One-Star Talent: The Best-Worst of Commercials Featuring College Football Coaches

By Chad Peltier on January 15, 2013 at 5:00p

When we first unearthed Urban's now-classic endorsement of Simply Orange (potassium rules), we had no idea how many "great" head football coaching commercials the resulting thread would produce. 

Urbs is rockin those shorts and white socks like a pro

We learned that Urban Meyer is many things, but award-winning actor isn't one of them. If he were being recruited as an actor, the 247 composite might not give him more than three stars. In fact, Year2 recognized Urban's lack of acting skills way back in 2007. 

I'd like to change that. 

In the spirit of awards season, I have a few awards to hand out to the best TV commercials featuring college football coaches. 

Best Use of Smiling Robots 

The Village Jeweler Celebrate Life has a lot to offer the Gainesville, Florida, community – Urban playing a Gator guitar, custom Gator jewelry, the Hearts of Fire collection, and a pair of smiling, silent robots that eerily stand behind Urban. 

We can only hope that they have good intentions, unlike other robotic couples.

Urban's TV spot wasn't the only jewelry commercial featuring college football coaches in Florida, but Jimbo's unfortunately had higher production values. Bonus: Look at Jimbo's face at :14 – "I'm actually going to have to buy this ring for my wife now." *Sigh*

Best Singing

Rivaling only Aaron Craft, Tom Osborne's pipes are almost unmatched.

Interesting, this won't be Burger King's last appearance on this list. While BK is known for their Whoppers and creepy king commercials, they have a formidable college football advertising heritage. 

Most Scumbag Coach

Bobby Bowden was a great coach and seems like he was a good guy overall as well, but Burger King makes him out to be nothing more than a Hamburglar. Here we have him snatching some poor sap's extra hamburger.

Turns out that Bowden was no stranger to the camera, with notable spots for both Discover and Coke

Cheapest Looking (Food) 

Father + son + local convenience store food = great success why did this ever happen? 

I guess we'll just have to conclude that "Stop In Food Store" is probably the hottest restaurant around Blacksburg, Virginia. 

Most Excessive Kinetic Typography

Kinetic typography can actually be pretty cool and this isn't a terrible commercial, but if you live in Georgia then you've probably seen this commercial 10,000 times by now:  

Lessons learned: The South is apparently built around "family, football, and our truck", junkyard bulldogs are more friendly-looking than menacing, and Mark Richt rocks pleated pants like a boss. The South might be single-handedly supporting Ford, as the F-series is the top-selling truck series in the country. 

Ford has gone back to other Southern coaches as well, with Nick Saban doing his part

Most Effective Use of Outside Zone

This is easily my favorite commercial on the list, with UPS effectively making a boring thing like logistics sound cool. 

Pfffff, like Oregon actually has a playbook. You mean to tell me that Nike founder Phil Knight doesn't ensure iPads get passed around to all incoming Ducks? 

Bonus points for calling a speed option from the six-yard line. 

Best Use of Former B1G Coaches

How could this commercial not be on the list?

I considered John Cooper's noble attempt at helping people face their dental fears (by the way, what fears do college football players have?), but the above commercial is too poignant given that only three of the coaches featured survived the apparent coaching purge following 2008. Nice work, Fitzgerald, Ferentz, and Dantonio (2/3 of these guys won their bowl games this year too – coincidence?). 

Honorable Mention


We've learned a couple of things from this compilation:

  1. Outside of Bobby Bowden, coaches don't make great actors. 
  2. Midwesterners love their Burger King and Southerners love their Ford F-150s. 
  3. Ed Orgeron's voice is not suited for commercials.
  4. Urban really needs a commercial in Ohio State gear. Come on, Columbus businesses!

I just had the space to cover college football coaches, but there's a sporting world worth of great commercials out there – feel free to post your favorites below. 


Comments Show All Comments

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

I miss the Jim Tressel Kroger commercials.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

GoBucks917's picture

Doesn't get much better then Coach O selling Hummer's

Michael Citro's picture

I used to cringe at the John Cooper Big Bear commercials, although if I remember right his daughter was hawt.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

When did Big Bear close again? 2005?

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

buckeye76BHop's picture

Something like that...I miss Big Bear (but not John Coopers commercials as stated above).  2004 I think was when it went out of business...

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

Dougger's picture

best collection yet.
Welcome aboard, slugger!!!

I like football

USMC11917's picture

I don't know about you guys, but I could use a Hummer too. Go Coach O.

741's picture

Will someone please find the John Cooper Sun Bubble commercial? I might actually pay money to see that again.

741's picture

Just saw Jason's tweet crowd-sourcing this same bit of hilarity - about one hour before my post. #mybrotherfromanothermother

BKshepherd's picture

I personally liked the Discover Card commercials with "Dad Gum" Peggy....

Nkohl13's picture

On a side note, I actually really like Simply Orange. After drinking that for a while other orange juice tastes terrible.

Nkohl13's picture

Hey this gave me an idea for a new thread. Favorite brand of orange juice.

Defend Youngstown's picture

I feel like Les Mile's tombstone should read, "Put some pants on."

pjtobin's picture

I was flipping through some of 11w early stuff. I found a piece on UFM from 12-06 about him having a woody poster in his home. He was coaching Florida then. Just thought it would be neat to see some early stuff you guys did on urb. And please keep up the good work. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

OSUAndy07's picture

I live in the Blacksburg area, and that Stop-In commercial with Frank Beamer is on all the time. Good Lord, it's bad.

"But I'm tryin' Ringo. I'm tryin', real hard, to be the shepherd"

NoVA Buckeye's picture

My VT friends talk up Blacksburg's local food, but I have to say that I tried all the stuff they like, and I wasn't impressed in the slightest. I told them to come to Columbus and I'd show them good off-campus dining.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

Baroclinicity's picture

Besides Macado's, what else is there?

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

OSUAndy07's picture

Bull and Bones has pretty good BBQ, but otherwise options are limited

"But I'm tryin' Ringo. I'm tryin', real hard, to be the shepherd"

bassplayer7770's picture

So, I guess that Golden Flake commercial revealed the secret to SEC speed.  Perhaps we need to get a distributor in Ohio...

osubuckeye4life's picture

I love these! The Simply Orange juice one could be intercut with highlights of players bringing "the juice".