It’s just about time to start one of the least favorite but most interesting times of year: The coaching carousel. As a Group of 5 conference, Mountain West head and assistant coaches get offers and leave each season for more prestigious and higher-paying new jobs. It’s just how it is in the college football landscape.
Due to this, coaches returning are based on likelihood of them being fired as well as likelihood of them being lured away by more prestigious positions at other schools. Last year, we did percentages. This year, we will shift more towards the TVline ratings like we do for predicting which teams will make a bowl. The ratings which could be used are: A sure thing, A safe bet, Could go either way, A long-shot, Essentially eliminated.
Also, here’s what we said last year. Feel free to judge how on or off we were with the guesses. Matt Wells was almost assured to be a top candidate to leave for a P5 school and did and Bob Davie was almost assured to be fired, but was not. Everyone else seemed relatively safe, either due to success or else being too new to the program to accurately judge.
This year is a bit different. With many teams in the conference having good but not dominant seasons, there is no clear favorite coach to be poached to a P5 school like Wells was last year. One or two teams are having surprisingly disappointing seasons but they get the benefit of the doubt based on track record. Then, there are the coaches guiding losing seasons who may have run out of time. Which one does your team fit into? Read below.
A Sure Thing
- Troy has been at AFA forever and that doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon. His name has come up in the rumor mill before and will likely continue to do so, but there hasn’t been much indication that he is looking to leave right now.
- The 2019 season never really got going for Tedford and his Bulldogs. The good news is he isn’t in danger of losing his job due to a hiccup following back to back conference championship appearances. The question though, becomes: can they rebound or is this is a sign of things to come? This could very well be a transitional year in the classes and talent level, or the lack of recruiting in the Tedford era could be catching up to the product on the field.
- An alumni who loves Hawaii culture and promotes an offensive scheme that fits that make up of the Hawaii team perfectly. The low salary likely won’t please him forever and likely won’t increase that much if he stays, but for now, it sure seems like Rolo wants to keep the good times rolling (I know, I know) on the islands.
- Year 1 of his second go, there’s no reason he would leave or the team is looking to get rid of him. He’s been able to carry over a good deal of the success from last season and has moved around long enough to know the grass isn’t always greener.
A Safe Bet
- Harsin is in no danger of being fired. His name does always come up for job openings and one year it will be the magic job that lures him away from Boise. However, with a young nucleus at QB, RB, and WR, now many not be the time to look for greener pastures.
- Year three brings Norvell and the Wolf Pack back to another bowl. While they arguable took a step back in 2019 compared to 2018, they are still in a good spot and Norvell appears to be bringing some consistency to the program for the first time in the post-Ault era.
- Rocky has emeritus status at SDSU and can decide when he wants to retire. It doesn’t seem like it’s happening this year, but you never know.
- His seat may have been warm coming into the season, but Brennan has done a great job with the Spartans this year. His job seems safe for the foreseeable future and he’s also in that sweet spot where he isn’t on other school’s radar.
- Bohl is a fantastic coach and is guiding Wyoming to their most consistent era ever. He doesn’t seem itching to leave either. The only reason he isn’t a tier higher is one would think some other school would try to lure him away with his track record of success. On the other hand, no attempts have been made that the public knows about, so maybe not.
Could Go Either Way
- Bobo has been trending in the wrong direction for awhile now. Three years of 7 wins annually. Then a weird 2018 that included some health issues and a free fall season. 2019 has seen a solid offense with a not so solid defense. They’ve been hot of late and still recruit well. Bobo could get one more year or they could just punt and try something else.
- After 5 years, it’s safe to say this is who Sanchez and the Rebels are under him. More consistent than any other coach before him, but not enough to be relevant. They could keep him and get 4-5 wins each year, or do they want to shoot for something more? That’s the question they face.
- Any other school would have had Davie fired last year but New Mexico’s budget issues kept him around in 2019. This year he should be gone. Yes they are currently in a tragedy outside of their control but the stuff in his control isn’t great. They haven’t won since September and may not win again this year. It’s been coming for awhile and needs to happen.
Your turn: What did we get right and what did we get wrong? Which teams would you place into each section? Leave a comment in the discussion below.