Analyzing the NCAA football coaching carousel

Carson Field, Sports Editor

This college football season has been one with many twists and turns, and that did not change when the coaching carousel began. Each team below has one or more potential targets for a new coach that could improve its program.


The Georgia Bulldogs made a rather surprising coaching move this week, as they fired their longtime head coach Mark Richt, who went 145-51 in his tenure at Georgia. This was not a smart move by Georgia because Richt turned around the program and had double-digit wins in nine of his 15 seasons at Georgia. However, the Bulldogs reportedly may hire Kirby Smart. Smart is the longtime defensive coordinator at Alabama and is known for producing stout defenses. While I believe firing Richt was a mistake, Smart is a good coach and can eventually lead the Bulldogs to a College Football Playoff.

Miami (FL):

The formerly dominant Miami football program has been everything but dominant the past few seasons, leading to head coach Al Golden’s firing in the middle of the season. Miami fans are desperately calling for a coach that can bring back the success of the past. One potential replacement for Golden could be former head coach Butch Davis. Davis coached “The U” back in the late 90s and early 2000s and was rather successful before leaving to become the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. This hire would excite Miami fans and potentially bring back the success of the old days.


The Missouri Tigers have been rather successful since joining the SEC in 2012, as they have won two SEC East titles. However, longtime head coach Gary Pinkel resigned this season after he was diagnosed with lymphoma. This announcement was very unexpected and devastating to Tiger fans, since he is the winningest coach in school history. With Pinkel rebuilding the program so well, there is a good chance that they could lure in a very strong coaching candidate. One possibility to replace Pinkel is former Georgia head coach Mark Richt, who was fired unexpectedly as I mentioned. This could be an attractive job to Richt, as Missouri is not a bad team and would not need much rebuilding If Richt is hired, Missouri could compete for the SEC East almost immediately.

South Carolina:

South Carolina entered the coaching carousel this season when legendary head coach Steve Spurrier retired from coaching. South Carolina has flown way below expectations the past two seasons, and Spurrier believed it was his fault. The Gamecocks have struggled in the past two seasons, but they could hit the jackpot if they lured in Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen. Mullen has shown interest in the South Carolina job, but I am not sure why, as his own Mississippi State team has tremendously improved in his tenure at the school. The Gamecocks could get the steal of the coaching carousel.


The Virginia Cavaliers have struggled the past few seasons, as they have not appeared in a bowl game since 2011. With the struggles, they decided to fire head coach Mike London, who had a 27-45 record in his tenure with the university. While the Virginia job may not be as elite as the other open jobs, it still is a Power Five team that can easily be turned around. One potential candidate for this job is fired Miami head coach Al Golden. Golden would fit in well with Virginia, as he had some success at Miami, which has much higher expectations than Virginia. Golden could potentially lead the Cavaliers to a good streak of winning seasons, which would fit right in with the job expectations.