While doing research for SI.com's Midseason Coaches of the Year file, I ran a comparison of kenpom's preseason projections versus his current Pythagorean ratings, to see which teams had made the most significant gains. The coaches responsible for the top six BCS-conference leaps* are:
1. Trent Johnson, LSU (153rd to 72nd)
2. Fred Hoiberg, Iowa State (123rd to 51st)
3. Tony Bennett, Virginia (88th to 28th)
4. Craig Robinson, Oregon State (124th to 62nd)
5. Tom Crean, Indiana (50th to 9th)
6. Kevin Willard, Seton Hall (75th to 30th)
The notion that Johnson has lifted up LSU more than Crean has lifted up Indiana seems crazy, but the Tigers were projected to be awful this season, whereas Indiana wasn't supposed to be all that bad, according to kenpom. Obviously, though, what Crean, Bennett and Willard have done means a lot more. It's easier to go from bad to mediocre than it is from mediocre to good.