For Americans, the last week in November is often reserved for giving thanks (and waiting hours in line at Walmart for a PlayStation 4). This year in college football, we’ve seen a number of high-quality college football programs. Although, there is an increasing discontent throughout fanbases, student-athletes, and athletic departments across the nation.
Currently, there are coaching vacancies at these FBS schools: Illinois, South Carolina, Maryland, Miami, Central Florida, Mizzou, North Texas, Hawaii, Louisiana Monroe, Virginia, Rutgers and Iowa State.
It’s hard for me to criticize the universities moving on from their previous staff: some under performed, some retired, and some needed time away from athletics.
But, here’s where my issue lies. On National Signing Day, a student-athlete commits oneself to a program and a coach. They spend their years practicing for a coach. For their leader to be removed with games left on the schedule is disheartening.
We should begin looking toward coaches as teachers, not variables. With that said, below are some hot prospects worth giving notice.
Top Five Coaching Prospects Heading Into 2016:
- Lane Kiffin- As Head Coach of USC and Tennessee, Lane Kiffin failed. I have reason to believe that he has matured well under Nick Saban. He’s modernized Alabama’s offense, utilizing aspects of the Read-Option, Pistol, and Spread. But they haven’t forgotten the days of blue-collar, hard-nosed running. This is heavily apparent in Kiffin’s usage of Derrick Henry. University of Miami, struggling to live up to its reputation, Kiffin is an excellent fit. His offensive strength will fresh blood to “The U.”
- Ed Orgeron – After Lane Kiffin was fired from USC in 2013, Ed Orgeron was a formidable replacement as Interim HC. After an inspiring win versus Stanford (was ranked 4th in the country and was in the hunt for the national title), fans believed that he was fit to become the next Head Coach. USC disagreed – Orgeron became LSU’s Defensive Line Coach. In Baton Rouge, Orgeron has been an excellent addition to the defense and also for recruiting (currently has the #1 ranked recruiting class for 2016). With excellent recruiting tactics, Orgeron would be a rock-solid hire. I can see Syracuse University making a large offer to Orgeron in the following weeks. The Orange but are slowly improving in a new conference, but desperately need a coach who can bring them back to their glory days.
- Chip Kelly – Kelly’s future is yet to be decided, but it appears that his tenure in Philadelphia is over. In my opinion, Kelly joins Nick Saban on the list of, “Great College Coaches not made for the NFL.” Flashy uniforms made Oregon relevant, but Kelly’s fast-paced offense made Oregon great. Wherever he ends up, talent will follow. At Oregon, Kelly was able to snag some of California’s best recruits. Now with the Southern California job vacant, it’s tough to imagine Kelly overlooking the Trojans. This is an easy hire.
- Kirby Smart – Unfortunately for Nick Saban, he may seek new assistant coaches in 2016. I foresee Kirby Smart joining Lane Kiffin on the list of new head coaches. Smart is one of the most experienced Defensive Coordinators in the nation, working beneath Nick Saban, Mark Richt, Bobby Bowden. Reuben Foster, C.J. Mosely, and Dre Kirpatrick have all been recruited by Smart. South Carolina is the best option for Kirby Smart. When Spurrier was the Head Coach, offense was the main focus. Seeing how much their defense struggled in 2015, Kirby Smart would be the logical solution.
- Scott Frost – When Chip Kelly bolted to the NFL, a leader was needed to control the offensive side of the football. Scott Frost, was named Oregon’s Offensive Coordinator. His main task? Implement his “system,” recruit to fit the scheme, and provide a smooth transition for Heisman Candidate, Marcus Mariota. The offense succeeded under Frost. Only being 40 years old, he is an attractive hire to the University of Central Florida. With the exception of Blake Bortles, UCF has struggled to produce talent at a consistent level. In Orlando, Frost could be exposed to the best talent in the South.
Born in NYC x Raised in VA