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Where Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman ranks among CBS Sports’ Top 25 Power Four head coaches

IMG_9992by:Tyler Horka05/15/24


Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman was named the 38th-best Power Five coach in the country per CBS a year ago. In 2024, CBS slotted him in at No. 24 in the Power Four making him one of the highest risers on the annual list that dates back to 2015.

CBS Sports college football writer Tom Fornelli called Freeman a “climber” in that regard.

“Freeman had his first 10-win season with the Fighting Irish last year and is now 19-7 over his two full seasons,” Fornelli wrote. “Most importantly, last year didn’t include any odd losses to teams like Marshall. Freeman and his staff have built a lot of positive momentum on the recruiting trail and landed a top transfer quarterback each of the last two seasons; ex-Duke QB Riley Leonard was this year’s get. Next on the list? A College Football Playoff appearance.”

Fornelli wrote that it was the toughest list he’s had to compile in the decade he and his colleagues have been doing it. Gone are the likes of Alabama’s Nick Saban and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. Dabo Swinney isn’t what he once was at Clemson.

The landscape of the sport is changing in front of everyone’s eyes with the rise of coaches like Notre Dame’s Freeman. There are many others making names for themselves elsewhere like Kalen Deboer as Saban’s successor, Dan Lanning at Oregon and more.

“There’s a clear changing of the guard in the college football coaching world, and it’s evident in our final rankings,” Fornelli wrote. “Eight new coaches entered the top 25 this year, some of whom climbed more than 25 spots. Never in my 10 years writing this piece have I seen such dramatic movement across the board. So many questions need to be answered in the near future.”

Here’s who CBS has as the top 25 coaches in the Power Four this season.

CBS Sports Top 25 head coaches in the Power Four

  1. Kirby Smart, Georgia
  2. Ryan Day, Ohio State
  3. Dabo Swinney, Clemson
  4. Brian Kelly, LSU
  5. Steve Sarkisian, Texas
  6. Kyle Whittingham, Utah
  7. Kalen Deboer, Alabama
  8. Mike Norvell, Florida State
  9. Dan Lanning, Oregon
  10. Lincoln Riley, USC
  11. James Frankin, Penn State
  12. Lance Leipold, Kansas
  13. Chris Klieman, Kansas State
  14. Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss
  15. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
  16. Dave Doeren, NC State
  17. Luke Fickell, Wisconsin
  18. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
  19. Jeff Brohm, Louisville
  20. Mark Stoops, Kentucky
  21. Eli Drinkwitz, Missouri
  22. Sonny Dykes, TCU
  23. Josh Heupel, Tennessee
  24. Marcus Freeman, Notre Dame
  25. Matt Campbell, Iowa State

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