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Brad Edwards: The 10 best active coaches without a national title
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is enjoying his sixth 10-win season and his second straight playoff appearance, but he's still seeking his first national title. (Credit: Junfu Han/USA TODAY Network)

Brad Edwards: The 10 best active coaches without a national title

(BVM) — While I was doing some College Football Playoff research, it occurred to me that Jim Harbaugh – despite having spent a few, successful seasons coaching in the NFL – has already had a really good career as a college head coach.

From a 29-6 record at the University of San Diego to orchestrating an all-timer of an upset during his first season at Stanford (over USC in 2007) to leading the Cardinal to a 12-1 season in 2010, Harbaugh had a pretty nice run before leaving for the NFL. And as Michigan head coach, he’s enjoying his fifth 10-win season and his second straight playoff appearance.

At the FBS level alone (Stanford and Michigan), he’s won basically 70% of his games (.696 to be exact), which made me wonder… “Which active coaches have the highest career FBS winning percentages without having won a national championship?”

To clarify, I’m talking about guys who are currently coaching in the FBS and have never won either a BCS or College Football Playoff national championship game. I’m only considering their records as head coaches at the FBS level, and they must have a minimum of 100 games to qualify, which is basically eight seasons.

This means Lincoln Riley and Ryan Day haven’t coached long enough to be on the list. Also missing are guys like Paul Chryst, who has enough games (and wins) but isn’t currently an FBS head coach.

One other clarification: I’m counting wins and losses based on what happened on the field. The NCAA can do whatever it wants with vacated wins, but I saw these games played and know who won them, and they aren’t disappearing from my book.

All of that said, if you consider yourself somewhat of a college football expert or trivia buff, go ahead and write down your guesses and see how you do. I’d say 8 of 10 would be a job well done.

Thanks to for making these numbers easily accessible. All information is as of Dec.21, 2022.



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