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Three-Point Stance: Top 10 coaches, Pac-12 hot seats National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s thought-provoking Three-Point Stance is here with a look at the top coaches in college football, the Pac-12 coaching list from hottest to coolest seat and a tribute to a late coaching legend.

More Three-Point Stance: Big Ten hot seats

1. Top 10 coaches

Nick Saban
Nick Saban (AP)

While on numerous message boards the last couple of weeks rolling out my hot-to-cold seats by conference (Pac-12 below), the question has been asked a few times: Who are my top 10 coaches in college football right now?

I did a top five list back at the beginning of last season, but things have clearly changed. Back then it was Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Jimbo Fisher, Mark Dantonio and Jim Harbaugh in my top five.

Here’s my updated list heading into 2017:

1. Nick Saban, Alabama Hard to argue this with a 114-19 record at ‘Bama and a 205-61-1 overall record, with five national titles.

2. Urban Meyer, Ohio State National titles at Florida and Ohio State, 61-6 in Columbus and 165-29 overall. Oh yeah, and he’s the best head coach recruiter in the land.

3. Dabo Swinney, Clemson He's 28-2 in the last two seasons with a national title and a runner-up finish and surpassed his ACC rival below.

4. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State Jimbo has won a natty, led his team to a 78-17 record and is a great recruiter like those ahead of him.

5. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan The NFL stuff is impressive for sure and has to factor in when talking about pure coaching. The job he has done at Michigan and prior to that at Stanford has been impressive.

6. Chris Petersen, Washington His 27-14 record at Washington is okay but let’s not forget his work at Boise State, where he was 92-12. He’s emerged as one of the elite in the nation.

7. James Franklin, Penn State A 25-15 record at Penn State is similar to Petersen as Franklin is just hitting his groove, but his work at Vanderbilt (24-15) has to be factored in and that was nothing short of amazing.

8. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma StateGundy is underrated nationally. The guy can coach. He's 104-50 at Oklahoma State with five seasons with 10 wins or more, and this upcoming season could be his best.

9. David Shaw, StanfordA 64-17 record at Stanford with all the recruiting restrictions due to academics is impressive, as is five of six seasons with 10 or more wins.

10. Mark Dantonio, Michigan StateA very bad season dropped him way down from No. 4 but his body of work is great. He's 90-42 overall with five seasons of 10 wins or more and a playoff appearance.

2. Pac-12 hot seats

Todd Graham
Todd Graham (AP)

Now let’s finish my trip around the Power Five and rank the Pac-12 coaches from hottest to coldest seat. Unlike a few other conferences, there are three coaches on this list that likely need a big season to save their job. After that there seems to be little concern.

1. Todd Graham, Arizona State No additional year extension, his deal is up in 2020 and the pressure to turn things around is on after two straight losing seasons.

2. Rich Rodriguez, Arizona Signed through 2020, Rich Rod is working under a new athletic director and is coming off a horrendous season. He needs a bounceback year in a big way after producing just one winning conference record in five years.

3. Jim Mora, UCLA Signed through 2021, a 4-8 season hurt a lot last year and his buyout decreases after the season. However, there is too much talent at UCLA for a repeat season, right?

4. Clay Helton, USC How can Helton be so high on this list? Expectations are high and patience is low at the marquee job in the Pac-12. A disappointing season and he’s under fire more than many others.

5. Gary Anderson, Oregon StateAnderson is signed through 2021 and Oregon State is making strides so he’s not in great danger, but still ahead of many others here.

6. Justin Wilcox, Cal How could a first-year coach be this high? Look at those below him, and they all appear to be very safe.

7. Mike Leach, Washington State Leach is the kind of guy who could wear out his welcome quickly, but after the last two seasons (17-9) and signed until 2021, can you picture Washington State thinking it can find someone better?

8. Mike MacIntyre, Colorado The off-field stuff almost derailed him, but his new contract through 2021 was approved after the investigation and last year’s run has him safe unless more comes out.

9. Kyle Whittingham, Utah A 104-50 overall record – 28-11 the last three seasons – has Whittingham not only safe but coveted by others.

10. Willie Taggart, Oregon Signed through 2021 with recruiting off the hook already, Taggart will be given every chance to be successful at Oregon. The start was a rocky one but all seems well now.

11. David Shaw, Stanford Shaw is one of two Pac-12 coaches in my national top 10 and he’s not going anywhere soon unless he wants to move on.

12. Chris Petersen, Washington Petersen is signed through 2023, longer than any coach in the Pac-12, and the best could be yet to come.

3. A tribute to Ara

Ara Parseshian
Ara Parseshian

Notre Dame lost a legend when Ara Parseghian passed away at the age of 94 on Wednesday. No discussion of great coaches, like the one above, should be mentioned without talking about this passing. He took over a Notre Dame team that was 2-7 in 1963 and was supposed to finish .500 in his first year but went 9-1 and came within minutes of winning a national title in 1964.

In 11 seasons, he had his team ranked No. 1 in the country at one point eight different times and won the national title twice. The lowest his team ever finished in South Bend was No. 14 overall.

Parseghian started coaching before I was even born and obviously there is no connection between the legendary coach and the Rivals era. But he was one of the biggest voices in college football broadcasting when I was growing up and I studied his coaching legend among others as my interest piqued in college football before I got into the industry.

There are few coaches that intrigued me as much as Parseghian because of the amazing success he immediately had at Notre Dame after taking the step up from Northwestern. Notre Dame is all about tradition, ask any player who has taken a visit to campus, and his imprint on the program is one of the reasons the mystique of Notre Dame continues to reel in recruits based on success from so long ago. Rest in peace to a legendary coach.