2008 Coaching Changes In College Football: Who Will Have The Biggest Impact?

Sometimes You Feel Like A Nutt...

7/28/08 in NCAAF   |   ohiostate1016   |   respect


There were 16 coaching changes in the FBS this year. Some made big splashes (Rich Rodriguez at Michigan), and some went all but unnoticed (Jerry Kill at Northern Illinois), but all deserve to be talked about on this list. Some of you may not know half of these guys, but fear not...I know all of them, and I am here to tell you how each school did in their coaching hires this offseason. Feel free to yell at me, starting at the bottom of this page.

1. Houston Nutt (Ole Miss)

I wasn't a big fan of the Ed Orgeron firing, but I wasn't on the board that made the decision. That being said, Nutt is the perfect man for the job in Mississippi, as long as he can stay out of legal trouble. Orgeron - an incredible recruiter - wooed some talent to Oxford, and it's now up to Nutt to do more with it than his predecessor could.

2. Paul Johnson (Georgia Tech)

I don't know if his option offense will work in the ACC, but who is to say that it won't? This isn't the NFL. Kooky offenses still work when you are running them against 18-year-old kids on the other side. Once he gets the kids that he needs in his system, Johnson will be fighting for ACC crowns year after year.

3. Bo Pelini (Nebraska)

I heard that they like defense in the Cornhusker State. If that is still true, then they'll absolutely fall in love with Pelini there. If you want to know what this guy means to a team, look no further than last year's National Championship Game - where he, not head coach Les Miles, was the one doused with Gatorade after LSU's triumph over Ohio State.

4. Kevin Sumlin (Houston)

Kudos to Houston for hiring the first African-American to coach in the FBS in Texas. Sumlin is a little like Urban Meyer was in in Utah - a great all-around coach that won't be long for a school under him. That's not saying that Sumlin won't do great things in Houston; he just won't do it for long.

5. Rick Neuheisel (UCLA)

Many of you know that I am a huge Karl Dorrell fan, but it was time for a change in L.A. If Neuheisel can overcome all of the factors that Dorrell couldn't - USC, a lack of funds from the athletic department, fair-weather fans, etc. - then he'll have great successes in Southern California.

6. Art Briles (Baylor)

Briles did a great job at Houston, and some say that he should have stayed there to wait for a better BCS job. Why? Why can't Briles - one of the best offensive minds in the game - make Baylor a contender in the Big XII? He has great Texas talent all around him, and if he can get just an eighth of the players from that state, then he'll get this team into the top half of the Dandy Dozen.

7. Steve Fairchild (Colorado State)

Fairchild was on track to become a head coach in the NFL, but he decided to leave the rigors of the NFL behind (at least for now) to try to rebuild his alma mater after the departure of long-tenured Sonny Lubick. I have some doubts about this NFL man in the college game, but I'm assuming that Fairchild will win more than he loses during his days in Fort Collins.

8. Larry Fedora (Southern Miss)

USM fired a successful coach - Jeff Bower - to bring in Fedora, an offensive-minded coach known for his spread attack. If he can find a way to keep the defensive tradition alive at USM, then the Eagles will be playing for C-USA titles for years to come under Fedora, who already landed a big fish when a 5-star recruit committed to his program on signing day.

9. Ken Niumatalolo (Navy)

What Navy is hoping is that hiring Niumatalolo - a former Paul Johnson assistant - will eliminate some of the growing pains that often come in with a new coaching staff. If Niumatalolo can routinely get the Midshipmen to a bowl game like Johnson did, he'll be a success.

10. Bobby Petrino (Arkansas)

Arkansas thinks it can hang with the big boys in the SEC. That's why they fired Houston Nutt (although some speculate that there are other reasons), and hired vagabond Bobby Petrino after his one-year stint in the NFL. Petrino is a great coach, but he won't be long for Arkie, and they'll be in this exact same spot about 2 years from now.

11. Rich Rodriguez (Michigan)

OK, before you guys look to the right and throw down the Haterade, let me explain. RR runs a spread offense. He does not have the players for a spread offense at UM. RR had players that begged him to come play at West Virginia. He'll have to beg players to come to UM. RR is entering the Big Ten, where defense reigns supreme. The UM defense is atrocious (but the offense is worse). If Rodriguez can overcome all of these factors and be successful at UM, then I'll admit that I was wrong. But I'm betting that this program will implode before he ever makes a BCS bowl.

12. Jerry Kill (Northern Illinois)

NIU is a team in solid shape in the MAC. Kill brings in new life that should reignite the passion in De Kalb.

13. Paul Wulff (Washington State)

I hope that you are content with hearing this name alongside the Wazzu logo for a long time, because Wulff - a WSU alum - will get a million chances to turn this thing around. Hopefully his passion is enough to make this team a winner again.

14. June Jones (SMU)

I've been back and forth on this hiring since it was first announced. I love June Jones, but I'm not sure if I love him in Dallas in charge of a program that expects results. JJ is on record as saying that he has better position players this year at SMU than he had at Hawaii last year. If that is true - and Jones adapts to life on the mainland - then this could be one of your surprise teams in the land this year.

15. Greg McMackin (Hawaii)

I'm not sure how long it'll take him to make people forget about June Jones. Hopefully it's before the AD gives up on him.

16. Mike Sherman (Texas A&M)

This hiring totally blows my mind. A&M is a program in trouble, and Sherman is an NFL retread that probably won't do much in College Station. This reminds me of the Bill Callahan hiring at Nebraska. The Aggies hope that this one turns out better, though. Don't bet on it.
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7/29/08   |   aggball1212

IlliniBob72 wrote:
Looking at their schedule, I think they will likely be 7-5. That is fairly comparable to 5-6.

Only 7-5 is one game more, which would mean we made a bowl game... technically it is comparable number wise, but i would much rather have at least gone to a bowl game, win or lose, and 7-5 is a bowl game loss, we cant predict that at all... could be 8-4. Thanks

7/29/08   |   ScottSportsHawaii

Sorry but you misquoted June Jones, he said that he has better position players this year at SMU then he had at Hawaii in 1999 (his first year at UH).  When he tied the NCAA record for best turn around season.  0-12 (1998) to 9-4 (1999). 

Mahalo,
Scott
SportsHawaii.com
"Hawaii's Fan Based Sports Page"

7/29/08   |   IlliniBob72   |   83 respect

aggball1212 wrote:

I am not meaning this season alone, I mean in the future. Baylor wont pass anybody for the reason that if they do start to win, witch is highly unlikely, Briles will find a better job elsewhere. read what I have said, put it together, then respond!

Texas has great players, and this is how they are destributed:

UT= pretty much whoever they want

Oklahoma= Battles UT, but a few high players, and UT left overs.

Texas A&M= A high player or two, OU/UT leftovers

...........................................................................................

but now we have LSU cherry picking, and A&M starting to take back dallas from ou.

Baylor is not on the list for say another 10-15 schools, then you can mention them in the discussion...

..............................................................................................................................

Also compares it to the Nebraska hire in Callahan:

2004-2005 record: 5-6

Do you think A&M's record will be that at the end of the year? Honest question...

 

Looking at their schedule, I think they will likely be 7-5. That is fairly comparable to 5-6.

7/28/08   |   aggball1212

IlliniBob72 wrote:
Wow. This is silly. Saying that Baylor's hire will have a bigger impact than A&M's does not mean they will be better this season. You're really digging if that is what you make of it.

I am not meaning this season alone, I mean in the future. Baylor wont pass anybody for the reason that if they do start to win, witch is highly unlikely, Briles will find a better job elsewhere. read what I have said, put it together, then respond!

Texas has great players, and this is how they are destributed:

UT= pretty much whoever they want

Oklahoma= Battles UT, but a few high players, and UT left overs.

Texas A&M= A high player or two, OU/UT leftovers

...........................................................................................

but now we have LSU cherry picking, and A&M starting to take back dallas from ou.

Baylor is not on the list for say another 10-15 schools, then you can mention them in the discussion...

..............................................................................................................................

Also compares it to the Nebraska hire in Callahan:

2004-2005 record: 5-6

Do you think A&M's record will be that at the end of the year? Honest question...

 

7/28/08   |   IlliniBob72   |   83 respect

Wow. This is silly. Saying that Baylor's hire will have a bigger impact than A&M's does not mean they will be better this season. You're really digging if that is what you make of it.

7/28/08   |   aggball1212

hskrdave wrote:
thats actually pretty easy to do.

Haha! Bet not!

7/28/08   |   hskrdave   |   10497 respect

aggball1212 wrote:
dave, go get lost in a cornfield...

thats actually pretty easy to do.

7/28/08   |   aggball1212

hskrdave wrote:
and oh yeah aggball1212 should learn how to read. probably thought it was a top 25 list, and didnt realize there were only 16 teams.

dave, go get lost in a cornfield...

7/28/08   |   aggball1212

danny_n94 wrote:

Ron Zook was a good recruiter in FLA, but thats half the battle. Heck Gary Barnett was a good recruiter at the begining for the Buff, but we all saw how that ended. I dont think Sherman is a good fit. I could be wrong. But for the life of me, how does TAMU not get a better HC than Sherman? I am with you on anything to make the B12 better. At least this conference isnt as bad as the b10

Agree with you on the b10, but why do you think that Shem isnt a good fit? What has led you to think this way? He was very successful when he was last here, Had great O-lines, which is one of our main questions right now. If I could put faith in anyone to take a fresh O-line and make them competitive, it would be him. He brings a great staff as well, and his recruiting is paying off, he doesnt have the most stars on it, but he filled it with speed, something we have lacked for a very long time, and we still have shots at the "stars". I agree, coaching is what makes a player good, that is why I think he will do better than anyone in the B12, He has a staff that imo will be able to coach, something Mack at tu cant do, but he is one hell of a recruiter!

7/28/08   |   aggball1212

MarkTheShark wrote:
I don't have a point. Am I missing something on my page that everyone else has on thiers?
David hopefully learned a lesson. He should have wrote clearly "in random" or "no particular" order.
He asked a question in the Baylor capsule and then added a caveat, saying IF he can recruit players from around Texas then he could get them in the TOP HALF of the Big 12.
You seem mighty insecure about the Aggies. Are all of your frends and relatives from Austin, or something?

Mark, seriously, IF he can recruit the players to be in the top half of the Big 12, that will mean they have one games. Nobody goes to Baylor, without proof they will win, nobody that matters that is. IF you think that is wrong then please argue your point.

 

Again as i said, IF he can get those players, he wont be there. He will have turned that program around and will be headed to a much more historic coaching job elsewhere.

 

I have no insecurity about my Ags, only confidence in that what I say about this guys predictions are way off. I cant be insecure about them, finally they have no expectations this season, they can only do what nobody thinks they will, Im execited if anything sir!

7/28/08   |   danny_n94   |   114 respect

aggball1212 wrote:
Do you have a rivals account? Have you followed the recruiting? That in itself will answer your question. Besides the new DC and a more aggressive D, he will finally effectively use Goodson. I would love to see Baylor get better, except for that one game of the year, if only just to help out the Big 12.

Ron Zook was a good recruiter in FLA, but thats half the battle. Heck Gary Barnett was a good recruiter at the begining for the Buff, but we all saw how that ended. I dont think Sherman is a good fit. I could be wrong. But for the life of me, how does TAMU not get a better HC than Sherman? I am with you on anything to make the B12 better. At least this conference isnt as bad as the b10

7/28/08   |   aggball1212

danny_n94 wrote:
But is Sherman and upgrade from Coach Fran? I dont think so. It would make so happy to see Baylor succeed and TAMU falter some more

Do you have a rivals account? Have you followed the recruiting? That in itself will answer your question. Besides the new DC and a more aggressive D, he will finally effectively use Goodson. I would love to see Baylor get better, except for that one game of the year, if only just to help out the Big 12.

7/28/08   |   MarkTheShark   |   590 respect

aggball1212 wrote:

He didnt say that Art Briles was a better hire, and that he has great talent all around him, and that if he can get that he will make Baylor a contender?... yeah he did, in turn that will mean that they will be outplaying A&M, OSU, Tceh, and the Horns... that is an unforseeable future as of right now, he is delusional as are you, if you think that Baylor will come back from the depths of the big 12 south under briles, if he is that great of a coach he will be outta there within 3 years, because that will mean that he has turned that program into a winner that it hasnt been... Please argue your point.

I don't have a point. Am I missing something on my page that everyone else has on thiers?
David hopefully learned a lesson. He should have wrote clearly "in random" or "no particular" order.
He asked a question in the Baylor capsule and then added a caveat, saying IF he can recruit players from around Texas then he could get them in the TOP HALF of the Big 12.
You seem mighty insecure about the Aggies. Are all of your frends and relatives from Austin, or something?

7/28/08   |   danny_n94   |   114 respect

MarkTheShark wrote:
Wow you read all that in to those two capsules. Methinks someone is a touch defensive about his Aggies.
He didn't say any of that at all!?

But is Sherman and upgrade from Coach Fran? I dont think so. It would make so happy to see Baylor succeed and TAMU falter some more

7/28/08   |   Boski93   |   375 respect

danny_n94 wrote:
It will be hard for him not have a NCAA tournament bracket this year. I mean with as good as UCLA in in basketball.

He will give you 2 to 1 odds that he won't.

7/28/08   |   aggball1212

MarkTheShark wrote:
Wow you read all that in to those two capsules. Methinks someone is a touch defensive about his Aggies.
He didn't say any of that at all!?

He didnt say that Art Briles was a better hire, and that he has great talent all around him, and that if he can get that he will make Baylor a contender?... yeah he did, in turn that will mean that they will be outplaying A&M, OSU, Tceh, and the Horns... that is an unforseeable future as of right now, he is delusional as are you, if you think that Baylor will come back from the depths of the big 12 south under briles, if he is that great of a coach he will be outta there within 3 years, because that will mean that he has turned that program into a winner that it hasnt been... Please argue your point.

7/28/08   |   aggball1212

collegefootballfan wrote:
Aggball1212 completely missed the point (what else would you expect from an aggie though?).  This list is his ranking of the teams and their hires, not a prediction of finishes.

collegefootballfan; while this is not a projection of the finishes, this is a projection of who will have the better succes with the hires these teams made/ me 1-u 0.... he is projecting that briles will have better succes at baylor this year compared to Sherman, again read the title "who will have the biggest impact."/ me 2- u 0...

One can only agree that a baylor team that went what- 0-8 in conf. and 3-9 after it was all said and done will possibly only win one more game, 2 at most but that would be the best season they have had in quite some time. Briles is a good coach, and will "help" that program out, but not this year, he simply doesnt have the talent, A&M can always pull some upsets, and to have Sherman as the worst on this list takes some good drugs, im sure you are a tceh tard and are on them as well. If you really want to get into a debate over college football, i will school you. Thanks for checking out this post!

7/28/08   |   MarkTheShark   |   590 respect

Good stuff. Thanks for the update on all the coaching changes

7/28/08   |   MarkTheShark   |   590 respect

aggball1212 wrote:
Im sorry David From Columbus, but this shows just how idiotic your football predictions are. Anyone that has Baylor in front of anyone, should quit watching the sport all together and move on to soccer. Im sorry, but the Aggies will have success, and will upset your little prediction. You are predicting Baylor will beat the Ags right? As they will have better success, with even less talent and coaching ability. Please respond for yet another laugh Kid!

Wow you read all that in to those two capsules. Methinks someone is a touch defensive about his Aggies.
He didn't say any of that at all!?

7/28/08   |   hskrdave   |   10497 respect

and oh yeah aggball1212 should learn how to read. probably thought it was a top 25 list, and didnt realize there were only 16 teams.

7/28/08   |   hskrdave   |   10497 respect

Pelini should have been hired 4 years ago when they took Callahan.  Pelini was the DC Solich's last year.  I'm not sure if you ranked this in order of best hires, but i liked all the analysis.

7/28/08   |   kantwistaye   |   4211 respect

Houston Nutt is overrated.  He'll be good for Ole Miss, but not nearly as good as Paul Johnson is for GT, RR is for Michigan (Carr had them slowly sliding down to being just another program), Petrino for Arkansas, and especially Nueheisel for UCLA.  UCLA will be competing with USC for the Pac 10 title in a few short years and I can't wait.

7/28/08   |   danny_n94   |   114 respect

Boski93 wrote:

Wow I am an idiot you did have UCLA on there.

 

It is good to have someone to re-energize the program. This year will be tough, but the Bruins and will at least be fun to watch. Now if Slick Rick has truly learned from his other trip ups then the Bruins can get back to being relevant again and get back to punching USC in the mouth, because lord knows we have been punched enough since Carroll came to town.

It will be hard for him not have a NCAA tournament bracket this year. I mean with as good as UCLA in in basketball.

7/28/08   |   Boski93   |   375 respect

(Edited by Boski93)

Wow I am an idiot you did have UCLA on there.

 

It is good to have someone to re-energize the program. This year will be tough, but the Bruins and will at least be fun to watch. Now if Slick Rick has truly learned from his other trip ups then the Bruins can get back to being relevant again and get back to punching USC in the mouth, because lord knows we have been punched enough since Carroll came to town.

7/28/08   |   collegefootballfan

Aggball1212 completely missed the point (what else would you expect from an aggie though?).  This list is his ranking of the teams and their hires, not a prediction of finishes.

7/28/08   |   jackdaniels9779

(Edited by jackdaniels9779)

7/25/08   |   aggball1212

Im sorry David From Columbus, but this shows just how idiotic your football predictions are. Anyone that has Baylor in front of anyone, should quit watching the sport all together and move on to soccer. Im sorry, but the Aggies will have success, and will upset your little prediction. You are predicting Baylor will beat the Ags right? As they will have better success, with even less talent and coaching ability. Please respond for yet another laugh Kid!

7/23/08   |   Marshall

I'm sorry but I do have one beef with Rich Rod. The whole recruiting issue you have is completely bogus. The rest is pretty true. But in this first class thats totally his he already has as many 4 star recruits then he had in all his time at WVU. That is why I'm really intrested to see what he does with top tier talent. Plus there is the Barwis factor. Sadly though I still think your Buckeyes are safe for awhile.