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Peak Perspective: Chances each MWC head coach returns next season.

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Guesswork on all 12 coaches coming back.

NCAA Football: Utah State at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

It’s just about time to start one of the least favorite but most interesting times of the year: The coaching carousel. As a Group of 5 conference, the 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 the likelihood of them being fired as well as the likelihood of them being lured away by more prestigious positions at other schools. In the past, we did percentages. Once again, we will shift more towards the TVline ratings as we do for predicting which teams will make a bowl. Some ratings from last year are used again: A sure thing and A safe bet. Others (Could go either way, A long-shot, Essentially eliminated) were put into storage this year as none of the coaches fit into those categories. Instead, two new ones were added this year: Don’t Get Too Comfortable and Officially Eliminated (spoiler: Gary Andersen).

Also, here’s what we said last year. Feel free to judge how on or off we were with the guesses. Last year saw the most coaching movement in quite some time, with six of the twelve coaches leaving for various reasons.

This year is very different. With Covid, and teams losing revenue from little or no fans in the stands, budgets are as stringent as ever. The general consensus is that teams will be less likely to cut a coach loose and pay the buyout. Even without Covid, with half of the coaches in their first season, most coaches are expected to stay with their team.

Which one does your team fit into? Read below.

A Sure Thing

Troy Calhoun

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.

Danny Gonzales

Year one of a new gig. The hometown coach comes back to rebuild the program. Has the team playing competitively. Not yet a successful season. Actually recruiting players to the school. Gonzales isn’t going anywhere.

Marcus Arroyo

Year one of a new gig. The hotshot OC from a successful Power 5 program. Has the team playing competitively. Endured some bumps and bruises along the way and showed he could navigate them. Recruiting at a top of the conference level. Arroyo isn’t going anywhere.

Craig Bohl

Bohl is a great coach, but his name never really gets thrown around during carousel season. This year, after taking a step back instead of a step forward, that should all but assure no one else will come calling. Given he is the best coach Wyoming has ever had and one down season should not result in any rash decisions, this may be the most certain his job status has ever been.

A Safe Bet

Bryan Harsin

Given his success, his Boise State roots, and the nature of his contract (it extends for an additional year every year he wins eight or more games), Harsin is here for as long as he wants to be here. The only reason he isn’t in a higher category is that his name comes up every winter when open Power 5 positions come up. One of these years figures to be his last, but this doesn’t seem to be the year.

Todd Graham

Graham’s first year on the islands was uneven, but given everything going against him (a pandemic, lots of attrition, a scheme change), it’s hard to be unhappy. The jury is still not out on his tenure at Hawaii, but that’s for a future post, as he isn’t going anywhere after this season.

Jay Norvell

Has created a strong culture. Slowly and steady increases each season. Going for their third consecutive bowl game. Recent contract extension. Norvell figures to have his name pop up if there are any Power 5 openings, but it’s hard to see him leaving this year.

Brady Hoke

Hoke guided the Aztecs to a strong season in the most San Diego State way possible. Lots of running, very little passing, and strong defense. He has left for greener pastures before and may do so again, but that time isn’t now. He should return next year for more of the same, and the program seems to be in good hands.

Brent Brennan

Has created a strong culture. Slowly and steady increases each season. Going for their first bowl game. Recent contract extension. Brennan figures to have his name pop up if there are any Power 5 openings, but it’s hard to see him leaving this year.

Don’t Get Too Comfortable.

Kalen DeBoer

DeBoer is in this category not because he is in danger of being fired, but quite the opposite. He has brought back the energy to the team that was missing last year when he was gone. The Bulldogs should likely have a successful offense as long as he is around. However, his stint as Fresno State’s head coach could be a short one as his name is bound to come up for bigger gigs before too long.

Steve Addazio

Addazio is in this category not because his job status is in doubt but to signify his seat is probably the warmest of any of the first-year coaches. He didn’t get off to the best start, either on or off the field. His team did not have high expectations after the last two seasons, but they should be doing a bit better. Colorado State doesn’t want to go through another coaching change so quickly, but like Utah State this year, the puzzling hire is sure to come back to bite them sooner rather than later.

Officially Eliminated

Gary Andersen

Fired three games into his second season in his second stint with Utah State. This was a puzzling idea from the start and met the most likely outcome. The Aggies will now after to rebuild a program that was still in transition from this coaching change. It probably isn’t a sought after job either, but there are talented names with program ties.

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.