November 25, 2014

Pinkel a finalist for national coach of the year

Gary Pinkel is one of three finalists for coach of the year.

Gary Pinkel is one of three finalists for coach of the year.

The Maxwell Football Club named the three finalists for the Club’s Collegiate Coach of the Year Award. Gary Pinkel (Mizzou) joins David Cutcliffe (Duke), and Gus Malzahn (Auburn).

Pinkel has led Mizzou to one of the top turnaround stories in college football this season, as his Tigers currently stand 11-1 overall, and atop the Southeastern Conference East Division standings at 7-1. Mizzou enters this weekend’s SEC Championship Game against No. 3 Auburn carrying a ranking of No. 5 in the latest Bowl Championship Series rankings, a dramatic turnaround from the 2012 season when the Tigers had a losing record and won just two conference games.

Cutcliffe has led Duke to its first 10-win season in school history and an ACC Coastal Division title. Duke (10-2, 6-2 in the ACC) will play No. 1 Florida State (12-0, 8-0) Saturday at 8 p.m. in Charlotte for the ACC title and the right to go to the Orange Bowl.

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In just his first year at Auburn and just the second year of his career as a head coach at the collegiate level, Malzahn turned what was a 3-9 team in 2012 into a national championship contender. Auburn shocked top-ranked Alabama last Saturday night in the Iron Bowl to secure the SEC West championship and a spot in this weekend’s SEC Championship Game with Missouri. The Tigers are currently ranked No. 3 in the BCS rankings.

The winner will be announced on December 19th.