By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard
The NFL Playoffs are quickly winding down. While the AFC title games features veteran NFL head coaches, the NFC title game on the other hand features two of the three former PAC 12 coaches in the NFL Playoffs.
Seattle Seahawks Pete Carroll and the San Francisco 49ers Jim Harbaugh are complete opposites as ESPN’s Rick Reilly pointed out in his column on ESPN.com. One of the things that they do have in common is their success at their previous coaching jobs in the PAC 12 (Carroll at USC and Harbaugh at Stanford).
In this years playoffs, three of the twelve head coaches previous job was at a PAC 12 school (Philadelphia Head Coach Chip Kelly being the third). Another playoff team, the Indianapolis Colts, first year offensive coordinator (Pep Hamilton) comes from the PAC 12 as well.
While Carroll and Harbaugh will gain most of the headlines because of their success on the professional level, the Eagles Kelly is no one to discount. He took the Eagles to the playoffs in his first season and did it while changing QB’s.
The SEC gets most of the headlines when it comes to college football but the PAC 12 has a better rep when it comes to sending coaches to the NFL.
Previous examples of PAC 12 coaches who have had success in the NFL include; Bill Walsh, Dennis Green, John Robinson and Dick Vermeil among others. Not to mention that two of the hottest head coaching names that seem to be on everyones list come from the PAC 12 too (UCLA’s Jim Mora and Stanford’s David Shaw).
Is there something different about the PAC 12? Probably. Historically speaking most of the offenses were more of a “pro-style” but psychologically the coaches are possibly more prepared.
When you think of the Pacific or the West you think opportunity, innovation, and entertainment. More over a willingness to take chances. Calculated risks. This mentality seems to translate better into the NFL.
In any event, the NFC title game on Sunday features a great coaching rivalry against two coaches who just seem to win. Both have taken calculated risks on young QB’s and both worked out. Now we get to see which coach gets a trip to the Super Bowl.