There are only about three or four candidates that I would consider to be "coach of the year" material in the BCS (Division I) college football ranks. Les Miles is not one of them.
1st Runner Up:
Bill Snyder, KSU: Snyder appears to be the only man who can win at Kansas State. The Ron Prince experiment was a minor disaster and Snyder had to come "out of retirement" to again lead the Wildcats to conference victory and national championship contention. His methods are a bit old school and the game may be changing and passing him by (he's not the only one in that boat to be sure), but right now he still has the magic to, at the very least, have his teams favorites to win the ten team Big Twelve, with an outside chance at going for all the marbles nationally.
2nd Runner Up:
Dabo Swinney, Clemson: Swinney has done a very good job bringing the Tigers from a "pretty good for the ACC" type team to a group that can possibly challenge for a national title. That says a lot for a school that has not really been relevant in the national hunt for many years. They fell short this season to be sure, but it will be interesting to see where his teams are in another year or two.
Coach of the Year:
Kevin Sumlin: Texas A&M: When the Aggies decided to make the move to the SEC conventional wisdom said that they would be a perpetual lower middle of the pack team in that league. This would have certainly been the case had the Aggies stuck with a Mike Sherman or Franchione type coach. Sumlin brings a new brand of football to the rather stodgy conference and has already shaken things up. The Aggies did get off to a rather slow start but toward the end of the season it is possible that they were the best team playing D1 ball and yes, that does include being a better team than the Crimson Tide.
If there was any indication that Sumlin would have some success at A&M one had to look no further than his teams while he was head man at Houston. True, he has been blessed with exceptional college QB's during his coaching tenure and that certainly is a big reason for his success, but he has also learned that he needs a defense that is SEC worthy to have a good chance of consistent winning in that conference. Lack of defense was something that kept his teams from being "BCS Busters" when he coached the Cougars. He doesn't have that problem now. Look for the Aggies to vie for the conference crown next season with a good possibility of going to the "title" game.
All in all it was a pretty good year in college football and I, for one, am always sorry to see it end. What's next? Well there is a pretty good college basketball tournament on the horizon and the remainder of the NFL playoffs might be somewhat interesting.
That's about it.