The end of the college football season is practically here and that means it’s time to delve out the top players, top performances, top coaches and so much more. There have been some incredible surprises this year and some total letdowns in a college football season that has been anything but ordinary.
The best part of this football season has been the teams that we expected nothing from but gave us incredible performances. We saw that from teams in Power Five conferences and from outside of that as well. Behind all those performances come great coaching and that’s what we’ll focus on here.
Top coaching performances from the 2020 College Football season
Tom Allen, Indiana Hoosiers
For the entirety of my life, the Indiana Hoosiers have been a basketball team to me. For many years, I’m not sure I even realized that a football program was established in Bloomington, Indiana. As I got older, I learned there was a team but not a very good one. Tom Allen has taken the bottom-feeder of the Big 10 and turned them into a respectable and good football program. Since taking over in 2016, Allen has gone 24-21 with two bowl game appearances and a third on the way.
You could make an argument for the Hoosiers to get into a New Year’s Six Bowl. Allen has taken a step up in recruiting and have made Indiana the talk of the Big 10 for the first time since the 60’s. He set the bar high this year with a huge win over Penn State in its opening game and now is a program very much on the rise.
Hugh Freeze, Liberty Flames
Hugh Freeze couldn’t go much lower after he lost his job at Ole Miss in 2016 over an escort service controversy that ruined the coach’s reputation for a few seasons. Freeze says that he was practically frozen out of the college football world and that no one would even attempt to touch him. Then Liberty gave him an opportunity and he has run with it.
After an 8-5 season in 2019, Freeze has the Flames at 9-1 this year. They have wins over Virginia Tech and Syracuse and nearly lost to NC State by a single point. Freeze expects to have many big-time offers this offseason but he claims he isn’t going anywhere and is happy in Virginia. He has put that program on the map and it’s exciting to see where they’ll go from here.
Luke Fickell, Cincinnati Bearcats
The Cincinnati Bearcats have been the ultimate surprise of the 2020 football season. They are undefeated, ranked in the top 10, should play in a New Year’s Six Bowl and if a few of their games hadn’t been cancelled, there’d be an argument for them in the Top 4.
Luke Fickell left the Big 10 to coach at Cincinnati and it’s been nothing but positive since. He’s 34-13 at Cincy with two bowl game wins and a meaningful appearance coming up. Fickell has the Bearcats playing like a Power 5 school and it’s likely that he will be getting some offers despite signing a large contract extension last season. Fickell is one of the top minds in the game and his coaching has been put on display during this 2020 season.
By: Matt Lively CruelFan.com