2022 college football coaching carousel: Outlooks for new hires, from most likely to win big to shortest leash –

    May was eventful when it came to evaluating college football coaches. ranked all power five coaches against each other (65-26 | 25-1), reranked coaching carousels from previous years, and identified coordinators who could make the leap to become power five head coaches in the future near.

    oh yeah, and we had a legendary war of words between two national championship winning coaches, as nick saban and jimbo fisher went back and forth about zero, recruiting, narcissism, and more.

    Reading: College football coaching carousel predictions

    But now we’re changing the tone of that dispute a bit, taking another look at the 2021-22 coaching carousel as if it were a graduating class. It’s graduation season, after all, and one thing we’ve enjoyed is dishing out some high school-style superlatives.

    Although we were tempted to delve into the motif and identify the “best hair”, this group is mostly sporting a high and tight look. and you could argue multiple coaches as the “biggest flirt” considering the 29 job changes and high-profile moves involved in this year’s coaching carousel. instead, we link these superlatives (mostly) to college football.

    more likely to win big early

    • lincoln riley, usc
    • brent venables, oklahoma

    riley’s use of the transfer portal has allowed usc’s offense to quickly become one of the most dangerous in the entire country, raising the ceiling even higher with the recent addition of award winner biletnikoff and all -american jordan addison from 2021. believing in riley flipping the switch in los angeles requires a lot of trust in alex grinch to get the defense up to speed, or at least play well enough to stop top pac-12 teams, but the defensive coordinator’s record provides evidence that it can be done.

    What is somewhat less discussed is how Oklahoma, which hired one of its own in Brent Venables to replace Riley, is equally poised to contend for a conference championship and compete for a spot in the college football playoffs. . Venables made strong personnel hires that included offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby and found a replacement for Caleb Williams with former UCF star Dillon Gabriel. Some talent left Norman after the coaching change, but the projected depth chart remains as solid as you’ll find in the Big 12.

    more likely to win big later

    • mario cristobal, miami
    • billy napier, florida

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    There is an argument that Cristobal has acc coastal championship expectations in year 1. However, that is not the “win big” status when you consider the perceived gap between the hurricanes and clemson, even when the Tigers look to bounce back in 2022 after failing to win the ACC for the first time since 2014. Florida, similarly, will require a process to chase Alabama and Georgia in the second and get back in contention for college football championships and playoff spots. . the process will include building player depth and development, racking up strong recruiting classes, and getting results on the field this fall that build confidence in the future of the program.

    but the good news for miami and florida fans is that there is much to suggest that cristobal and napier are the right coaches to lead those programs back to huge success. both have made impressive investments in their coaches and support staff, quickly making their impact felt long before the first snap of competitive football. If those investments pay off, then we should see these two proud programs back in the mix for championships in years to come.

    the cutest couple

    • kalen deboer, washington and jake dickert, washington state
    • tony elliott, virginia and brent pry, virginia tech

    It might be a bit much to lean into end-of-the-year superlatives with “cutest couple,” but there’s something unique that happens when opponents make manager changes at the same time. the two coaches, sometimes to their advantage and other times to their detriment, end up being compared to each other at every step of their tenure. there will inevitably be a coach who had a better season at the end of year 1, and if the other coach can’t close the gap in year 2, it increases the pressure from the fans and those around the show. These coaches didn’t ask to be linked or signed up for this head-to-head battle, but it’s the reality of how fans feel about their coach when two rival schools make trades in the same offseason.

    In the Apple Cup rivalry, the early lead goes to Dickert, who led the Cougars to a second-place finish in the Pac-12 North after replacing Nick Rolovich midway through the season. That adds pressure on Deboer to get the Huskies back into the top tier of the conference and especially to get back at the Cougars in that regular-season finale. The Commonwealth Cup situation is much more level heading into Year 1 for Tony Elliott and Brent Pry, with both coaches entering their first season as head coach after long and successful stints as Power Five coordinators. Each season finale will include a ranking of Elliott’s success vs. Pry’s success, giving fans additional context on how to feel about these new hires.

    future hiring of power five

    • rhett lashlee, smu
    • joe moorhead, akron

    The last two smu head coaches left for five chances, so it’s not unreasonable to consider that lashlee could be next in line to follow that trend. Longtime assistant to Gus Malzahn (and star quarterback at Malzahn High School in Springdale, Arkansas), Lashlee saw his stock rise after a pair of successful two-year stints as offensive coordinator at SMU in 2018-19. and Miami in 2020-21. Returning to Dallas is a stellar fit for Lashlee, as he can continue to implement the kind of tempo and focus on explosive plays that helped make him a head coaching candidate. The key will be how he handles defense and whether the Mustangs become the top program in the AAC under his leadership.

    While akron hasn’t sent as many trainers to the five power ranks recently, it has hired a proven trainer to lead a turnaround on a zip program that has just seven wins in its last four seasons since making its appearance over fresh in a bowl. 2017. moorhead’s coaching past includes a successful rebuild project at fordham, but also two years of power five experience at mississippi state, where he went 14-12. If he can get Akron back to the postseason, it won’t be long before other programs take notice and make him a valuable candidate once again.

    more difficult reconstruction

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    timmy chang, hawaii

    The future of Hawaiian soccer needed someone like Chang, arguably the greatest player in the show’s history, to come in and take the reins after a tumultuous 2021 season. Todd Graham’s reported issues with the players brought to the fore the unique challenges of Hawaiian soccer, so the job had to go to someone who was familiar with the program. Chang has not only a passion for his alma mater, but also a strong experience in the mountain west as an assistant to Jay Norvell in Nevada, so the warriors are having some breaks when it comes to making the right hire to change the stuff. Still, the roster has seen a ton of transfer portal changes and ongoing facility concerns make these next few years crucial for Chang and his efforts to stabilize the show and his place among peers. he in the mountainous west.

    longer strap

    marcus freeman, notre dame

    Some thought Freeman would eventually take over the Notre Dame show based on how Brian Kelly spoke of him as an assistant and the school’s decision to promote him after Kelly’s departure. The school might have thought the promotion would come a few years later, but when Kelly’s departure to LSU created the opportunity, the Irish fighter didn’t want to let Freeman slip away. That strong connection probably helps Freeman as far as the overall state of the job, because it’s going to take a lot to override Notre Dame’s expectations of what he can be as a head coach. That’s not to say he’s free from criticism, but continued success down the draft path under his leadership and competitiveness against the biggest, toughest opponents on the schedule should be enough. More college football playoff appearances would be great, but I don’t think they’re a requirement here in freeman’s early years.

    shorter strap

    brian kelly, lsu

    There is a strong contract that suggests a lot of financial stability for Kelly, but that contract also comes with expectations from LSU fans that he can guide the Tigers back into championship contention. There are no “cultural fit” concerns here for the native Massachusetts, because the only culture LSU really cares about is winning. However, if those wins don’t come on the field, and Kelly can’t adequately defend Louisiana’s borders down the draft path, then things will start to heat up for the new Tigers coach. It’s a really tough proposition for Kelly, which is probably why he’s so well paid to take him on, because the floor for a talented LSU team with him as coach is probably 8-4 with the ceiling being a second championship. That’s a small space to operate between success and failure when LSU already has one of the toughest conference schedules in the country. Even after a successful season, those razor-thin margins mean Kelly only gets a few bad rebounds as he sees his stock take a sharp turn in the other direction.

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