2. Chris Petersen, Boise State
He’s the only coach on this list who has led his team to two BCS victories. He has thoroughly dominated the WAC, forging a 31-1 league mark in four seasons. Other Boise State coaches have bolted after tasting success — Houston Nutt, Dirk Koetter, Dan Hawkins. Not Petersen, 45, who often is wooed but evidently has no plans to leave his fiefdom after signing a five-year extension that pays him $1.6 million. His tremendous success is why Boise State recently accepted an invitation to join the Mountain West.
3. Gary Patterson, TCU
He’s had chances to leave. Remember Minnesota’s offer of $2 million per year after the 2006 season? But Patterson is no fool. He knows his job is better than about two-thirds of the Big Six gigs. Patterson, 50, is 85-28 in nine seasons in Fort Worth and finally recorded his breakthrough season in 2009 by guiding the Horned Frogs to their first BCS appearance.