College football coaching carousel grades

Chip Kelly is in LA. Jimbo Fisher swapped jobs for $75M. There’s been plenty of action on the coaching market this season. Our college football team grades all the new hires.

Arizona State is either going to change the way college staffs are structured or this experiment will be a disaster. We’re betting on the latter. Keeping OC Billy Napier on staff could be more important than hiring Edwards.

Morris’ win-loss record at SMU is misleading. He inherited a mess of a program and took them to a bowl game in 2017. And remember, he recruited Deshaun Watson to Clemson.

Heupel might have been the most surprise hire of the 2017 offseason. But Missouri’s offense became one of the best in the country throughout the season and UCF AD Danny White has ties at Missouri. If Heupel leaves UCF in a few years, which former Big Eight or Big 12 quarterback is the school going to go after next?

Mullen is a coup for Florida. He’s overachieved at Mississippi State and knows the school and state well. If Florida isn’t contending for the SEC East in two years, we’ll be surprised.

The Seminoles needed to make a splash and Taggart qualifies as one. Oregon could be a lot better than 7-5 if it wasn’t so banged up in 2017 and Taggart’s a master Florida recruiter. How soon will FSU be back to challenging Clemson for ACC dominance?

Hey Tennessee, this is how you do a coaching search. After losing Mullen to a more powerful conference rival, the school replaced an innovative offensive mind with another. Moorhead’s offense with QB Nick Fitzgerald should be fun in 2018.

It’s not often that a school reels in its dream target seamlessly. There’s a lot of pressure on the former Husker QB to lead the team back to glory. But he’s got an offensive system that can be as dominant in the 2010s as Nebraska’s triple-option was in the 1980s and 90s.

After beating Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl to finish a tumultuous season at 6-6, could Ole Miss have picked anyone else? Luke — who said Ole Miss is his dream job — made the most out of what could be a disastrous year. But how will the 2018 bowl ban hurt the Rebels?

The grade here is harsh because of the disaster that was the Volunteers’ coaching search. Hiring a Nick Saban assistant can be seen as a “safe” play — look at Florida and Jim McElwain and Georgia and Kirby Smart. UT fans are certainly hoping for results more like Smart’s than McElwain’s.

It’s not often you get a national champion coach to leave his job at a national power. But when you throw a 10-year, $75 million contract at him, that decision can be pretty easy. But what happens if this arrangement goes sideways — or not as well as some A&M fans want — within the first few years?

Going from relative underachievement to the prospect of a coach who lost seven games in four seasons at Oregon is a tantalizing one for Bruins fans. With or without quarterback Josh Rosen in 2018, UCLA should be a vastly improved team. How soon will the Bruins be at the top of the Pac-12 South and one of the most fun teams in college football.

The Beavers are in need of a reboot after Gary Andersen’s departure in the middle of the season. So OSU is turning to a former quarterback of its own as well. This was the weakest Power Five job opening, so Smith needs some time to get OSU back to respectability.

Source