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NCAAF Coaching Carousel: Analysis of Best Available Gigs

Candidates will be Lining Up for Wisconsin Job

The 2022 season has not been kind to coaches from the Power-5 conferences.

Five coaches have already been let go and there are other programs where candidates are being thrown around as potential replacements, even though there is not currently a vacancy.

NCAAF Coaching Carousel: Analysis of Best Available Gigs
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images/AFP

Those who bet online will be watching the results for the rest of the season very closely to stay ahead of the game on the coaching carousel.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences have already seen two coaching changes during the season. More could be soon to follow, especially for programs accustomed to competing for conference titles.

Let’s take a look at not only which of the open jobs are the best ones, but also others that might become available.

Check the latest NCAAF picks, stats, injury reports, and NCAAF predictions. We’ve plenty of NCAAF expert picks for you to consider.

No Badgering Needed

Perhaps Wisconsin should have done more to make Bret Bielema happy.

Taking over for Barry Alvarez, who led Wisconsin to three top-10 finishes in the national polls, Bielema didn’t have a losing season in his seven years at Wisconsin. Now, Bielema has Illinois tied for first place in the Big Ten West Division.

Seeing Bielema and Illinois roll past Wisconsin 34-10 proved to be the end of Paul Chryst’s time in Madison, as a 67-26 record wasn’t enough for him to keep his job.

Obviously, Wisconsin is a job where a coach can win. The problem is that the expectations are incredibly high. Failure to win the division title in back-to-back seasons is enough to get a coach fired.

There will be no lack of quality candidates for this job.

The odds to win the Big Ten title are now priced at +20000 for Wisconsin, according to the sportsbook.

Nebraska Eyes Return to Glory Years

There was a time when Nebraska finished ranked in the top 10 a total of 16 times over 19 seasons.

Tom Osborne set a high bar for future Nebraska coaches, leading the Cornhuskers to perfect seasons in three of his last four years at the helm.

Frank Solich was let go despite helping Nebraska win at least 10 games in four of his six seasons. Bill Callahan, Bo Pelini, Mike Riley and Scott Frost have come and gone since.

The Big Ten seems like an odd fit for Nebraska. However, this is a program that has proven it can compete for national titles.

Interim head coach Mickey Joseph has a 2-2 record since taking over and it seems more likely than not that the Huskers will look to make a splash by hiring a new coach.

Arizona State has Work to Do

NCAAF Coaching Carousel: Analysis of Best Available Gigs
Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP

It seems safe to suggest that Arizona State won’t go looking for former NFL head coaches to fill their vacancy.

The hiring of Herm Edwards raised more than a few eyebrows. Sure, it helped Arizona State win the press conference. However, hiring somebody who hadn’t coached in college since he was a position coach in the late 1980s seemed destined to fail.

Arizona is an underrated recruiting area so there is an opportunity to build a roster with home-grown talent. Rival Arizona doesn’t seem to be much of a threat to Arizona State. The emergence of USC and UCLA will make keeping those Arizona stars home a little more challenging.

Edwards did a solid job, going 7-6, 8-5 and 8-5 in his three full seasons with the Sun Devils, so it is clear what the expectations will be.

Interim head coach Shaun Aguano is 1-2 since taking over and that’s probably not going to land the former Chandler High School head coach the job.

There have been some high-profile coaches joining the conference in recent years and ASU figures to set their sights on a big name.

Could Georgia Tech Stay With Status Quo?

Georgia Tech’s hiring of Geoff Collins back in 2017 could be a lesson for athletic directors from coast to coast. Hiring coaches who won with players recruited by the previous regime is a problem when a program needs to be built through shrewd recruiting.

When a 1-3 start gave Collins a 10-28 record at Georgia Tech, he was let go.

The Yellow Jackets defeated defending ACC champion Pittsburgh and Duke with interim coach Brent Key calling the shots. The college football betting lines listed the Yellow Jackets as underdogs in both of those contests.

If he keeps on winning, will the Yellow Jackets keep him?

The schedule will begin to get more challenging, but this week the Yellow Jackets are favored against Virginia.

Who Wants the Colorado Job?

In the last 14 full seasons, Colorado has posted just one winning season. Five coaches have tried and failed to reverse the fortunes of the Buffaloes.

Colorado did post its first win of 2022 with an overtime victory over California last weekend.

This seems to be one of the more challenging jobs among the Power-5 conferences, so it will be interesting to see which way the Colorado brain trust goes in finding the next coach.

Seat(s) Getting Very Hot

More openings are sure to follow and here’s a look at some coaches who might want to make sure their resumes are up to date.

Jeff Scott, South Florida

The Bulls are just 4-24 since Scott took over the program. Having three teams from Power-5 conferences based in Florida who recruit heavily in Tampa does make landing program-changing players somewhat challenging. Still, there is no way a team based in Tampa should be struggling this much.

USF did throw scares into Florida and nationally ranked Cincinnati. Is almost beating good teams going to be enough for Scott to keep his job?

According to the college football betting lines, USF has been an underdog in its last 11 games against Football Bowl Subdivision teams and that is not a good statistic when it comes to coaching longevity.

Mike Locksley, Maryland

This is the fourth season for Locksley at Maryland. He walked into a nightmarish situation left by his predecessors. However, at some point the Terrapins need to start winning games or at least being competitive with the Big Ten heavyweights.

Maryland hasn’t defeated a ranked team since the 2018 season opener and the recruiting results at Maryland have been merely average, so it is time for the former Alabama assistant coach to turn the corner at Maryland.

Clock Ticking for Hafley at Boston College?

NCAAF Coaching Carousel: Analysis of Best Available Gigs
Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images/AFP

A New Jersey native who played at Siena and had coaching stints at WPI, Albany, Pittsburgh and Rutgers seemed to be a good fit at Boston College.

However, the Eagles are just 8-14 in the ACC since Jeff Hafley left his job as the co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State to try to breathe some life into the BC program.

He deserves more time to prove he can get things done on the recruiting trail. Seeing Dino Babers, thought to be on the hot seat at Syracuse, turn the Orange around this season should be a warning to those ready to make coaching moves too quickly.

Auburn Tigers Failing to Roar

Bryan Harsin has found the transition from the Mountain West to the SEC rather challenging.

Wins over Mercer, San Jose State and Missouri did not silence the rumor mill. A win over LSU would have helped. Upcoming games against Arkansas, Mississippi State and Texas A&M could be critical to Harsin’s bid to remain at Auburn.

Names are already being suggested as the next Auburn coach and that is certainly not a good sign.

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