Round Two Re-Mock

Round Two

  1. GB- Dalvin Cook, RB (Florida State)
  2. SEA- Forrest Lamp, OG (Western Kentucky)
  3. JAX- Cam Robinson, OT (Alabama)
  4. CHI- Kevin King, CB (Washington)
  5. LAR- Zay Jones, WR (East Carolina)
  6. LAC- Tyus Bowser, OLB (Houston)
  7. NYJ- DeShone Kizer, QB (Notre Dame)
  8. CAR- Taylor Moton, OT (Western Michigan)
  9. CIN- Joe Mixon, RB (Oklahoma)
  10. NO- Jordan Willis, OLB (Kansas State)
  11. PHI- Obi Melifonwu, S (Connecticut)
  12. BUF- Tim Williams, OLB (Alabama)
  13. ARZ- Davis Webb, QB (California)
  14. IND- Dan Feeney, OG (Indiana)
  15. BAL- Malik McDowell, DT (Michigan State)
  16. MIN- Alvin Kamara, RB (Tennessee)
  17. WAS- Budda Baker, S (Washington)
  18. TB- Chidobe Awuzie, CB (Colorado)
  19. DEN- Zach Cunningham, OLB (Vanderbilt)
  20. CLE- Quincy Wilson, CB (Florida)
  21. DET- Marcus Maye, S (Florida)
  22. MIA- Dion Dawkins, OT (Temple)
  23. NYG- Chris Wormley, DT (Michigan)
  24. OAK- Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE (Villanova)
  25. HOU- Josh Jones, S (N.C. State)
  26. SEA- Jourdan Lewis, CB (Michigan)
  27. KC- Curtis Samuel, WR (Ohio State)
  28. DAL- Cordea Tankersley, CB (Clemson)
  29. GB- Fabian Moreau, CB (UCLA)
  30. PIT- Chris Godwin, WR (Penn State)
  31. ATL- Justin Evans, S (Texas A&M)
  32. CAR- David Sharpe, OT (Florida)

ORIGINAL MOCK: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1nKTz0HRP5Yrc_J4Dh4FdjzYInxHcEXbPBm2yBUrB4fk/edit?usp=sharing

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OLD 2015 Predictions #CBB Recycle

NCAA Basketball:

Alabama (Anthony Grant): Avery Johnson, former Brooklyn Nets H.C.

Arizona State (Herb Sendek): Bobby Hurley, Buffalo H.C.

Bowling Green (Chris Jans): Michael Huger, Miami (FL) Asst.

Bucknell (Dave Paulsen): Nathan Davis, Randolph-Macon H.C.

Buffalo (Bobby Hurley): Nate Oats, Buffalo Asst.

DePaul (Oliver Purnell): Dave Leitao, Tulsa Asst.

Eastern Kentucky (Jeff Neubauer): Dan McHale, Minnesota Asst.

Fordham (Tom Pecora): Jeff Neubauer, Eastern Kentucky H.C.

George Mason (Paul Hewitt); Dave Paulsen, Bucknell H.C.

Green Bay (Brian Wardle): Linc Darner, Florida Southern H.C.

Hawaii (Benjy Taylor): Eran Ganot, Saint Mary’s Asst.

Mississippi State (Rick Ray): Ben Howland, former UCLA H.C.

Nevada (David Carter): Eric Musselman, LSU Asst.

St. John’s (Steve Lavin): Chris Mullin, former NBA GM

Tennessee (Donnie Tyndall): Rick Barnes, former Texas H.C.

Texas (Rick Barnes): Shaka Smart, VCU H.C.

Utah State (Stew Morrill): Tim Duryea, Utah State Asst.

VCU (Shaka Smart): Will Wade, Tennessee-Chattanooga H.C.

Buffalo (Bobby Hurley): Nate Oats, Buffalo Asst.

Eastern Kentucky (Jeff Neubauer): Dan McHale, Minnesota Asst.

Texas (Rick Barnes): Shaka Smart, VCU H.C.

VCU (Shaka Smart): Will Wade, Tennessee-Chattanooga H.C.

Alabama (Anthony Grant): Steve Prohm, Murray State H.C.

Arizona State (Herb Sendek): Jeff Capel, Duke Asst.

Bowling Green (Chris Jans): Jeff Boals, Ohio State Asst.

Bucknell (Dave Paulsen): Dane Fischer, Bucknell Asst.

DePaul (Oliver Purnell): Bobby Hurley, Buffalo H.C.

Fordham (Tom Pecora): Will Brown, SUNY Albany H.C.

George Mason (Paul Hewitt); Chris Caputo, Miami Asst.

Green Bay (Brian Wardle): Gary Greszk, St. Norbert H.C.

Hawaii (Interm): Benjy Taylor, Hawaii Interim H.C.

Mississippi State (Rick Ray): Brad Underwood, Stephen F. Austin H.C.

Nevada (David Carter): Tommy Connor, Utah Asst.

St. John’s (Steve Lavin): Dan Hurley, Rhode Island H.C.

Tennessee (Donnie Tyndall): Ben Jacobsen, Northern Iowa H.C.

Utah State (Stew Morrill): Tommy Connor, Utah Asst.

VCU (Shaka Smart): Will Wade, Tennessee-Chattanooga H.C.

Final 2016-17 NCAA/NFL Hire Portal

NFL

Right

Denver Broncos: Vance Joseph, Miami Dolphins Defensive Coordinator (GRADE: A-)

Jacksonville Jaguars: Doug Marrone, Jacksonville Jaguars Interim Head Coach (GRADE: B+)

Los Angeles Rams: Sean McVay, Washington Redskins Offensive Coordinator (GRADE: B+)

Wrong

Buffalo Bills: Anthony Lynn, Buffalo Bills Interim Head Coach

-> Hired Sean McDermott, Carolina Panthers Defensive Coordinator (GRADE: B+)

San Diego Chargers: Dave Toub, Kansas City Chiefs Special Teams Coordinator

-> Hired Anthony Lynn, Buffalo Bills Interim Head Coach (GRADE: B-)

San Francisco 49ers: Josh McDaniels, New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator

-> Hired Kyle Shanahan, Atlanta Falcons Offensive Coordinator (GRADE: A)

 

College

Right

California: Justin Wilcox, Wisconsin Defensive Coordinator (GRADE: B-)

Cincinnati: Luke Fickell, Ohio State Co-Defensive Coordinator (GRADE: C+)

Florida International: Butch Davis, former Miami (FL) Head Coach (GRADE: A-)

Fresno State: Jeff Tedford, former California Head Coach (GRADE: A-)

Minnesota: P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan Head Coach (GRADE: A)

Oregon: Willie Taggart, USF Head Coach (GRADE: C+) 

Purdue: Jeff Brohm, Western Kentucky Head Coach (GRADE: B+)

Texas: Tom Herman, Houston Head Coach (GRADE: A)

USF: Charlie Strong, former Texas Head Coach (GRADE: A)

Western Michigan: Tim Lester, former Purdue Quarterbacks Coach (GRADE: B+)

Wrong

Baylor: Blake Anderson, Arkansas State Head Coach

-> Hired Matt Rhule, Temple Head Coach (GRADE: B) 

Connecticut: Rhett Lashlee, Auburn Offensive Coordinator

-> Hired Randy Edsall, former Maryland Head Coach (GRADE: B)

Florida Atlantic: Tim Drevno, Michigan Offensive Coordinator

-> Hired Lane Kiffin, Alabama Offensive Coordinator (GRADE: A+)

Georgia State: Chip Lindsey, Arizona State Offensive Coordinator

-> Hired Shawn Elliott, South Carolina Offensive Line Coach (GRADE: B-)*

Houston: Todd Orlando, Houston Defensive Coordinator

-> Hired Major Applewhite, Houston Offensive Coordinator (GRADE: B-)

Louisiana State: Tom Herman, Houston Head Coach 

-> Hired Ed Orgeron, LSU Interim Head Coach (GRADE: B)*

Nevada: Beau Baldwin, Eastern Washington Head Coach 

-> Hired Jay Norvell, Arizona State Wide Receivers Coach (GRADE: C+)

San Jose State: Marcus Arroyo, Oklahoma State Running Backs Coach

-> Hired Brent Brennan, Oregon State Wide Receivers Coach (GRADE: B-)

Temple: Bobby Wilder, Old Dominion Head Coach

-> Hired Geoff Collins, Florida Defensive Coordinator (GRADE: B+)

Western Kentucky: Ed Warriner, Ohio State Offensive Coordinator

-> Hired Mike Sanford Jr., Notre Dame Offensive Coordinator (GRADE: B)

*had guessed them at one point in time

Immediate Promotions 

Indiana: Tom Allen, Defensive Coordinator (GRADE: B-)

2017 NFL “Spring Break” Mock Draft

2017 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 (Spring Break)

Round One

  1. CLE: Myles Garrett, DE (Texas A&M)
  2. SF: Solomon Thomas, DE (Stanford)
  3. CHI: Jamal Adams, S (Louisiana State)
  4. JAX: Leonard Fournette, RB (Louisiana State)
  5. TEN: Corey Davis, WR (Western Michigan)
  6. NYJ: Marshon Lattimore, CB (Ohio State)
  7. LAC: Malik Hooker, S (Ohio State)
  8. CAR: Jonathan Allen, DT (Alabama)
  9. CIN: Reuben Foster, ILB (Alabama)
  10. BUF: Mike Williams, WR (Clemson)
  11. NO: Derek Barnett, DE (Tennessee)
  12. CLE: Mitchell Trubisky, QB (North Carolina)
  13. ARZ: Tre’Davious White, CB (Louisiana State)
  14. PHI: Christian McCaffrey, RB (Stanford)
  15. IND: Forrest Lamp, OG (Western Kentucky)
  16. BAL: John Ross, WR (Washington)
  17. WAS: Haason Reddick, ILB (Temple)
  18. TEN: Gareon Conley, CB (Ohio State)
  19. TB: Dalvin Cook, RB (Florida State)
  20. DEN: O.J. Howard, TE (Alabama)
  21. DET: Taco Charlton, DE (Michigan)
  22. MIA: Jabrill Peppers, S (Michigan)
  23. NYG: Ryan Ramczyk, OT (Wisconsin)
  24. OAK: Malik McDowell, DT (Michigan State)
  25. HOU: DeShaun Watson, QB (Clemson)
  26. SEA: Garett Bolles, OT (Utah)
  27. KC: Patrick Mahomes, QB (Texas Tech)
  28. DAL: Takkarist McKinley, OLB (UCLA)
  29. GB: Kevin King, CB (Washington)
  30. PIT: Zach Cunningham, OLB (Vanderbilt)
  31. ATL: David Njoku, TE (Miami)
  32. NO: Teez Tabor, CB (Florida)

Round Two

  1. CLE: Zay Jones, WR (East Carolina)
  2. SF: Budda Baker, S (Washington)
  3. JAX: Evan Engram, TE (Ole Miss)
  4. CHI: Quincy Wilson, CB (Florida)
  5. LAR: Dan Feeney, OG (Indiana)
  6. LAC: Cam Robinson, OT (Alabama)
  7. NYJ: T.J. Watt, OLB (Wisconsin)
  8. CAR: Alvin Kamara, RB (Tennessee)
  9. CIN: Dion Dawkins, OT (Temple)
  10. NO: Cooper Kupp, WR (Eastern Washington)
  11. PHI: Adoree’ Jackson, CB (Southern Cal)
  12. BUF: Marlon Humphrey, CB (Alabama)
  13. ARZ: DeShone Kizer, QB (Notre Dame)
  14. IND: Jordan Willis, DE (Kansas State)
  15. BAL: Charles Harris, OLB (Missouri)
  16. MIN: Caleb Brantley, DT (Florida)
  17. WAS: Nathan Peterman, QB (Pittsburgh)
  18. TB: Obi Melifonwu, S (Connecticut)
  19. DEN: Antonio Garcia, OG (Troy)
  20. CLE: Chidobe Awuzie, CB (Colorado)
  21. DET: Jarrad Davis, LB (Florida)
  22. MIA: Gerald Everett, TE (South Alabama)
  23. NYG: Carl Lawson, DE (Auburn)
  24. OAK: Desmond King, CB (Iowa)
  25. HOU: Taylor Moton, OT (Western Michigan)
  26. SEA: Curtis Samuel, WR (Ohio State)
  27. KC: Tim Williams, OLB (Alabama)
  28. DAL: Fabian Moreau, CB (UCLA)
  29. GB: Tyus Bowser, OLB (Houston)
  30. PIT: Marcus Maye, S (Florida)
  31. ATL: Carlos Watkins, DT (Clemson)
  32. CAR: Cameron Sutton, CB (Tennessee)

Best of the Rest

Offense

Davis Webb, QB (California)

Marlon Mack, RB (South Florida)

Joe Mixon, RB (Oklahoma)

Carlos Henderson, WR (Louisiana Tech)

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR (Southern Cal)

Jake Butt, TE (Michigan)

Adam Shaheen, TE (Ashland)

Zach Banner, OT (Southern Cal)

Roderick Johnson, OT (Florida State)

Jermaine Eluemunor, OG (Texas A&M)

Dorian Johnson, OG (Pittsburgh)

Pat Elflein, C (Ohio State)

Defense

Trey Hendrickson, DE (Florida Atlantic)

DeMarcus Walker, DE (Florida State)

Dalvin Tomlinson, DT (Alabama)

Chris Wormley, DT (Michigan)

Raekwon McMillan, ILB (Ohio State)

Kendell Beckwith, ILB (Louisiana State)

Ryan Anderson, OLB (Alabama)

Sidney Jones, CB (Washington)

Jourdan Lewis, CB (Michigan)

Josh Jones, S (N.C. State)

Marcus Williams, S (Utah)

RECRUITING PREDICTIONS 2017

Analysis

Overall, I’m feeling pretty content with how accurate my predictions were for this year’s final signing period. In terms of what I got right, I think I did a good job with most of the picks. My best call was probably Josh Falo to USC, as most major media outlets thought he would be Oregon bound. I also had Aubrey Solomon to Michigan and Willie Gay to Mississippi State early on, which both ended up being right picks. I felt pretty confident with most of the other ones I got right, similar to other major media outlets. In terms of what I got wrong, I can’t complain too much. It was very surprising when Marvin Wilson picked FSU over LSU, but he did keep things close to the chest so there wasn’t too much I could’ve done there. I underestimated the impact geography had on the recruitments of Deo Lenoir and Anthony McFarland, so I got those calls wrong. I’d argue that Jay Tufele and Levi Jones’s picks came out of nowhere, so I can’t complain about those. I probably could’ve called Bryant to Auburn in hindsight, but it was stunning that Georgia couldn’t keep him in-state. And Chaisson was a 50/50 bet between Texas and LSU and I simply picked the wrong side. In terms of flips, I got every one right that I was 50%+ confident in, and was right saying that anything below 50/50 was unlikely to flip. So overall, I’m pretty content with how my predictions played out.

Outcomes

Chevin Calloway, CB (Dallas, TX) Arkansas

A former Iowa verbal commit, Calloway has strongly been trending towards Arkansas for quite some time. I’m predicting he goes with the Hogs on signing day because of the strong relationship he holds with the coaching staff.

Danny Davis, WR (Springfield, OH) Wisconsin

Davis is going to pick between Wisconsin and Kentucky on signing day. I’m predicting he signs with Wisconsin because they’ve recruited him very hard for the last few months and seem to be gaining all the momentum.

Josh Falo, TE (Sacramento, CA) USC

Falo is going to pick between Oregon and USC on signing day. This is a close one, but I’m predicting he signs with USC because they’ve been recruiting him for a much longer time. Oregon’s chances went down after David Reaves was fired last weekend.

Willie Gay, LB (Starkville, MS) Mississippi State

Although LSU has gained some momentum lately, I’m predicting he signs with the hometown Mississippi State on signing day. He’s got a strong relationship with several players and the coaching staff, and has familiarity with the campus. Michigan is a dark horse here.

Tony Gray, OT (Loganville, GA) Ole Miss

Ole Miss has gained a lot of momentum since his official visit there last weekend, so I’m predicting  he signs with them on signing day. South Carolina and Florida State remain in the conversation, but it would be an upset if he doesn’t end up in blue and red.

Todd Harris, S (Plaquemine, LA) Louisiana State

LSU has long been the top suitor for Harris, which is why I’m predicting he signs with them on signing day. He lives nearby campus, and has a ton of familiarity with the team’s coaches and players. It will be a major upset if he picks any other school.

Devon Hunter, S (Chesapeake, VA) Virginia Tech

Although Hunter still has three official visits left to take, Virginia Tech is his most likely landing spot. The Hokies have been recruiting him for a very long time, and remain the in-state option, so I’m predicting that Coach Fuente manages to land his first big-time recruit as the head coach.

Austin Jackson, OT (Phoenix, AZ) USC

Jackson is going to pick between Arizona State, USC, and Washington on signing day. I’m predicting he signs with USC because they’ve been gaining momentum in his recruitment, and have a tendency to do well on signing day.

Greg Johnson, ATH (Los Angeles, CA) USC

USC and Nebraska are the final two suitors for Johnson. I’m predicting he signs with USC on signing day because they’re his hometown team. They were very smart to get him on campus the weekend before he makes his selection. 

Joseph Lewis, WR (Los Angeles, CA) USC

Given that USC is a major profile program located nearby his hometown, I’m predicting he will sign with them on signing day. Although Nebraska has done a respectable job in his recruitment, it will be an upset if he doesn’t end up in rose and gold. 

Phidarian Mathis, DT (Monroe, LA) Alabama

Mathis’s recruitment is tougher to read, but I’m predicting he signs with Alabama because they’ve gained some late momentum in his recruitment. His playing chances are benefitted by the fact that Alabama just lot a major commit at his position. 

Jarez Parks, DE (Sebastian, FL) Alabama

Parks has been trending towards Alabama for the last few months, so I’m predicting he signs with them on signing day. It was a major win for the Tide that Parks didn’t take an official visit to Florida last weekend. 

LaBryan Ray, DT (Madison, AL) Alabama

Alabama has been the strong favorite to sign Ray throughout his recruitment, so I’m predicting he signs with them on signing day. Given that Alabama just lost another high profile defensive tackle commit, Ray is their sole top target at the position. It will be shocking he signs anywhere else. 

Henry Ruggs III, WR (Montgomery, AL) Alabama

Alabama holds a strong in-state advantage, which is why I’m predicting he signs with them on signing day. Florida State has done a respectable job, making this a closer race than once expected, but I’ll be somewhat surprised if Alabama doesn’t land him.

Tedarrell Slaton, OT (Plantation, FL) Florida

Florida got his final official visit and has been gaining momentum in his recruitment, which is why I’m predicting he signs with them on signing day. Miami (FL) and Georgia have outside chances at landing him, but it would be a surprise if he picks either.

Devonta Smith, WR (Amite, LA) Alabama

Although they don’t have the in-state advantage, I’m predicting he signs with Alabama on signing day. They’ve long been the frontrunners, and I don’t think LSU or Florida State have done enough to close the gap in his recruitment. 

Aubrey Solomon, DT (Leesburg, GA) Michigan

Solomon’s recruitment has been something of a rollercoaster, so I’m not holding out too much confidence with this prediction. With that said, I’m predicting he re-commits and signs with Michigan on signing day because of his relationship with the coaching staff.

Jeff Thomas, WR (East St. Louis, IL) Miami (FL) 

Miami (FL) has emerged as the clear frontrunner for his services over the last month, so I’m predicting he signs with them on signing day. Given how hard they’ve recruited him, it will be a stunner if he signs with anyone else.  

Markaviest Bryant, DE (Cordell, GA) Georgia **picked Auburn**

Bryant has been Georgia’s top target at defensive end for this year’s recruiting class, which is why I’m predicting he goes with Georgia on signing day. Auburn probably closed the gap during his official visit, but it will be surprising if he ends up picking them.

K’Lavon Chaisson, DE (Houston, TX) Texas **picked LSU**

Chaisson is going to pick between Texas and LSU on signing day. This is a close one, but I’m predicting he signs with Texas because he’s more likely to make an early impact there, plus they hold the in-state advantage. 

Levi Jones, LB (Austin, TX) Florida State **picked USC**

Jones took four official visits in January, so there are a lot schools in play to get him on signing day. I’m predicting he signs with Florida State because of his longstanding relationship with the coaching staff, and got his final official visit.

Deommodore Lenoir, CB (Los Angeles, CA) Nebraska **picked Oregon**

Oregon and Nebraska both stand a decent chance at landing Lenoir on signing day, with Mississippi State being a dark horse. I’m predicting he signs with Nebraska on signing day because he has the longest relationship with the coaching staff, and he took his official visit there two weeks ago. 

Anthony McFarland, RB (Hyattsville, MD) Miami (FL) **picked Maryland**

McFarland is down to three schools: Alabama, Maryland, and Miami. While McFarland appears to be comfortable with the in-state Terps, I’m going with Miami (FL) because he has a path to secure the starting job early on, and the Canes’ current commits have been lobbying him hard for months. 

Jay Tufele, DT (South Jordan, UT) Utah **picked USC**

Utah has emerged as the frontrunner for his services over the last month, so I’m predicting that he signs with them on signing day. They hold the in-state advantage, and have been recruiting him for a very long time. Ohio State and USC still have outside shots at landing him. 

Marvin Wilson, DT (Houston TX) Louisiana State **picked Florida State**

Wilson’s recruitment seems to be down to LSU and Florida State. I’m predicting that he signs with LSU because of the strong relationship he has with the head coach, along with the fact that it’s much closer to his hometown.

Possible Flips to Watch For

  • Kai-Leon Herbert, OT from Michigan to Miami (60%)
  • Bruce Judson, WR from USF to Oregon (55%)
  • Jacob Phillips, LB from Oklahoma to LSU (40%)
  • Jamire Cavin, WR from Nebraska to Washington State (55%)
  • Mike Harley, WR from West Virginia to Miami (50%)
  • Neil Farrell, DT from LSU to Florida State (35%)
  • Jamyest Williams, CB from South Carolina to Georgia (30%)
  • D.J. Johnson, DE from Miami to Washington (20%)

2016 Coaching Hire Write-Ups

(in order from Best to Worst)

FLORIDA ATLANTIC: Lane Kiffin, Alabama Offensive Coordinator (GRADE: A+)

This was my favorite hire of the coaching cycle, for both the team and coach. From FAU’s perspective, they nabbed a well-established, high quality football coach with strong connections in the industry. In spite of the somewhat limited resources, I’m betting Kiffin will be able to put together a strong staff and bring the Owls back to a bowl game within the next two years. From Kiffin’s perspective, this is a prime opportunity to prove to high-level ADs and NFL owners that he is able to run a program. His play-calling abilities have never been a concern, but rather his perceived immaturity and lack of leadership skills. As a mid-major school, FAU will be the perfect opportunity for him to reverse this conception, which is why I believe he took it over another offensive coordinator gig. Even though it’s a near-certainty that Kiffin views FAU as a stepping stone job, I believe both parties will be better off having joined forces this offseason.

TEXAS: Tom Herman, Houston Head Coach (GRADE: A)

TEXAS WON THE TOM HERMAN SWEEPSTAKES!! LONGHORN FOOTBALL IS BACK BABY! – said every Longhorn football fan ever. And they’re probably right: Herman has an incredible track record at Houston and Ohio State, and Texas fans should be visibly excited about him returning to his alma mater. His offenses are among the most exciting to watch in the nation, and outside of Nick Saban, he’s perhaps the best CEO/Head of Organization in the coaching industry. The fact that he’s bringing the bulk of his Houston staff with him to Austin is also a very good sign. But I do want to pump the brakes a little bit on all the hype; Houston did have three in-conference losses during the regular season, including a complete decimation by a mediocre SMU team. With that said, Tom Herman is a championship-caliber head coach, and might be content for a long time at Texas (a la Darrell Royal), so getting Herman is a huge win for Texas athletics.

MINNESOTA: P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan Head Coach (GRADE: A)

This job shouldn’t have been open: I’d argue that the whole sexual assault debacle was just as much AD Mark Coyle’s fault as it was Tracy Claeys, who had a 9-win season last year and full support of the Gophers team. But moving on now. Getting P.J. Fleck to leave Kalamazoo for the Twin Cities is a MAJOR WIN! Fleck arguably did the best coaching job this past season- I don’t know too many people who expected Western Michigan to row all the way to the Cotton Bowl. I’m a firm believer that Fleck can bring Minnesota to a championship-contender level; his high energy and recruiting pizzazz should flow very well with recruits in the great north. It’s also worth noting that Minnesota’s division in the Big Ten is very winnable, which I’m sure was a compelling factor for Fleck to pick Minnesota right now over the slew of jobs he could’ve gotten after next season. To conclude, I don’t believe this job should’ve been open, but regardless P.J. Fleck was the best possible hire for an up-and-coming Gopher football program.

USF: Charlie Strong, former Texas Head Coach (GRADE: A-)

Sure, Charlie Strong’s performance as Texas’s head coach was less than stellar. But I still believe that he’s a very, very good football coach; which is why I’m glad to see that he landed on his feet at a strong program like USF. I do believe that almost nobody could’ve resurrected Texas football much better than him, as Mack Brown left him in a pretty deep hole three years ago. Plus, he had virtually no ties to the uneven Texas recruiting landscape, which is the primary reason I believe he failed there. But moving forward, I do believe that USF was perhaps the best landing spot for him. He’s got extensive recruiting ties in the southeast, and inherits a very good job with a great starting quarterback in Quinton Flowers. It’s very possible that Strong could lead the Bulls to a New Years’ Six game next year if he wins out (or comes close to it) in AAC conference play. USF is a great landing spot for Strong, and conversely, USF is landing a well-established coach with a loyal assistant base. To me, a win-win scenario.

FRESNO STATE: Jeff Tedford, former California Head Coach (GRADE: A-)

On the surface, this seems like a match made in heaven: Jeff Tedford is coming home to rebuild the place where he once was the star quarterback. Overall, Tedford did a great job at Cal Berkeley. During his tenure, the Golden Bears were competitive and regularly appeared in bowl games until his last season there. Tedford’s had some time to step back and re-evaluate his coaching methods, which I think will be a very good thing. And Fresno State is perhaps the best destination for him. He’s very connected to the school and the SoCal area, and I believe he’ll have considerable success if he assembles a strong coaching staff. There is some downside to this hire, as Tedford was ran out of Cal, and he’s had some health scares in the past few years. But this hire definitely makes sense, and it could be seen from a million miles away by many football fans and analysts.

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL: Butch Jones, former Miami (FL) Head Coach (GRADE: A-)

BUTCH DAVIS IS BACK COACHING!!! HURRAH!!! Well, it’s not that much of a surprise. Davis has been looking to get back into coaching– he might’ve been the guy at Miami (FL) last year if Mark Richt wasn’t available. FIU isn’t really that bad of a consolation prize: Mario Cristobal had a lot of success before Pete Garcia rather boneheadedly fired him a couple years back. He might flame out since he hasn’t coached in seven years. But I really do think Davis could bring them back to regular bowl contention in a few years: he’s had a lot of success in the past and he has strong connections in the Miami area. I’m expecting him to surround himself with people connected to The U, and ride this one out Howard Schnellenberger style. From the university’s perspective, this was probably the best hire they could’ve made, even if it doesn’t work out.

PURDUE: Jeff Brohm, Western Kentucky Head Coach (GRADE: B+)

The comparisons between Jeff Brohm and legendary former Purdue coach Joe Tiller definitely make sense; both are top-notch offensive minds who came to Purdue from a mid-major program. Jeff Brohm’s offenses are really, really fun to watch; the C-USA championship between Western Kentucky and Louisiana Tech was one of the most fun games I watched this season. Even though I have concerns that he’ll be able to build a legitimate defense at Purdue, I have mostly positive opinions about this hire. Brohm fits the bill as an “up-and-coming” coach looking to prove himself as a head coach of a Power 5 football program, while Purdue has been painfully mediocre, if not downright bad, for most of the 21st century. Part of the reason is that there has been a lack of an offensive identity, something I believe Brohm will be able to quickly change in his tenure as head coach. Given that he builds together a strong staff, I believe Brohm will be successful at Purdue, a very difficult place to win regularly. There’s a pretty decent chance that he’ll depart for a bigger school in 3-5 years if he’s successful; but if Brohm can make Purdue football relevant again, it’ll be more than worth it.

WESTERN MICHIGAN: Tim Lester, former Purdue Quarterbacks Coach (GRADE: B+)

It’ll be sad to see Western Michigan give up “Row The Boat” with P.J. Fleck headed to Minnesota, but they made a very good choice to start the new era of Bronco football with Tim Lester, a former star quarterback for the school. I like this hire for several reasons, starting with the fact Lester is very familiar with the university and the state of Michigan. He led the Broncos to a win over Vanderbilt in the late 1990s, which is why this hire should probably drum up some support among alumni and boosters. Secondly, Lester has head coaching experience under his belt, which is always helpful and a good sign. He has a very strong base of assistant coaches who he’s close with, so I’d expect him to assemble a high quality staff with ties to the university. He’s been alright as a senior offensive assistant coach at Syracuse and Purdue too. Furthermore, he walks into a pretty nice situation inheriting a team that won 13 games this past season, so I’m expecting him to have considerable success early on. The big question is if he can sustain success, which will be interesting to watch. Overall, I’m a fan of this hire.

TEMPLE: Geoff Collins, Florida Defensive Coordinator (GRADE: B+)

Geoff Collins was another one of those hires that came out of left field; almost nobody saw him as a candidate until he was hired as Temple’s head football coach. Little did we know, Collins is close to former coach Matt Rhule during their time together at Western Carolina; and I’m just guessing here, but Rhule probably recommended Collins to AD Patrick Kraft as a possible successor. Collins is a pretty darn good ball coach; regardless of scheme, his defenses are consistently tough and almost always efficient. If he can bring aboard a good offensive coordinator, he will probably have considerable early success. He’s helped by the fact that Rhule left Temple in a very good state, as they had double-digit wins this past season. But in the *far* past, Temple has been a notoriously difficult place to win, and Collins’s lack of ties to the state of Pennsylvania is a big knock against him. I’ve got some concerns about this hire, but I won’t be surprised whatsoever if Collins ends up being very successful as Temple’s head coach.

CONNECTICUT: Randy Esdall, former Maryland Head Coach (GRADE: B)

Even though it’s always awkward re-hiring a former head coach, in this case I actually don’t think this was a bad move. I will admit that I was very confused and surprised when AD David Benedict chose to part ways with Bob Diaco right after Christmas, and I firmly believe that Diaco will be very successful elsewhere as a defensive coordinator or head coach. But I do understand the allure in bringing back Randy Edsall as head coach, as he was very successful and led the team to a Fiesta Bowl appearance in 2010. Unlike the team’s last two head coaches, Edsall’s teams at UConn were competitive on both sides of the ball and very exciting to watch. And while he obviously flamed out at Maryland, Edsall is still a pretty good ball coach. It might be a bitter pill for some loyal Huskie fans to swallow- as Edsall’s departure led to a sharp downturn for UConn football- but Edsall might be the best-suited candidate to bring the football program in a new and better direction. I could see UConn soon re-emerging as a strong power in the AAC, or whichever conference the university might choose to join in the future.

WESTERN KENTUCKY: Mike Sanford Jr., Notre Dame Offensive Coordinator (GRADE: B)

I’m going to admit this: when I first saw the tagline “NOTRE DAME OC MIKE SANFORD JR. HIRED AS WESTERN KENTUCKY’S HC” on ESPN, I was a bit confused. But as I did more research, I learned that Sanford Jr. actually does have ties to Western Kentucky, where he was the quarterbacks’ coach during the 2010 season under Willie Taggart. He has a very good track record as an assistant coach; he’s highly regarded within Stanford circles, and his offenses at Boise State and Notre Dame have been very fun to watch. He’s also walking into a very nice situation at Western Kentucky: the last three head coaches were all very successful. I’m a bit surprised that AD Todd Stewart landed on him, instead of someone along the lines of Tyson Helton or Paul Petrino. And if I were Stewart, I’d be very concerned that Sanford Jr. will bolt after a few years like the last three coaches have done. Regardless, I do think Sanford Jr. is a pretty solid hire, and if he assembles a strong staff, I do believe he will achieve considerable success as Western Kentucky’s head coach.

LOUISIANA STATE: Ed Orgeron, LSU Interim Head Coach (GRADE: B)

I’m actually kind of amused reading “coaching hire grade” articles on big news outlets and finding that they universally pan LSU’s hire of Ed Orgeron. Sure, the way LSU settled on him was flawed and uncomfortable at best. And I don’t disagree that AD Joe Alleva should probably step down in the next year or two for the way he’s handled the football program over the last year and a half. But I do think Ed O is a pretty good hire for LSU, all things given. His players love him, and in terms of character, there isn’t a better fit for LSU if not only because his strong cajun accent. I firmly believe that Ed O is going to establish a strong staff, and the hires of OC Matt Canada and DC Dave Aranda should both be highly praised. With some changes to the offense, LSU is a top ten team; with the right coaching, they could definitely get there. I do hear the concerns about Ed O’s time at Ole Miss, along with complaints that he probably isn’t the best guy to turn around LSU’s anemic offense. But I think he’s learned so much over the last ten years and see more success at LSU than he had at Ole Miss. Yes, Jimbo Fisher and Tom Herman absolutely would’ve been splashier hires, but promoting Coach O is still a win in my books.

BAYLOR: Matt Rhule, Temple Head Coach (GRADE: B) 

Matt Rhule is a very good ball coach. He’s highly regarded in the industry, and he’s exceeded expectations at Temple, which can be a very difficult place to win consistently. With that said, this hire was something of a head scratcher to many football analysts. Rhule is entering a very difficult situation at Baylor, a place where many boosters are resentful over the Art Briles debacle. And it’s important to note that Rhule has ZERO ties to the state of Texas, which will make recruiting a lot harder. At time of his hire, Baylor had one commit in their 2017 recruiting class, so Rhule still has a lot of catching up to do on that end. Looking at the bigger picture though, he’s helped by the fact that AD Mack Rhoades gave him a 7-year deal. And winning at Baylor is a lot more possible now than it was ten years ago when Briles first became head coach. So, I think there’s two directions this hire could go: one scenario is Rhule has success and ends up leaving for a bigger job, and the other, and the other is that Rhule can’t rebuild Baylor to where it used to be, and gets fired in four to five years.

INDIANA: Tom Allen, Indiana Defensive Coordinator (GRADE B-) 

Indiana probably wins out for the title of most surprising/weird/confusing coaching search of this year. It was a surprise to see Kevin Wilson get fired after two winning seasons, for being a tough-nose football coach. But clearly there’s some information being withheld from the public, as Wilson’s only getting one-twelfth of the financial buyout in his original contract. Moving on, I’m kind of surprised that AD Fred Glass immediately chose to promote Tom Allen to the head job before conducting any resemblance of a coaching search. Allen is a good ball coach with strong ties in the state and familiarity with the program, and ran a very good defense last season. But I just have a bad feeling that Indiana’s momentum will begin to shift for the negative, especially given that he’s planning on keeping the bulk of Wilson’s coaching staff intact. I do understand that the university was put in a tough situation given that Wilson was fired with cause, along with knowing that Tom Allen would’ve only stayed aboard if he was promoted to head coach- he was probably seeking the Ole Miss defensive coordinator job. But Fred Glass’s decision to internally promote Tom Allen without going through a legitimate coaching search is something of a head-scratcher to me, and only time will tell if Allen can be successful at Indiana, which can be a tough place to win consistently.

GEORGIA STATE: Shawn Elliott, South Carolina Offensive Line Coach (GRADE: B-)

This is the perfect example of why coaching search firms aren’t needed in college football. AD Charlie Cobb has known Shawn Elliott for a long time, given their shared history at Appalachian State, and he shouldn’t have needed to dole out a six-digit figure to a search firm to settle on his longtime friend. Aside, Elliott is a fine hire for Georgia State. I’m not overly excited, in part because Elliott’s offensive line unit at USC has done terribly this year and Gamecock fans were clamoring for him to be canned for that alone. With that said, he did an alright job last season as interim head coach when Steve Spurrier stepped down mid-season, and perhaps his ties to AD Charlie Cobb will bring some security to the Panther football organization. There’s a lot to be excited about with Georgia State’s move to Turner Field next year, yet Elliott doesn’t inspire as much excitement as other hires might’ve done. In short, ehh.

HOUSTON: Major Applewhite, Houston Offensive Coordinator (GRADE: B-)

Even though it’s tough to blame Tom Herman for returning to his alma mater, it’s a bit disappointing to see him leave only two seasons after completely turning around the Houston football program. Herman did a magnificent job, and deserves a standing O for it. For a brief moment in history, it seemed like Houston was committed to becoming a top-level football program. They had the money (courtesy of Tilman Fertitta) to make a splash hire, which is why I’m a bit confounded why they promoted Major Applewhite to the job. Overlooking the fact that Todd Orlando probably would’ve been the best internal hire, Major Applewhite simply does not inspire confidence. He did a good job under Tom Herman’s supervision, but I question whether he can continue the #HTownTakeover momentum, concerns only further heightened by the beating they took from San Diego State in the Las Vegas Bowl. The whole scandal he went through at Texas isn’t helping either. Instead of making a run at someone like Dana Holgorsen, the administration looked for someone who wouldn’t jump after two years. Understandable, but not the right call in my opinion. I don’t think Major Applewhite is a bad football coach, but he probably would’ve been better off starting his career somewhere a bit quieter such as Rice or UTSA. The demands at Houston are high, and it’ll be interesting to see if Major Applewhite can meet them.

CALIFORNIA: Justin Wilcox, Wisconsin Defensive Coordinator (GRADE: B-) 

I’m shocked that Cal parted ways with Sonny Dykes so late in the coaching search season. When the move was announced, I assume they were going to make a power play for Chip Kelly or another “top of the line” head coach, per say. But I was wrong. Cal’s very inept administration went into this search relatively unplanned, and got somewhat lucky in landing Wilcox (an average hire at best), perhaps the best of the candidates they publicly interviewed. Wilcox walks into a very tough situation at Cal, which currently has very unstable finances and stadium issues at the moment. With that said, Wilcox is a pretty solid ball coach who has had success as a defensive coordinator everywhere he went outside of the USC debacle. I firmly believe that he’ll turn around Cal’s defense, which was quite terrible in the Dykes era, and assemble a solid offensive staff to keep the momentum going on that side of the ball. My concern with Wilcox is that he doesn’t have head coaching experience, and that he’s very unfamiliar with the situation he’s going to be walking into as Cal’s head coach. He coached under Jeff Tedford from 2003-05, but Cal is a very different place right now than it was ten years ago. This one will be interesting to watch, especially given how competitive the Pac-12 is getting. My bet is against Wilcox having success at Cal, but he could very well end up proving me wrong.

SAN JOSE STATE: Brent Brennan, Oregon State Wide Receivers Coach (GRADE: B-)

Geez, over the last month I’ve begun to realize how hard it is to win at San Jose State, giving me so much respect for the job Mike MacIntyre did a couple years back. Ron Caragher was a disaster and needed to be replaced; AD Gene Bleymaier looked to someone with a prior history coaching for SJSU in Brent Brennan to be the program’s next leader. Before I go on about why it’ll be hard for Brennan to have MacIntyre-like success, I’d like to note that he’s highly regarded as a position coach in the coaching industry, and is one of the pacific coast’s best recruiters. With that said, Brennan is going to have very limited resources to work with, making it hard for him to really assemble a top-level coaching staff. Plus, San Jose is a very expensive place to live, especially for a coach, which fans should take note of. It’ll be surprising if Brennan chooses to call offensive plays given that he’s never been an offensive coordinator, so Spartans fans are going to have to cross their fingers and hope that he can somehow lure an experienced or gifted offensive play-caller to his staff. Brennan might be successful, and I really don’t want to bet against him, but the signals point to him having a difficult road ahead in re-building San Jose State’s football program.

OREGON: Willie Taggart, USF Head Coach (GRADE: C+)

I’ve got some conflicted feelings about this hire, most of them being negative. AD Rob Mullens probably made the right call in firing Mark Helfrich to begin a rebuild of a decimated Oregon football culture, but he botched just about everything else. He waited WAY TOO LONG to make the move, and came off as very unprofessional when he scathed Helfrich in the official press release. Next, he somehow lost out on Matt Rhule to Baylor, who many believe was his top target. And then, it appears he was heavily swayed by phone calls from Jim Harbaugh and Tony Dungy and hired Willie Taggart in a whim. In short, it appears that Mullens was very clueless throughout the process, and didn’t take a definitive approach in anything he did. I’d argue he did an even worse job than LSU AD Joe Alleva. But back to the actual hire, Taggart isn’t the best fit. Yes, he coached at Stanford, but most of his roots lie in the southeast, so it’ll be interesting to see what his recruiting strategy will become. And so far, it appears that he’s trying to copycat Jim Harbaugh by hiring several of his former assistants to his staff; not a bad choice, but it seems that he doesn’t have a strong base of loyal assistants, unlike many other established head coaches. I’ll be very interested to watch how he handles the transition from the current *very tenured* coaching staff, which will be critical in determining whether or not he can be successful as Oregon’s head coach.

CINCINNATI: Luke Fickell, Ohio State Co-Defensive Coordinator (GRADE: C+)

Five years after guiding Ohio State to a sub-.500 record as interim head coach in 2011, Luke Fickell gets his first head coaching job just a hundred miles away from his alma mater and the place where he’s spent 15 of his 17 years as a football coach. To be frank, I’m not a big fan of this hire. Even in tough circumstances, Fickell did a pretty weak job coaching the 2011 Buckeyes, which is partially why it’s taken him this long to get his first head coaching job. Secondly, he’s never been a defensive play-caller in his coaching career, as neither Urban Meyer or Jim Tressel trusted him enough for those responsibilities. I also question whether he’s going to be the best recruiter for Cincinnati; he has extensive experience in Ohio, but his focus was never in that area, which is why I initially assumed Kerry Coombs to be a more realistic candidate than him. Finally, I’d also like to note that Cincinnati chose him over a qualified field of very proven head coaches, including Scott Satterfield and Neal Brown. As such, I’d argue that he was probably the worst of the possible hires for Cincinnati, which is in desperate need of turnaround after Tommy Tuberville set them back a bit. I will note that I’ve heard Fickell is a strong motivator and a very good position coach, so there is some upside that he could succeed at Cincinnati. With that said, this is among my least favorite hires of the coaching cycle.

NEVADA: Jay Norvell, Arizona State Wide Receivers Coach (GRADE: C+)

I didn’t see this one coming at all. First, I strongly believe Brian Polian is a very good ball coach who at least deserved another season to turn things around. Clearly there was some disconnect between him and AD Doug Knuth. But moving on, I’m not sold that Jay Norvell was the right hire for Nevada. To summarize his career, he’s bounced around schools quite a bit, mostly as a position coach. He’s repeatedly been unsuccessful as a play-caller. His offenses at Nebraska, UCLA, and Texas were pretty difficult to watch at times. In my opinion, his best chance at success will be if he reverts Nevada’s offense back to a Chris Ault-like spread/pistol offense, and doesn’t interfere with calling plays whatsoever. With that said, I’m a big fan of both his coordinator hires in (OC) Matt Mumme and (DC) Jeff Casteel. But I think Nevada would’ve been significantly better off going with an established head coach, such as Beau Baldwin or Paul Petrino.

Final 2016-17 Bowl Projections

College Football Playoff

Fiesta Bowl (2) Ohio State vs. (3) Clemson

Peach Bowl (1) Alabama vs. (4) Washington

Selection Committee Bowl Games

Orange Bowl Florida State (ACC) vs. Michigan (At-Large)

Rose Bowl Penn State (Big Ten) vs. USC (Pac-12)

Sugar Bowl Oklahoma (Big 12) vs. Auburn (SEC)

Cotton Bowl Western Michigan (Group of 5) vs. Wisconsin (At-Large)

Rest of Bowl Games

New Mexico New Mexico (MWC) vs. UTSA (C-USA)

Las Vegas San Diego State (MWC #1) vs. Houston (American) 

Camellia Central Michigan (MAC) vs. Arkansas State (Sun Belt #3)

Cure Appalachian State  (Sun Belt) vs. UCF (American)

New Orleans Louisiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt #1) vs. Southern Miss (C-USA)

Miami Beach Tulsa (American) vs. Ohio (MAC)

Boca Raton Memphis (American) vs. Western Kentucky (C-USA)

Poinsettia BYU (Independent) vs. Wyoming (MWC)

Idaho Potato Idaho (Sun Belt) vs. Colorado State (MWC)

Bahamas Old Dominion (C-USA) vs. Eastern Michigan (MAC)

Armed Forces Navy (American) vs. Louisiana Tech (C-USA)

Dollar General Troy (Sun Belt #2) vs. Toledo (MAC #1)

Hawaii Middle Tennessee State (C-USA) vs. Hawaii (MWC)

St. Petersburg Mississippi State (SEC) vs. Miami [OH] (MAC) 

Quick Lane Boston College (ACC) vs. Maryland (Big Ten)

Independence Wake Forest (ACC) vs. Vanderbilt (SEC)

Heart of Dallas North Texas (C-USA) vs. Army (Independent)

Military Temple (American) vs. N.C. State (ACC)

Holiday Iowa (Big Ten) vs. Washington State (Pac-12 #3)

Cactus Baylor (Big 12 #6) vs. Boise State (MWC)

Pinstripe North Carolina (ACC) vs. Northwestern (Big Ten)

Russell Athletic Miami [FL] (ACC #2) vs. West Virginia (Big 12 #3)

Foster Farms Indiana (Big Ten) vs. Utah (Pac-12 #4)

Texas Kansas State (Big 12 #4).vs. Texas A&M (SEC)

Birmingham South Carolina (SEC) vs. USF (American)

Belk Virginia Tech (ACC) vs. Arkansas (SEC)

Alamo Oklahoma State (Big 12 #2) vs. Colorado (Pac-12 #2)

Liberty TCU (Big 12 #5) vs. Georgia (SEC)

Sun Pittsburgh (ACC) vs. Stanford (Pac-12 #5)

Music City Minnesota (Big Ten) vs. Tennessee (SEC)

Arizona Air Force (MWC) vs. South Alabama (Sun Belt) 

Citrus Louisville (ACC) vs. LSU (SEC)

TaxSlayer Georgia Tech (ACC) vs. Kentucky (SEC)

Outback Nebraska (Big Ten) vs. Florida (SEC)

*italics = replacements

*blue = already announced

**San Diego State correct

Landscape of the Coaching Carousel

With today being the end of the regular season for college football, I’ve decided to blog about some of my thoughts on what the upcoming coaching carousel will look like. In short, I believe we will have fewer openings in comparison to years’ past, and that Texas & LSU will be the two biggest jobs to have opened up– and both have reached a conclusion, with LSU making Ed O the permanent H.C. and Texas nabbing Tom Herman from Houston. 

Currently Open Jobs

Baylor, the job that has been open the longest, is a really tough one to predict. Tons of media reports are pegging SMU’s Chad Morris for the job, but I don’t buy it. First off, I’d much rather live in Highland Park then in Waco, and I’m sure he feels the same way. Secondly, I think he’s waiting for Texas A&M to eventually open up (his alma mater), as Kevin Sumlin’s days are likely numbered. To conclude, I just don’t see him leaving what he has at SMU for a tough rebuilding job in Waco. The next logical candidate would be Larry Fedora, which might just happen. I do think Fedora wants to return to a job in the states of Texas or Oklahoma, but Baylor might not be his first choice. He’s got a great gig at UNC going for him, and he’s done quite well there (exception: N.C. State). He might pass and wait to see if Oklahoma State opens up in a couple years, as there’s visible friction between Mike Gundy and the school’s boosters. Philip Montgomery is another viable option, as the former Briles assistant has done phenomenally at Tulsa. But I have a good feeling that Mack Rhoades (the school’s new A.D.) will want to pick someone with no ties to Art Briles given how tenuous the situation is there. And there’s a fair chance Coach Monty wouldn’t even want the job, given how the school has scapegoated his old mentor through the past year. There’s a chance they give Jim Grobe another year or two to clean up the mess if those three coaches pass. Or they could go for a “hotshot” assistant such as Lincoln Riley or Doug Meacham.. I really don’t know.

I think I have a clearer idea about what Houston, which just opened up this morning after Tom Herman departed for Texas, plans to do. They’ve hired a search firm, which makes me think they’ll go after a bigger name coach. Sure, Major Applewhite and Todd Orlando are viable internal candidates to get the full-time gig. But I have a feeling they’ll look elsewhere. Houston remains committed to building a big football program that will eventually compete in the Big 12. They were willing to give Herman a $5mil/yr salary, and I predict they’ll be willing to throw that kind of money at other coaches. Dana Holgorsen, a former UH assistant, is a real candidate for this job. He seems somewhat disgruntled at West Virginia, as he started off this year firmly on the Hot Seat with the shaky support of AD Shane Lyons. Houston would be really wise to gauge his interest. Sonny Dykes is in a similar position, with Cal being an obviously awkward fit for him. If Houston throws a lot of money his way, I’d imagine he would at least listen. Mike Leach is another big-name coach who might have some interest in returning to Texas, especially if he thinks he can get Houston into the Big 12. They might also ponder an Art Briles return, but I think he’s more likely to rebuild his career in the NFL than at the college level. Other names to watch include Lincoln Riley, Doug Meacham, and Sterlin Gilbert if they go the coordinator route.

Purdue seems to be close to finishing their coaching search, yet just about no one has much of a clue who their main target is. There are reports that it’s WMU’s P.J. Fleck, but I don’t buy it. Fleck has something special going on with the undefeated WMU Broncos, and I don’t think he’ll begin looking for a bigger job until after the MAC title game. It might be Kevin Sumlin, if Texas A&M is willing to make some sort of deal with Purdue officials to reduce his buyout number. But I don’t think he’s their guy either. It could be Les Miles, who it seems has been advocating for the job for the last few months. It also could be Brock Spack, who interviewed with officials last week. It’ll be interesting to watch this one play out. They might have a ‘secret guy’ that no one knows about right now.

Georgia State is in the early stages of their coaching search. Jeff Scott is my current prediction, as he has done a spectacular job at Clemson and he’s got strong ties to the southeast recruiting region needed to succeed there. Jamey Chadwell, Will Hall, Bobby Lamb, Shawn Elliott, and Bryan McClendon have also been buzzed about for this opening, among others. Point blank, it’s really early to begin speculating on this one. They’re using a search firm, so I expect it to be a relatively quiet search. But as always, I’ll keep y’all posted on this one. 

State of the Fringe Jobs

Here’s my current and final Hot Seat Radar for the year… 

(1) Tommy Tuberville, Cincinnati (+1)

(2) David Bailiff, Rice (+1)

(3) Paul Haynes, Kent State (+1)

(4) Sean Kugler, UTEP (+11)

(5) Ron Caragher, San Jose State (NEW)

(6) Mark Helfrich, Oregon (+3)

(7) Doug Martin, New Mexico State (-)

(8) Charlie Partridge, FAU (-2)

(9) Brian Polian, Nevada (NEW)

(10) Mark Hudspeth, Louisiana-Lafayette (NEW)

(11) Lance Leipold, Buffalo (-1)

(12) Rich Rodriguez, Arizona (-7)

(13) Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech (-2)

(14) Steve Addazio, Boston College (-6)

(15) Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M (-3)

 

 

I believe that the first three jobs are near-locks to open up. Tommy Tuberville is despised by his fan base, while David Bailiff and Paul Haynes have repeatedly disappointed and have gotten enough time to turn things around. I’ll be very surprised if all three aren’t fired this weekend. 

I believe the next four jobs are about 50/50 to open up, with Ron Caragher at SJSU being the most likely to be canned. I’ve got no idea what Oregon is planning, to be honest. Rob Mullens has been keeping things to himself, and I’d expect his final decision to come after today’s Oregon State game. Even though I don’t agree with the call, I’m leaning that NMSU retains Doug Martin simply because it’s very hard to win there. And I think Partridge is probably more likely to stay than go, because he’s only been there for a short time. In short, I could see all four opening up, but I can also see all four getting another year to turn things around. 

I think Brian Polian and Mark Hudpseth are safe for another year, but you never know. About 75% sure that both return to their jobs next season, unless they depart for another job this offseason, most likely in the form of an NFL or Power 5 assistant job. 

I’d be somewhat surprised if Lance Leipold or Rich Rodriguez are fired this weekend, but stranger things have happened. Both definitely deserve to start next year on the hot seat if they return as head coaches. 

Kliff Kingsbury, Steve Addazio, and Kevin Sumlin are near-locks to return as head coaches for various reasons, but each should start next year firmly on the hot seat.