Out: Joker Phillips
In: Mark Stoops (Florida State DC)
Quality of hire: Unless the Wildcats were going to go after Alabama’s Kirby Smart, there wasn’t a better candidate to take the job other than Stoops. Despite being a big school in the SEC, Kentucky isn’t a favorable coaching destination, so this was a great pickup.
Out: Derek Dooley
Candidates: Does anyone want the Tennessee job? Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy turned down the opportunity to take the vacant position. Louisville's Charlie Strong decided to stick with the ACC-bound Cardinals, too. Larry Fedora seems like the only realistic candidate remaining, but at this point, the Vols should give former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel a call.
Out: John L. Smith
In: Bret Bielema (Wisconsin HC)
Quality of hire: While it definitely raised some eyebrows, this is a good hire for the Razorbacks. Bielema brings a defensive mind to a team that has lacked exactly that for quite some time, and could install a Nick Saban-like power running game that has worked so well for Alabama in the SEC West.
Out: Gene Chizik
In: Gus Malzahn (Arkansas State HC)
Quality of hire: Malzahn is an offensive guru and was the best solution to Auburn’s scoring woes. In 2008, the Tigers ranked 108th nationally in total offense. When he took over in 2009, they finished 16th. The circumstances are very similar this time around.
Out: Danny Hope
In: Darrell Hazell (Kent State HC)
Quality of hire: With Butch Jones declining the job, Purdue couldn’t have done better with the hiring of Hazell. He served as an Ohio State receivers coach for six years, so he has great ties with recruiting in Ohio. It’s hard to tell if he’ll find success with the Boilermakers, but at this point, it’s a nice fit.
Out: Bret Bielema
Candidates: The first place Wisconsin will look is Pittsburgh coach Paul Chryst, who served as the Badgers’ offensive coordinator from 2005-11. This would be the ideal fit for the vacancy, but if he decides to stick with the Panthers (which has been rare for that program over the last three years), AD Barry Alvarez could look toward the San Francisco 49ers’ offensive coordinator, Greg Roman.
Out: Jeff Tedford
Candidates: Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes is still on the market and should be the top prospect to land the Cal job, but don’t be surprised if you see Bob Diaco – Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator – on the Bears’ sidelines next season.
Out: Jon Embree
Candidates: At this point, it seems as if the Buffs have completely invested in Cincinnati’s Butch Jones. If he decides to accept the job, it’d be a great hire – but he’s still weighing his options, as the Bearcats are doing what they can to keep him.
North Carolina State
Out: Tom O’Brien
In: Dave Doeren (Northern Illinois HC)
Quality of hire: Doeren’s resume doesn’t show any reason to believe that this hire will turn NC State’s program around. Sure, he’s pummeled the MAC, but couldn’t beat Wisconsin (lost 49-7 in 2011) or Iowa (lost 18-17 this year). He only has recruiting ties to the Midwest, too. There’s hope that he can bring his offensive success to the Wolf Pack, but he’ll need to install a solid defense first.
Out: Frank Spaziani
In: Steve Addazio (Temple HC)
Quality of hire: I really like this pickup for BC. In 2011, Addazio led Temple to its first bowl win since 1979. He’s a very talented recruiter and has two national championships as an offensive coach under Urban Meyer at Florida.
Out: Skip Holtz
Candidates: Tommy Tuberville has already been interviewed, but it seems as if the Bulls may lean towards Western Kentucky’s Willie Taggart, who is a Florida native.
Out: Steve Addazio
Candidates: It’s still unclear where Temple will go after losing Addazio, but a good start would be to call former offensive coordinator Matt Rhule, who is currently a New York Giants assistant.
Other schools with coaching switches
- Idaho fired Robb Akey and replaced him with Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino.
- Northern Illinois gave its vacancy left by Dave Doeren to offensive coordinator Rod Carey.
- Western Kentucky fired Bill Cubit. Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco is a hot prospect to take the job.
- Mike Price retired from UTEP after nine seasons. Former Boise State and Colorado coach Dan Hawkins is a top name to replace him.
- Georgia State coach Bill Curry retired after three seasons. Indiana State’s Trent Miles, who has an impressive resume, will replace him as the Panthers head to the Sun Belt in 2013.
- Southern Miss fired Ellis Johnson after an 0-12 season. Blake Anderson – former offensive coordinator – seems like the best fit to replace him.
- Arkansas State could replace Gus Malzahn with Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury.
- Kent State’s very own offensive coordinator Brian Rock could be the favorite to replace Darrell Hazell.
- Florida International fired Mario Cristobal. Former Miami (Fla.) and North Carolina coach Butch Davis has been rumored to be the front-runner for the job.
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