By Matthew Postins
College Football Contributor
Today the 2016 FBS Coaching Carousel is in full spin. As of Nov. 27 there have been 11 job changes. We’ll start with the four jobs that have already been filled.
Texas: The most important job on the market. Texas fired Charlie Strong, who went 16-21 in three seasons, after the loss to TCU on Thanksgiving weekend. The Longhorns hired Tom Herman, who went 22-4 in two seasons at the University of Houston and was once a Texas graduate assistant under Mack Brown. It’s a solid hire for the Longhorns, who are looking for more offense. The real question is whether Herman can run a program with the moving parts Texas has (i.e., can he deal with all the B.S. that comes with the job).
LSU: The Tigers balked at Herman’s asking price and saved a reported $3 million a year to give Ed Orgeron the job, an interim coach well-liked by his players. But Orgeron has an under-.500 record as a head coach. He’ll win enough to go to a bowl game just about every year. But he’s not there to win bowl games. He’s there to win championships, and Orgeron has provided no evidence he can do so as a head coach. His first order of business is to pursue Alabama’s Lane Kiffin to be his offensive coordinator. Good luck with that.
Florida International: The Panthers fired Ron Turner earlier this season and then hired Butch Davis. This is a great hire. He’s well known in the area from his days at Miami and he should help FIU win a few recruiting battles in the Miami area. The key here is talent development. Davis must turn two-star guys into three- and four-star guys. Who he hires around him is crucial.
Fresno State: The Bulldogs parted ways with Tim DeRuyter after five seasons, with the last three being under .500. The Bulldogs hired Jeff Tedford, which is quite the coup. He was 82-57 in a decade at Cal and can be credited, in part, with Aaron Rodgers’ development as a QB. He knows California recruiting and should be able to help re-stock the talent in Fresno quickly.
Here is the information we’ve seen on the remaining seven openings as of Sunday, Nov. 27.
Baylor: Jim Grobe won’t be back in 2017. The Bears have made no announcement. But as someone who covers the Big 12 it’s clear he’s ready to head back to retirement. The Bears were rumored to have a bead on SMU’s Chad Morris, but he squashed those rumors last week.
Florida Atlantic: This is a tough job. He lasted just three seasons and went 9-27. It’s not clear if FAU has a candidate in mind, but a coordinator at a Group of 5 school, or a head coach at the FCS level, would be an appropriate selection for this rebuilding job.
Georgia State: In the wake of Trent Miles’ firing, his successor gets a college team in a major media market that is about to convert Turner Field into its own home stadium. There are some plusses here. Like FAU, this is a job for a current assistant or an FCS head coach, which is where Miles came from.
Houston: Wouldn’t it just be delicious if the Coogs hired Strong? Not happening. But there are some that believe West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen might be interested. I think he and his agent would be interested in using that as leverage to extend his deal with the Mountaineers. Houston doesn’t have a path to the College Football Playoffs. West Virginia does. That matters.
Nevada: With Brian Polian out after four seasons, the Wolf Park are looking for his successor. Think FBS assistant or FCS head coach. But with retreads like Davis and Tedford back, anything is possible.
Purdue: Darrell Hazell was let go last month. The juicy rumor is that the Boilermakers think they can get Les Miles. He would certainly change the paradigm in West Lafayette. But the more likely choice would be Western Michigan’s P.J. Fleck, who just wrapped up an undefeated regular season. Fleck’s representatives have made it clear Fleck won’t entertain offers until after the regular season is complete. That would be after the MAC title game this weekend.
San Jose State: The Spartans need a coach with the departure of Ron Caragher. Again, think FBS assistant or FCS head coach.
2016 FBS COACHING CAROUSEL
|Baylor||Jim Grobe (acting)||TBA|
|Florida Atlantic||Charlie Partridge||TBA|
|Florida International||Ron Turner||Butch Davis|
|Fresno State||Tim DeRuyter||Jeff Tedford|
|Georgia State||Trent Miles||TBA|
|LSU||Les Miles||Ed Orgeron|
|San Jose State||Ron Caragher||TBA|
|Texas||Charlie Strong||Tom Herman|