Good Decisions

Mark Richt, Georgia

Bulldogs fans have high standards (does every back have to be Herschel Walker?), but Richt must be considered a success. Never a head coach before, it might be legitimate to trace Florida State's offensive struggles to Richt's departure as coordinator.

Nick Saban, Louisiana State

He didn't make a ton of friends at Michigan State, but there's a reason he gets sniffs from the NFL (are you listening, Miami Dolphins?). He has proven a perfect fit in Baton Rouge (45-15, 2003 national title).

Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

Remember, this wasn't a no-brainer. Stoops was the defensive coordinator at Florida during the Fun 'n' Gun era. The result: a final ranking in the top six in each of the last four years, and the 2001 national title.

Jury's Out

Chuck Amato, North Carolina State

He inherited freshman quarterback Philip Rivers upon arrival. But in Rivers's senior year, the Wolfpack went 8-5. N.C. State won't make a bowl for the first time in five years. The staff has been unstable. Team is 12-11 in past 23 games.

Tommy Bowden, Clemson

Needed to beat his father, Bobby, last year to save job -- and did. Has rallied recently, but undefeated season at Tulane, and family lineage, hasn't made for consistency. Subtract a 9-3 2000 season and he's 25-21.

Gary Pinkel, Missouri

Came from Toledo, where he had one losing season in 10 years. Now, with a team ranked in the top 25 before the season, the Tigers must win their last two games to reach a bowl. In four years, he is 21-25.