Kirk Herbstreit Ranks BYU’s Kalani Sitake As Top Performing Coach

Sep 20, 2021, 3:53 PM
Kirk Herbstreit, Conference Realignment, Super Conferences, College Football...
ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit sees a scenario where there is three super conferences in college football. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – BYU football head coach Kalani Sitake received national praise from ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit. The 25-year ESPN veteran ranked Sitake as his “top performing” coach from week three of the college football season.

Herbstreit ranks six coaches each week; he gave the number one nod to Sitake after BYU took down nationally-ranked Arizona State, 27-17.

Many of the national pundits around college football didn’t see BYU as a threat to impact the national scene again this year. After losing Zach Wilson at quarterback, a handful of NFL draft picks, plus a tougher schedule, it was easy to assume that BYU would go back to six or seven wins.

They’ve silenced a lot of the doubters, and Sitake has led the way.

BYU is the only team in college football that is 3-0, with all three of their victories coming against Power 5 competition. Over their last 15 games, dating back to 2020, BYU is 14-1 in that stretch.

The other five coaches on Herbstreit’s list included Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson, USC interim head coach Donte Williams, Florida’s Dan Mullen, Mel Tucker from Michigan State, and Minnesota defensive coordinator Joe Rossi.

Herbstreit, a host on ESPN’s College Gameday, has been showing love to Sitake’s BYU team during their “Saturday Selections.” Two weeks ago, Herbstreit was going to pick Utah over BYU, but he switched in favor of the Cougars. As a result, he was the only one to pick BYU’s upset over the rival Utes.

Then last week, heading into the Arizona State matchup, Herbie went with BYU again and was proven correct by Sitake’s squad.

Since taking over as head coach in 2016, Sitake has posted a 41-26 record. Last month, he received a contract extension that will keep him at BYU through the 2025 season.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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