There are 13 FBS head coaching job open. How high does the UK opening rank?
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – These are dangerous times for Football
Bowl Subdivision head coaches to answer the telephone. The calls that go
through are usually not packed with good cheer.
Four head coaches were fired Sunday and then another on
Monday, extending the number of FBS openings to 13.
That's an issue that Kentucky athletic director Mitch
Barnhart must deal with because he's in the market for a coach, and it isn't a
market filled with dazzling choices.
There are several jobs that offer more juice, tradition and
resources than Kentucky. Barnhart must overcome that with A) his sales pitch;
B) money and C) ability to spot an up-and-comer.
If you were making a list ranking the available openings,
how would you stack them from 1 through 13?
Here is my take:
1. Tennessee – Following Derek Dooley and Lane
Kiffin is not like following Bobby Bowden and Bear Bryant. The recruiting base
isn't great. The will to win is. Better to be in the SEC East than knocking
helmets with Alabama and LSU.
2. Auburn – You can win a national championship
there, especially if you have Cam Newton at quarterback. But do you really want
to go toe-to-toe with Nick Saban 365 days a year?
3. Arkansas – Top 10 facilities, top 30 recruiting
territory. It's a good job, just not as good as the folks in Fayetteville think
that it is.
4. North Carolina State – It's not in the SEC, and
sometimes that is a good thing. North Carolina football is wounded. And the
Wolfpack were 7-5 this season. It's not a rebuilding job.
5. Purdue – Drew Brees played there. So did Bob
Griese. And Jim Everett, Mike Phipps, Len Dawson and Gary Danielson. Don't
forget the Boilermakers played in the 2001 Rose Bowl. Danny Hope was not a
popular head coach. The Boilermakers are looking for somebody to love.
6. Colorado – The worst BCS program in
America this season, so there's only one direction – up. Didn't they just vote
to legalize marijuana in Colorado? Hmmm.
7. Kentucky – People will love you if you can win
seven or eight games, but winning even six often is not a picnic. Not many
coaches get out of Lexington with their careers intact.
8. California – Great place to work on your
post-graduate degree, if you can afford the cost of housing. Football success?
Not so much.
9. Boston College – Maybe you can talk Tom Brady
into attending one of your practices. Another bad BCS job – and you're stuck in
a pro sports market.
– You won't need a winter wardrobe.
11. Idaho – I'm stumped why I put this one so
high. Great for hunting and trout fishing and skiing. The Vandals went 1-11. It's
a total rebuild.
Michigan – Winning at a MAC program is usually a great way to get a better job.
This is a MAC job, but not one of the good ones.
State – Yes, you're in football country, but this job is an example of why
there are too many FBS programs. You're replacing Bill Curry – and joining the
Sun Belt Conference next season.
*Lots of chatter at Assembly Hall the other night about more
Big Ten expansion coming to get the league to what everybody says will be the
magic number for what will eventually be four Super Conferences – 16 teams.
Who will the final two additions be?
North Carolina is the gold standard, stretching the Big
Ten's footprint toward the Atlantic Coast. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is a
UNC grad. The academic profile fits. The basketball profile isn't supposed to
matter as much as the football profile, but it would put the Big Ten miles
ahead of every other league.
The second spot?
Three schools keep getting mentioned – Georgia Tech,
Virginia and Duke.