A list of openings for good jobs next year.
With the hiring of Urban Meyer, Ohio State has jump started this year's coaching carousel. This was a good hire for a couple of reasons. One is that he is the biggest name out there, and the second is that he is an Ohio native who has coached at the school in the past. Win/Win
Should be very fun and interesting having Meyer at OSU and Brady Hoke at Michigan for the next several years. What's good for rivalries is good for football.
A look at some other openings, or soon to be openings.
Penn State University - Wow. This job went from a "will JoePa ever retire?" to "what will they do now"? I know Penn State is a traditional place, and before the scandal broke I would have expected someone from the Paterno coaching tree to end up with this job. However, now I'm not so sure. Penn State hasn't had to look for a new coach since 1966. So we have no idea what they will do. It could be a great job for the right guy, but boy would you have to be the right guy. Tough to fill those shoes.
University of North Carolina - The only thing surprising about Butch Davis's dismissal as the Head Coach at UNC was the timing of it. That is an institution that prides itself on playing by the rules. So it was surprising that Butch made it all the way through last season, and then all the way through the off-season, to be removed right before this season started. All I know is this is a pretty choice job. If I was an "up and coming" college football head coach, this would be the spot I'd pick. The ACC is a good conference, and they just picked up Pittsburgh, so: Miami, Va Tech, Pitt, Fla State, Clemson, and Georgia Tech... some traditional football powers in there. But not as tough as the SEC. You still get to see Duke, Boston College, NC State and Wake Forest on a regular basis. This is a school with money, motivated alumni, and a great campus. (Plus UNC basketball in the off season, what a great recruiting tool).
UCLA - For the right coach, this could be a good job. Rick Neuheisal wasn't that guy. However, the thing everyone at UCLA is going to have to understand is that you are going to have to build this slowly. You aren't going to topple USC immediately, it just don't work like that. Kiffen and crew have a huge head start on the recruiting trail, and have amassed a ton of talent the last couple years. Find a Good, Young, Passionate coach, and give him sometime to grow. The Neuheisal hiring reeked of desperation, the guy has never been a great head football coach. He's OK, but that's not enough when you share the same city with USC. You need someone that can go head to head with Lane and win.
Arizona State - What a shock, Dennis Erickson is out. This is a guy who has made an entire career out of winning with other people's players. His best Miami team was the one right after Jimmy Johnson left. His best Oregon State team was all recruited by Mike Riley. And now Arizona State... his best season? His first one, of course! The Sun Devils won 10 games in his first season, and now after five years, his record is 31-30 at the school. This is going to be tough for ASU. You have USC, Oregon, Stanford in your conference. I think Arizona State might need to do something like Minnesota did last year, who hired Jerry Kill from Northern Illinois. Go find a head coach at a smaller school, who has a record of building a program, that is the step you need to take. No hotshot assistant is going to do this. I don't think this should be a young guy, either.
Kansas - surprised that Turner Gill was fired after only two seasons. I thought KU would give him more time than that. Kansas has never been a football power, and to be honest Mark Mangino went 2-10 in his first season, and 4-7 in his 3rd. Not sure who Kansas is looking at hiring, or why they think they can do better than Turner Gill. Coach Gill revived a basically dead program at Buffalo, and I think he should have been given more time. Good Luck, Jayhawks.
Illinois - So, the Ron Zook era comes to a close. Not too surprising, considering the way they finished the season. They had a nice start this year, and I really thought they may be able to make some noise, but they didn't. Illinois will probably look to raid the staff from another school. Maybe someone like Houston Nutt from Ole Miss. Maybe Butch Davis from North Carolina? I can totally see Illinois grabbing someone with experience, and experience in a big conference.
Ole Miss - Houston Nutt is out after 4 years since they stole him from SEC Rival Arkansas. It will be interesting to see what Ole Miss does. They are an SEC school, so they carry that panache, but they are also among the "lower class" schools of the SEC... this isn't Florida, Alabama or LSU.
I can see Ole Miss going after a coordinator at another big school. Maybe even an SEC school? Also, being in the SEC, they've seen Urban Meyer run to two national titles, and Auburn another running their spread option attacks. I wouldn't be astounded to see Ole Miss hire someone with spread experience to help them make some gains against the LSU's and Alabama's of the world. Just my thought.
It will be interesting to watch this year's version of the coaching carousel turn, and turn, and turn some more.
The NFL is only a few weeks away from starting their own.