Brian: It has been a big, big year for the college football coaching carousel. To date, a total of 24 Division I-A programs will be breaking in new coaches in 2012, including 11 from BCS AQ conferences. Within the conference, North Carolina just hired Southern Miss's Larry Fedora to replace the ousted Butch Davis. Yet, our Athletics Director is on a crusade to convince anyone that will listen that Frank Spaziani is the best coach Boston College has had in the last 15 years.
Here is the list of BCS programs making a head coaching change for this upcoming season.
|Arizona Wildcats||Mike Stoops||Rich Rodriguez|
|Arizona St. Sun Devils||Dennis Erickson|
|Illinois Fighting Illini||Ron Zook||Tim Beckman|
|Kansas Jayhawks||Turner Gill||Charlie Weis|
|North Carolina Tar Heels||Butch Davis||Larry Fedora|
|Ohio St. Buckeyes||Jim Tressel||Urban Meyer|
|Mississippi Rebels||Houston Nutt||Hugh Freeze|
|Penn St. Nittany Lions||Joe Paterno|
|Texas A&M Aggies||Mike Sherman||Kevin Sumlin|
|UCLA Bruins||Rick Neuheisel||Jim Mora, Jr.|
|Washington St. Cougars||Paul Wulff||Mike Leach|
There are still two vacant head coaching positions at BCS AQ schools -- Arizona State and Penn State, but the nine other BCS AQ programs have found their man. Thoughts on this year's college football coaching carousel? Which programs got a coaching upgrade? Which moves are highly suspect? And which moves will end up being a wash?
Jeff: Biggest home run of course is Urban Meyer to Ohio State. Meyer will have that program dominating the Big Ten again soon after their 6-6 season. The Pac 12 is the biggest winner as a conference. Without a doubt, UCLA, Washington State and Arizona all made upgrades. The Big 12 is the biggest loser as a conference. Texas A&M and Kansas did not impress me. Weis failed for the most part as an OC at Florida this season. His time at Notre Dame is very debatable whether or not it was successful at all. Meanwhile, Texas A&M should've been able to get anyone they wanted once Ohio State made their move. I don't think highering the Conference USA coach from down the road will be the move they wanted to make, especially with going into the SEC next season. In fact, I think keeping Sherman would've been a much better move for them.
Of the other moves, I think that North Carolina made the best hire by getting Larry Fedora. I think there is very little potential downside and there won't be a ton of pressure on him to win the conference since North Carolina is a basketball-first school. Fedora will at least keep UNC bowling annually. Hiring the Toledo and Arkansas State coaches, even though Freeze did spend time at Ole Miss previously, will be the bigger gambles on that list.
Brian: Any coaches on this list that you think B.C. will regret missing out on further down the line?
Jeff: I am going to defend GDF here. I think if he knew that there would be as many moves as there turned out to be, it might not have been a bad idea to keep Spaz around another season. BC is not Ohio State, UCLA, Penn State, or Texas A&M. Also, BC is not all of those big state schools. BC could probably afford what a lot of the coaches on the list got, but some candidates might see more upside going to Kansas than BC. If you go to bowl games at Kansas that is probably success. If BC just fired their coach after missing one bowl game in 13 seasons, candidates might be a little turned off. GDF might not have known a lot more behind the scenes of what jobs were opening and who might have been interested in BC, but he knew more about it that us. If BC has consecutive bad seasons and then goes shopping, I think we might have a larger pool of applicants. All the big names except Meyer went to a program where you don't have to win the conference in order to be successful, you just need to compete.