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Where Kyle Whittingham and Kalani Sitake rank in experts’ top 25 coaching rankings

Both coaches crack Bruce Feldman’s and Stewart Mandel’s rankings, but with some distance in between

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Utah coach Kyle Whittingham and BYU coach Kalani Sitake hug after game at Rice-Eccles Stadium in 2018. Utah won 35-27.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham and BYU coach Kalani Sitake hug at the end of the game after Utah defeated BYU at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City in 2018.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The state of Utah currently has a wealth of college football coaching talent. Utah’s Kyle Whittingham won the program’s first-ever Pac-12 title, while Utah State’s Blake Anderson led the Aggies to their first-ever Mountain West championship. Kalani Sitake has guided BYU to two top-25 finishes and Jay Hill has Weber State in the playoffs year after year.

Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel of The Athletic ranked the top 25 coaches in college football and Whittingham and Sitake made the list.

Whittingham was ranked No. 7 on Mandel’s list and Feldman ranked the Utah coach No. 8.

“The man who produced the most physical team out West never seems to get enough credit. In 2021, the Utes dealt with much adversity, but still responded by going 10-4 and finishing No. 12. It was his eighth Top 25 finish with the Utes — quite a statement considering the program only had two top-25 finishes in the school’s history before he took over,” Feldman wrote.

Sitake was ranked No. 21 on Mandel’s list, while Feldman ranked the BYU coach No. 25

Sitake proved last season that the Zach Wilson-led 11-1 season in 2020 was no one-off, as the Cougars reloaded and went 10-3 in a second consecutive top-25 season. BYU, which will join the Big 12 next year, went 6-1 against Power Five opponents and ended a nine-game losing streak to rival Utah, which went on to win the Pac-12,”Mandel wrote.