#1: Lance Leipold, Kansas
This name should be a surprise to no one who’s heard it, as Kansas head coach Lance Leipold has been regarded as one of America’s top coaches in recent memory due to what all he’s accomplished with the Jayhawks.
Similarly to Fisch, Leipold has just a few years under his belt at a basketball-first university, and he has taken them to heights not reached in well over a decade. Said heights include best record since 2007, first winning season since 2008, and first bowl appearance/win since 2008. Beyond that, this last season saw the Jayhawks down Oklahoma for the first time since 1997 and make the CFP rankings for the first time ever.
With so much done at a football program that has been hideously perverted by its recent history, Leipold’s lack of acknowledgment in the ongoing hiring talks feels less like him being underrated and more like him being downright disrespected. He is unquestionably a top-10 coach in college football today, and if any school looking for a change at its helm refuses to reach out to him, it’s doing itself one monumental disservice.