Just like the Wisconsin-Ohio State game getting a primetime slot just for a one-sided OSU win, the hot seat for coaches has become a guarantee for college football fans nearly every season. This season has already gotten off to a hot start (no pun intended) and so far through week 4 we have already seen a number of teams make the call to relieve their heads coaches of their duties with a lot more rumored to hit the unemployment line in the near future. Today I want to play Athletic Director and find the perfect guy for each opening or rumored opening.
Nebraska- Chris Peterson/Matt Rhule
Nebraska hasn’t had the same success it once had since joining the BIG10 and departing the BIG12. A big reason for that BIG12 or BIG8 success from way back is they used to be able to recruit Texas and Oklahoma kids who were overlooked by those schools and fire them up to make them better than those places. That hasn’t happened since they now play the likes of Michigan, OSU, Wisconsin etc… You need a guy who will be able to take the less touted recruits and develop them into contenders. Like Peterson did at BSU and Washington for his entire career. If he truly is retired and has no interesting coming back to the game then Matt Rhule would be a great hire. He’s a tremendous (college) coach and has built programs everywhere he has been. He built Baylor back after the Briles fiasco and alot of the guys he has recruited are still there now. He’s a great program builder and would turn Nebraska around if given the chance.
Arizona State -Kailani Sitake/Kliff Kingsbury
Kailania Sitake took over BYU after Bronco Mendenhall left and has them playing great football since. This is a west coast guy who was previously the DC at Oregon State before taking the BYU job, so he should know how to recruit along the west coast. Sitake may be more of a pipedream if he truly is happy at BYU. I have also seen where ASU’s AD prefers hiring guys with NFL experience.* Kingsbury should be available soon once Kyler Murray’s talent quits bailing him out from horrible coaching. An honorable mention here goes to current FSU coach Mike Norvell who was an OC at ASU. I partly want that to happen so I can see Coach Prime back at FSU.
Now we get to the part where these coaches haven’t been fired yet but many are calling for it….
Auburn- Hugh Freeze/Jamey Chadwell
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: An Auburn athletic team/sport is seeing diminishing returns and fan interest until the AD hires a proven winner of a coach who’s made some questionable decisions at previous stops but has redeemed themselves and made the program nationally relevant. Now I’m not saying what Bruce Pearl has done at Tennessee or Milwaukee is anything like what Freeze did at Ole Miss, but Auburn did take a chance on Pearl and it paid off, why not take one on Freeze? Like Pearl, Freeze has SEC experience and knows what it takes to win in this league. Look at how he recruited at Ole Miss, just imagine how he can recruit with NIL. If the powers that be decide to stay clear of Freeze, the first call I would make is to Coastal Carolina’s Jamey Chadwell. Chadwell is a Tennessee native who has ties to the south (which the lack of this has killed Harsin in recruiting). Chadwell’s unique offense could also help an Auburn offense that has struggled for the better part of two years now.
Georgia Tech- Sean Clark/Kendall Briles
The Geoff Collins experiment is not going well at GT. In his defense when he was hired he was tasked with swapping the offense from the old Paul Johnson Triple Option to a new spread-based attack. It has been three years now and they still have not made it back to bowl contention. With Collins having a defensive background, for the next hire make it a guy with an offensive background. Sean Clark has App State consistently playing well and Kendall Briles has been a big part of Arkansas success the last three years. It may also be worth a call to see if Gus Malzahn wants to leave Orlando…
(ED. NOTE: This article was written and submitted on Sunday, Sept. 25. As of publication on Monday, Sept. 26, there were rumors that Georgia Tech had let Geoff Collins go, but nothing confirmed. We will update as needed.)
AND one less likely to happen…..
West Virginia- Dan Mullen
Neal Brown may have bought himself a little more time after that throttling of Virginia Tech on Friday. This WVU team has looked inconsistent most of the season and has 2 losses from walk off pick 6’s. With Dan Mullen currently working for ESPN he could make a homecoming of sorts (Mullen grew up in PA) and become dominant in a defense optional league.
*Here’s the Dennis Dodd article on ASU and the proclivity to hire NFL guys: https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/arizona-state-coaching-candidates-matt-rhule-byron-leftwich-dan-mullen-lead-options-to-replace-herm-edwards/