ndolttown wowed me and other folks at NDNation with his latest post, and I’m saving the content here for posterity. Summary: Lou Holtz OWNED College Football:
Thesis: From 1987 to 1993 Lou Holtz won more big games than any coach in history in a similar period of time and more big games than many of the top coaches in history ever did. It is a remarkable and, I would guess, unequalled record of victories over top competition in the history of CFB.
In that seven-year period, Holtz beat fifteen teams that finished in the top ten in the final AP poll. In other words, he beat an average of two top ten finishing teams each year. For perspective, in those seven years of his career, Holtz beat more top ten teams than Joe Paterno has in forty years of coaching and more than the following hall of fame coaches did in their entire careers: Woody Hayes,Bo Schembechler, John McKay, Phil Fulmer, Darrell Royal, Bob Devaney, Bud Wilkinson, and many more.
In terms of rankings at time the game was played, in those seven years, Holtz beat nineteen teams ranked in the top ten at game time – nearly three a year – and twenty-eight in the top 25 – four a year. He played teams ranked in the top four at game time on thirteen occasions and went 10-3.
Holtz beat the number one-ranked team three times (Miami 88, Colo 90, FSU 93); played in 1 vs 2 match-ups three times and won them all (USC 88, Mich 89, FSU 93), and beat undefeated teams in bowl games three times (WV 89, Colo 90, TA&M 93).
In that seven-year period, Holtz beat BCS conference champions 16 times: five wins vs the Big Ten Champ, four versus the Pac Ten Champ, two vs the SEC Champ, two vs the ACC champ, 2 vs the SWC Champ and one vs the Big 8 Champ. For perspective, in those seven years, Holtz had more wins vs conference champs than the following coaches did in their entire careers: Woody Hayes, Darrell Royal, Mack Brown, John McKay, Bud Wilkinson, Steve Spurrier, Phil Fulmer, Bo Schembechler, Barry Switzer, Lloyd Carr, Bob Devaney, and had as many wins in those seven years as Bear Bryant did in his entire career.
In that seven-year period, Holtz played teams with records of 5-0 or better nine times and was 9-0 in those games. He played teams 9-0 or better five times and was 5-0 in those games.