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CBS Ranks The Worst Head Coach In The NFL Right Now

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 31: Houston Texans ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH / DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR LOVIE SMITH before the game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

All rankings need someone to occupy the last spot. 

When CBS Sports' Cody Benjamin decided to appraise all 32 NFL head coaches, Lovie Smith received the unfortunate designation.

Benjamin determined his order by asking the following two questions: "Who do we trust the most?" and "Who is best positioned to succeed?" That means external factors were considered, as some teams don't have the talent to contend behind any leader.

This criteria helps explain how Smith garnered the No. 32 spot before beginning his first season as head coach for the Houston Texans.

"Yes, Lovie has also been there, done that as a head man," Benjamin wrote. "But he hasn't posted a winning record in either college or the NFL since 2012, when Jay Cutler was throwing to Brandon Marshall on the Bears. At 64, coming off a bad year running their defense, he feels like another stopgap, and management saddling him with free agent leftovers doesn't help."

Smith dubiously leads the "Stuck in mud" bottom tier, which also features Matt Eberflus (Bears), Dan Campbell (Lions), Arthur Smith (Falcons), and Matt Rhule (Panthers). 

Over 11 seasons, nine with the Bears and two with the Buccaneers, Smith is 89-87 while splitting his six playoff games. He led Chicago to the Super Bowl in 2006, his third season as head coach.

However, Tampa Bay mustered only eight wins in 2014 and 2015. Following that rough stint, Smith went to college to coach Illinois before joining the Texans as an associate head coach and defensive coordinator last season.

Some fans think the Texans over-achieved by going 4-13 under David Culley last season. They showed some fight behind rookie quarterback Davis Mills late in the season, but only the Jets allowed more total yards than the Texans under Smith's watch.

Expectations remain low in Houston this summer. Smith will look to prove Benjamin and all other skeptics wrong, but it won't be easy.