: Derek Mason, Vanderbilt

I thought about taking Coach O here, but 2018’s Florida-Vandy game featured Mason vs. all of the Gators. That secures this pick for me.


1. Is in great shape and has the footwork for any situation:

2. Rocks vests, which I’m all for, as it keeps the arms free to throw hands.

3. Is unafraid to take on both Mullen AND an extremely emotional Todd Grantham while standing like 15 yards away. His cool, calm demeanor in the face of angry man-toddler Grantham is *chef’s kiss*.

Harry Lyles Jr.: Ed Orgeron, LSU

There are coaches with superior strength than O’s, but that doesn’t make them a scarier opponent. Orgeron has gotten into bar fights, wanted to fight reporters, called out Ole Miss’ entire roster for a fight, has skin that looks thicker than a tough plastic, used to literally be a strength coach, and can only really be understood when he says “Go Tigers!” You don’t fight somebody like that.

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Notre Dame vs Louisiana State Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Kirk: Kyle Whittingham, Utah

Power comes from below. I don’t care about your guns. I want a massive, fearsome, honed base from which my champion can deliver match-ending strikes. Simply put, we are not skipping leg day, and the former Rams linebacker has not done so for something like a decade. His calves are, without exaggerating, local legends.

An unusual part of covering Utah football is that you’re often asked about the secret to Kyle Whittingham’s bulging calf muscles.

Utah will host Michigan on Sept. 3 and plays in one of the nation’s most competitive conferences, in that conference’s most competitive division.

But, really, fans say: Tell us about the calves.

“He works out more than us. Like, literally,” running back Devontae Booker says in that story.

Alex Kirshner: Nick Saban?

I’m not taking any chances with a guy who probably has SEAL-trained sharpshooters pointing lasers at my forehead from 700 yards away.

CFP National Championship presented by AT&T - Alabama v Georgia Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Spencer Hall: Kalani Sitake, BYU

Former fullback, so he’s all traps and probably doesn’t even have nerves left to feel in his face. I follow the Thick Neck Rule in fights, and it’s hard to get a thicker neck than Kalani’s.

NCAA Football: Brigham Young at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Connelly: Mario Cristobal, Oregon

He’s a former offensive lineman, he looks like he’s still in pretty good shape, and he’s coached at both Miami and Rutgers. He’s seen some things.

Oregon v California Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Richard Johnson: Will Muschamp, South Carolina

You never, ever, ever, never fight crazy.


Bud Elliott: Sean Lewis, Kent State

Y’all are in trouble. He’s a 32-year-old former Wisconsin tight end.

NCAA Football: Kent State at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Brown: Jim Harbaugh, Michigan

Several of the coaches I wanted to pick are already off the board, so let me go with a slightly less conventional choice here. Is Harbaugh the most built coach? No, we have photographic evidence to show that he isn’t.

But he is near the top in insane competitiveness. Would Harbaugh try to teach himself the exploding heart technique from Kill Bill if he knew a coach fight was coming? I wouldn’t put it past him. Would he put a screwdriver in his sock? Maybe! We know he’s nuts, and as Richard said, don’t fight crazy.

Michigan v Utah Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images

Morgan Moriarty: Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State

Not because of physical strength or anything, but because he would hit you with a bow and arrow from a deer stand before you even realized the fight began. Then he’d just sic a rattlesnake on you.

If you survive all that, he’s ready to grapple.

Your turn. Which coach is high on your list of coaches to avoid?