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Power Conference Coaching Hire Rankings Plus the Five Jobs That Are Guaranteed to Get You Fired

Power Conference Coaching Hire Rankings Plus the Five Jobs That Are Guaranteed to Get You Fired

There were 14 schools in the Power 5 conferences who made coaching changes and have new coaches in place for the 2022 season. Eight schools (USC, LSU, TCU, Texas Tech, Washington, Virginia Tech, Florida, and Miami fired their head coaches. Coaches at Duke and Virginia retired/resigned. Three schools (Oklahoma, Notre Dame, and Oregon) lost their guy to other schools. And Washington State had to fire their coach because he refused to get a State Mandated Vaccine.

So, we have 14 changes out of the 65 Power Conference schools for next year. Here is how we rank the new hires.

  • No.14: Sonny Dykes-TCU Somebody has to be 14th and it happens to be him. I’m sure others will disagree with me putting him at 14, but I’m not sure he is much better than a 6-6, 7-5, coach. And his coaching statistics, bear this out. He has an overall record of 71-63 in his previous stops at Louisiana Tech, California, and SMU. Furthermore, SMU flamed out down the stretch and finished a disappointing 8-4 in 2021. Is TCU ok with seasons of so-so records? Rating 3 out of 10
  • No.13: Joey McGuire-Texas Tech This might turn out to be a good hire but it is an uphill grind for anyone at Tech. McGuire has been a legendary high school coach in Texas and worked at Baylor under Matt Rhule and Dave Aranda. His status in Texas will help recruit that talent-rich state. Rating 4.5 out of 10
  • No.12: Mario Cristobal-Miami I have never understood what people see in this guy. I’m not saying he is a bad coach, but I sure don’t think he is any better than Top 25-35. He is 62-60 in his two head coaching stints at FIU and Oregon. Most of those 60 losses came at FIU, but he didn’t dominate a weak Pac-12 conference at Oregon, either. He’s another guy who gets a lot of notoriety because he coached at Alabama with Nick Saban. Rating 5 out of 10
  • No.11: Tony Elliott-Virginia He is coming to Virginia after a long stint at Clemson, as running backs and co-offensive coordinator and he was the play-caller. So, he knows the ACC very well which should serve him well, in trying to get the Cavaliers to be a consistent winner in that conference. Rating 6 out of 10
  • No.10: Brent Pry- Virginia Tech He has been the defensive coordinator at Penn State since 2016 and his defenses have been very good. He also served as defensive coordinator at Vanderbilt when the Commodores put together 3 of their best seasons in years. So, he has solid credentials on that side of the ball. But, the problem at Tech has been on offense, so any success depends on who he brings in as the offensive coordinator. Rating 6 out of 10
  • No.9: Jake Dickert-Washington State He took over this year after Nick Rolovich was fired for refusing to follow the state’s mandate on vaccinations. The Cougars went 3-2 under him, and handed archrival Washington a 40-13 loss to end the season. He doesn’t have a lot of Power 5 experience, but he held the team together after the firing of the head coach and four assistants. To me, that is pretty impressive stuff.
  • No.8: Mike Elko-Duke Why would I hold the hiring of the football coach at Duke in such high regard? Well, I think he was as good a hire as they were going to get. He worked many years under current Wake Forest coach, Dave Clawson, who happens to be a very good coach and knows how to be competitive at private schools. He also was the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame for a year and Jimbo Fisher gave him a three-year contract to be the defensive coordinator at Texas A&M. I think he is a good hire, but I’m not saying he will win at Duke. Rating 6.5 out of 10
  • No.7: Dan Lanning-Oregon He was the star up-and-comer on the assistant list of coaches. He was given a lot of credit for the great defense that he orchestrated at Georgia in 2021. Known as a great recruiter, he was thought to be sought after by most of the schools needing a new coach. He is young, energetic, and fiery. However, he has never coached anywhere close to the West Coast. How long will it take him to make recruiting connections? Rating 6.5 out of 10
  • No.6 Kalen DeBoer-Washington This looks to be a solid hire in Seattle. After serving stints as the offensive coordinator at Fresno State and Indiana, he was hired as the head coach at Fresno and led them to a 10-3 record this year. There’s a lot to like about this hire. Rating 7.5 out of 10.
  • No.5 Marcus Freeman-Notre Dame After the surprising departure of Brian Kelly, the Irish quickly promoted Freeman, who had been in charge of the defense in 2021. Prior to that season, he had was hired as the defensive coordinator in 2016 at Cincinnati, where he helped build the defense that carried the Bearcats to the top of college football. He has a great chance to succeed. Rating 7.5 out of 10
  • No.4 Lincoln Riley-USC In one 2021’s biggest surprise coaching moves, the Trojans were able to pry Riley away from Oklahoma where he went 55-10 in five seasons. There is no doubt he will be successful in Los Angeles, but the people in Norman, Oklahoma weren’t sorry to see him go. Word on the street was that there were discipline issues, the inmates were running the asylum, and the Sooners had become soft. But, he will be a major upgrade at USC and he will be able to recruit the players the Trojans have been lacking. Rating 8 out of 10
  • No.3 Billy Napier-Florida. He has been at Clemson, Alabama, and Florida State among others as he made his way through the assistant ranks. He took over at Louisiana in 2018 and led the Ragin’ Cajuns to a record of 41-12, including 34-5 the last three years. He knows the recruiting area and he is at a school with a great tradition and history. He could be the next great coach for the Gators. Rating 8.5 out of 10
  • No.2 Brent Venables-Oklahoma It was a pretty well known fact that Oklahoma had become a program of finesse and if you knocked them around they would fold. They made undisciplined mistakes and had become soft. There are two things we know about Venables. No.1 he is disciplined. No.2 he is tough as nails. In two short weeks, since his hiring, he has rejuvenated the fan base and the excitement level is as high as it’s been in years. Will his old-school emphasis on team unity, hard work, and faith in each other, work in these times? There’s a lot of us who still believe kids will buy into that. Rating 9 out of 10
  • No.1 Brian Kelly-LSU This was another hire that came as a complete surprise. There is no doubt Kelly is one of the best coaches in the business, and is a major upgrade to what the Tigers had. He has been successful everywhere he has been and he will be able to recruit in the Bayou. The only question will be how his personality will fit in with the crazies at LSU. If he wins like he did at Notre Dame, it won’t matter how he acts, what he says, and who he pisses off. Rating 9.5 out of 10


  • 1.Jerry Kill-New Mexico State This guy is well-respected throughout college football and has been everywhere. Now he has signed on as the head coach at New Mexico Nowhere. Why in the world would he take this job at 60 years old? Check out these stats:
  • 2 winning season since 1992
  • 43-145 since 2005
  • 12 winning seasons from 1950-2021 (71 years)
  • No conference to play in
  • Trips to Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Missouri on the 2022 schedule.
  • 2. Jim Mora-UCONN Here is another guy who has been around and most of his career has been in the pros. He was the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks in the NFL and also was the head man at UCLA. Now he is at UCONN where they are 39-95 since 2010. They are not in a conference and they are forced to play whoever they can find. Next year, they have road games at Michigan, Utah State, NC State, and home games include, Fresno State, Boston College, Coastal Carolina, and Syracuse. Best of luck Jim.
  • 3. Don Brown-UMass Ok, this guy is 66 years ago and he was the head coach here from 2004-2008 when the Minutemen were in the FCS. I hate to tell you Coach, things have changed since then. Once again, you are an independent and play schools from everywhere. The 2022 schedule has 7 road games and only 5 home games. Get a good retirement plan out of this.
  • 4. Joe Moorhead-Akron He was a rising coach as the offensive coordinator at Penn State. He landed the head coaching job at Mississippi State but was fired after it was discovered that tutors were allowed to take tests and complete coursework for several of his players. So he was shown the door out of Mississippi and landed in Oregon in 2021. Now, he heads to Akron where they have had 5 winning season since 2000. He has a better chance than the guys listed above him.
  • 5. Mike MacIntyre-Florida International He has been a head coach at San Jose State and Colorado and compiled a 30-44 record. Now he is at FIU where they have been a football program since 2002. During that time, they are 69-143 overall with four winning seasons. Oh well, at least you are living in Miami while you are getting your brains out.

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