Is Dan Lanning being underrated as a head coach going into 2024?

Earlier this week, The Athletic came out with their annual head coaching rankings for college football, ordering who they believe are the best 25 guys in the nation going into the new season. The rankings were released by well-respected journalists Stewart Mandel and Bruce Feldman.

Surely, Dan Lanning, the rising coaching star who was considered one of the top names to take over for Nick Saban at Alabama this past year, would be ranked prominently, right? He’s 22-5 in his two years leading the Oregon Ducks, with a pair of top-10 recruiting classes and a handful of dominant wins in his short career as a head coach.

That guy should definitely be included. Maybe not at the top of the list, but definitely somewhere in there alongside the James Franklin’s (15th), Josh Heupel’s (17th), and Jonathan Smith’s (22nd).

Mandel had Lanning ranked as the No. 25 head coach in the nation. Feldman didn’t have Lanning ranked and didn’t even include him in the honorable mentions.

Is that ranking — or non-ranking — too low? Or are Oregon fans simply too enamored by the charm of Lanning, overrating the level of coaching that he brings to the table?

That’s something that Jonathan Stewart and Zachary Neel discussed this past week on the Sco-ing Long Podcast.

“It has to be time,” Stewart said, noting that the sample size for Lanning is still much smaller than the others on the list. “Because if we’re actually talking about him being a good coach and what he’s been able to bring to the University of Oregon and the national spotlight and the pressure that comes with that, I mean let’s be honest…”

The Ducks will see a lot more of that national spotlight and feel more of that pressure this coming year when they join the Big Ten. At the moment, Oregon is ranked as one of the top teams in the nation going into the…


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