I have been very entertained by the new coaching hires in college football this year. Hires coming out of nowhere, hires that we predicted and hires that made us say “Wait…WHAT?” With that being said, here is how I would grade each hire so far this college football season. The grades will be based on new coach, reasoning for firing old coach, and process. As always, let me know what you thing of my analysis right here.
Arizona State-Herm Edwards: I will admit that I probably know the least about the Pac-12 in regards to the Power 5 Conferences. However, I do know that Todd Graham had a 46-31 record at ASU, but started to decline in his last few years. The firing itself was questionable, and the hiring of Herm Edwards kinda came out of left field. However, I like it. It reminds me a little of when Alabama hired Avery Johnson. Although Herm Edwards has never been a head coach on the collegiate level, there is one think I believe he’ll do better than Graham: recruit. Herm Edwards is a motivational guy that players will want to play for just by his attitude. He’s going to convince a lot of 4 stars that he can get them to the NFL. Overall, time will tell how this goes, but I think it’s a solid hire.
Arkansas-Chad Morris: It was time for Bielema to go. He had a below average record at Arkansas that was clouded by a couple of decent wins. He was 29-34 with a God-awful 11-29 in conference play. Considering the money he was making, unacceptable. Chad Morris is an offensive savant. Just looking back at his days at Clemson, remember there was a time when people thought Tajh Boyd was a quarterback to spend a first round pick on. Morris apparently can make miracles happen. Nah, but in all seriousness, he’s a good pickup. As a head coach at SMU, he gradually got better record wise, and is a solid recruiter.
Florida-Dan Mullen: I did not think this was going to happen, at all. I believed, that Dan Mullen was the second best coach in the SEC for awhile. He made Miss. State the first ever #1 team in the first College Football Playoff Rankings. That’s the equivalent of the Charlotte Hornets having the best record in the NBA (I know it wouldn’t last, but CHARLOTTE, best team in the NBA?). Dan Mullen is a GREAT pickup in Gainesville. The last time the Gators had a good quarterback was when he was the offensive coordinator. The defense is fine, but the offense needs major surgery, and Mullen is the physician to bring it back to life. What a hire.
Florida State-Willie Taggart: Hmm. I saw this and didn’t really know how to feel about this hire. It’s not bad and under the circumstances presented, Willie Taggart was indeed the best coach available. However, it’s a big transfer going from USF to FSU in two years. Willie Taggart has a 47-50 career record, but that doesn’t bother me as much because of how he has improved at each school that he’s been to. And yeah, he can go back to Florida and recruit guys from the state he was at a few years ago, but South Florida and Florida State aren’t getting the same guys. It’s gonna be more difficult now to recruit with Miami on the rise and the return of Mullen to Gainesville. Do I get the hire? Yes. Am I thrilled with it? No, but the grade is bumped a little because FSU did what they needed to do.
Mississippi State-Joe Moorhead: This is a Mississippi State hire, if that makes sense. Someone who’s not flashy but has a good track record. Moorhead turned around FCS School Fordham and made them relevant in D-II Football. Then he went to Penn State and made Trace McSorley and Saquon Barkley VERY fun to watch. These types of hires work out in StarkVegas, and although I don’t think they’ll win a natty soon, Moorhead should continue was Dan Mullen built on.
Nebraska-Scott Frost: It just makes sense. Scott Frost was a quarterback for the Huskers during their 1997 championship winning season, and he’s from Lincoln. It makes sense. But Scott Frost is also a very good coach, taking the same players from the 0-12 UCF team and making them champions of the AAC with a shot to take on Auburn i the Peach Bowl. That’s the sign of a good HC, and Nebraska sure got them one this offseason.
Part II coming soon.