Just how important is the right coach in college football? Important enough to turn win totals right side up or completely upside down. Great coaches can take a struggling collection of 3-star athletes and turn them into a 10-win surprise virtually overnight. Conversely, I've seen average coaches dismantle a solid core of 4 and 5 star studs, leaving them to wallow in a scrap pile of mediocrity.
The examples are all right there.
* Urban Meyer: Remember when Ohio State was in turmoil, following Jim Tressel and tattoogate?... an era when the Buckeyes could never win the big one. Then, Urb steps in... 12-0 the first season, a National Title in 2014, and a streak a 20-straight road wins.
* Jim Harbaugh: He arrives at his alma mater and suddenly the Wolverines are world beaters -- doubling their win total from the year before.
* Florida State: After the high-octane sports car Bobby Bowden built finally accrued too many miles, Jimbo Fisher took the wheel and had the 'Noles' pistons poppin' again in no time.
Of course, there's no guarantee a new coach will always keep the car on the road at a powerhouse program after a great coach leaves. Just ask impatient fans at Oregon, Texas, and (until recently) USC.
So remember... all those blue chippers your team brings in on National Signing Day are great, but unless the right captain is on board to steer the ship, all that Titanic talent could sink right before your eyes.