Is Dan Lanning ranked too low among the head coaches in the Pac-12?

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Dan Lanning has yet to coach a game in college football as the top of the organizational chart. He has a little more than half a year as head coach of the Oregon Ducks. While we don’t quite know what his game chops are going to be, he has certainly impressed early with his recruiting prowess and ability to quickly create a culture and bring in past members of the Oregon program into the fold.

Despite all of that, he’s yet to get much respect in the rankings of coaches around the nation or in the Pac-12. Earlier this offseason, CBS Sports ranked all of the head coaches in the Power Five conferences, and Lanning landed at No. 54 on that list. 

Now, CBS Sports took a crack at ranking the head coaches just in the Pac-12 conference — USC and UCLA were included since they will not depart for the Big Ten until 2024 — and weren’t quick to rank Lanning high on the list due in part to his early success in the offseason.

But did they drop him lower than he really should be? You be the judge. Here are the rankings:

Lincoln Riley — USC

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Kyle Whittingham — Utah

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Chip Kelly — UCLA

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

David Shaw — Stanford

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Smith — Oregon State

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Wilcox — California

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Kalen DeBoer — Washington

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Lanning — Oregon

Lanning deserved a head coaching position after his work as defensive coordinator at Georgia, but this is a daunting place to learn on the fly. Oregon has made three straight Pac-12 title game appearances and there likely will not be an extended grace period just because Lanning is 36 and working in the Pac-12 North for the first time. Recruiting at an elite level will not get easier for Lanning amid the uncertainty surrounding Oregon’s future conference home. Last year: N/A in Pac-12

Herm Edwards — Arizona State

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Karl Dorrell — Colorado

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Jedd Fisch — Arizona

Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic

Jake Dickert — Washington State

Oct. 23, 2021; Pullman; Washington State Cougars head coach interim Jake Dickert reacts after a play during a game against the Brigham Young Cougars in the second half at Gesa Field at Martin Stadium. BYU won 21-19. James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

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