As spring football gets underway nationwide, The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel have resumed their annual argument about which college football coaches deserve to be ranked in the top 25.

The pair generally agrees about who belongs at the top, with each putting Nick Saban of Alabama, Kirby Smart of Georgia and Dabo Swinney of Clemson in the top three spots on this year’s lists.

But after that, things get messier. Feldman wants Jim Harbaugh of Michigan at No. 4, while Mandel has him at No. 6.

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However, the two college football experts do agree on something that should make Utah football fans smile: They both say University of Utah coach Kyle Whittingham deserves a spot in the top 10 and lots of praise for what he’s achieved out West.

“The Utes have been the most consistent program out West and Whittingham is the reason. His teams are always tough and physical. They have an identity and it never gives an inch. He’s 63 and seems to be getting better as he gets older,” Feldman wrote.

Feldman, who put Whittingham at No. 9, noted that the coach’s approach has helped Utah score some big-time wins.

“They’re 4-2 in their past six games against AP top-10 opponents,” he wrote. “Under Whittingham, the Utes have finished in the Top 25 eight times. Before he took over, they’d been in there only three times.”

Mandel also highlighted the Utes’ consistency under Whittingham in his explanation of why he ranked the Utah coach eighth overall.

“Another year, another Pac-12 championship for one of the country’s most consistent programs, which has gone 32-9 in conference play since 2018. ... (Whittingham’s) only remaining hurdles are to reach the CFP or win a Rose Bowl,” Mandel wrote.

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Whittingham was the only coach currently tied to a Utah school to make one of the two new top-25 lists. But Kalani Sitake of BYU did get a brief shoutout from Mandel in his “just missed” group.

You can hear Mandel and Feldman discuss their latest college football coach rankings on the March 9 edition of their podcast, “The Audible with Stew and Bruce.”