NCAA Football

Analysis: NCAA Football Coach Carousel

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In the first installment of what will be a weekly update, I’ll rank the top coaching prospects around the country, the possible jobs they might go to, the football jobs that are open, as well as the rumored candidates and my pick for the each job.

So, with only four jobs open so far, with possibly 10 more on the way, and the top 20 coaching prospects available, let’s take a look and how this college football coaching off-season could shake out.

* = BCS conference jobs or Elite non-BCS jobs

 
 
 
 
Possible Destinations?

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*
.
Jim Harbaugh
Head Coach, Stanford
Michigan

*
.
Carl Pederson
Head Coach, Boise State
 

*
.
Dan Mullen
Head Coach, Mississippi State
Miami (FL)

*
.
Gary Patterson
Head Coach, TCU
 

*
.
Randy Edsall
Head Coach, Uconn
Michigan, Vanderbilt

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

1
.
Kyle Whittingham
Head Coach, Utah
Miami (FL)

2
.
Kevin Sumlin
Head Coach, Houston
 

3
.
Gus Malzahn
Offensive Coordinator, Auburn
 

4
.
Mike Leach
Former Texas Tech Head Coach
Minnesota, Miami (FL)

5
.
Troy Calhoun
Head Coach, Air Force
 

6
.
Phillip Fulmer
Former Tennessee Head Coach
 

7
.
Brady Hoke
Head Coach, San Diego State
Minnesota, Michigan

8
.
Al Golden
Head Coach, Temple
 

9
.
Dana Hologorsen
Offensive Coordinator, Oklahoma St.
 

10
.
Jim McElwain
Offensive Coordinator, Alabama
 

11
.
Jerry Kill
Head Coach, Northern Illinois
 

12
.
Todd Graham
Head Coach, Tulsa
 

13
.
Kirby Smart
Defensive Coordinator, Alabama
 

14
.
Mike Haywood
Head Coach, Miami (OH)
 

15
.
Bryan Harsin
Offensive Coordinator, Boise State
 

16
.
Ken Niumatolo
Head Coach, Navy
Vanderbilt, Minnesota

17
.
Randy Shannon
Former Head Coach, Miami (FL)
Minnesota

18
.
Kevin Wilson
Offensive Coordinator, Oklahoma
INDIANA

19
.
Dan Sharp
Defensive Coordinator, TCU
 

20
.
Bud Foster
Defensive Coordinator, Virginia Tech
 

Notes:

-Kevin Sumlin is good enough for a top notch BCS job, but may not get a chance because outside of Colorado, which already has it’s finalists picked, there aren’t any Big 12 or Pac-10 jobs open.

-Gus Malzahn (pictured above) has a lot to do with Auburn’s success this year, and he is head and shoulders the top offensive coordinator head coaching prospect available. He may hold out, even past this year, for a top job.

-Mike Leach would make sense for just about every job, but especially jobs that just need to install a winning record-type team, as his system is good enough to win 7-8 games anywhere in the country. SoMinnesota as of now and maybe Washington State or Mississippi State, if they open up (Mississippi State would be if Dan Mullen leaves for Miami (FL))

-Al Golden and Jerry Kill have been ultra-impressive in the MAC, and for the open Big Ten and maybe Big East jobs, they may have the inside track.

-Sleeper coaches to watch are Brady Hoke at San Diego State, as he has a 7-4 record and lost his games to four teams that were ranked in the Top 25 either now or at some point by a total of 14 points, and Dana Hologorsen at Oklahoma State, as an offensive coordinator, he has lead a deadly offense with less talent than in year’s past and has this team surprisingly in the Top 10.

* = Jobs not open as of now, but are suspected to become open

X = Jobs filled

 
 
 
Pre./Current Coach
Possible Coaches?
My Vote

1
.
Miami (FL)
Randy Shannon
Dan Mullen, Mike Leach
Dan Mullen

2
.
Colorado
Dan Hawkins
John Embree, Eric Bielema
John Embree

3
.
Minnesota
Tim Brewster
Al Golden, Randy Shannon, Ken Niumatolo
Al Golden

4
.
Vanderbilt
Robbie Caldwell
Randy Edsall, Ken Niumatolo
Randy Edsall

 
 
 
 
 
 

*
.
Michigan
Rich Rodriguez
Jim Harbaugh, Les Miles, Brady Hoke
Jim Harbaugh

*
.
Pittsburgh
Dave Wannstedt
Gus Malzahn, Todd Graham
Gus Malzahn

*
.
Clemson
Dabo Sweeney
Gus Malzahn, Kirby Smart
Kirby Smart

*
.
West Virginia
Bill Stewart
 
 

*
.
Arizona State
Dennis Erickson
 
 

*
.
Washington St
Paul Wulff
Dana Hologorsen, Bryan Harsin
Bryan Harsin

*
.
Kent St.
Doug Martin
 
 

*
.
UAB
Neil Callaway
 
 

*
.
Eastern Michigan
Ron English
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

X
.
Indiana
Bill Lynch
Kevin Wilson, OC, Oklahoma
Kevin Wilson

X
.
North Texas
Todd Dodge
Dan McCarney, DL Coach, Florida
Dan McCarney

X
.
UL Lafayette
Rickey Bustle
Mark Hudspeath, OC, Miss St.
Mark Hudspeath

Notes:

-Miami (FL) needs to get a coach that will run a system that can win now, is well-respected, and can develop the recruits they’ll get for the next level. That’s why former Florida offensive coordinator Dan Mullen makes the most sense, but guys like Kyle Whittingham, Gary Patterson, and Gus Malzahn are all right behind him in my opinion.

-Kevin Wilson at Indiana was a bit of a surprise, and the first coach to be named at a BCS school. I would have thought they’d stick with someone closer to the area and could have an instant impact in recruiting, but he has been a contender for many jobs in the past, so I can’t be too surprised.

-Minnesota could be a wild card team to get a big name coach. In basketball they went after and got Tubby Smith from Kentucky and paid a lot for him, so they could reach. Mike Leach makes the most sense because he can win quickly.

-The Michigan job may likely be decided on if Jim Harbaugh or Les Miles wants the job. If they don’t, they’ll likely give Rich Rod another year.

-Pittsburgh may have to fire Dave Wannstedt, and if they do, they could go the same route Syracuse did and look to the NFL as well as a coach that has Pittsburgh ties. Usually if team’s miss on a big name head coach, they go after a coach with ties to the program (Such as Colorado, and maybe Michigan).

-Bryan Harsin may be a highly sought after coach on the west coast. He has done a great job in helping Boise State recruit BCS level talent, has lead a tremendously impressive offense, and could be next in-line to run the Boise State dynasty if Pederson left. Keep in mind that Dan Hawkins and Chris Pederson were coordinators before they were promoted to head coaches.