The college football coaching carousel is about to heat up over the next few weeks, and there has already been a lot of activity before the regular season has even ended. You can always count on November and December being the big months every year for changes.
These changes cause a huge domino effect on recruiting. Players de-commit because of the unknown and instability with their current decision, which leads them to explore other opportunities. The teams that have successful seasons on a consistent basis can really add quality depth to their recruiting class by picking up other teams’ top recruits that are wavering.
If you are a recruit, it is important to always keep the lines of communication open throughout the process.
The Firings Have Already Begun
Three Power 5 coaches have already been fired, and several more will follow over the next few weeks. Bobby Petrino (Louisville), Mike MacIntyre (Colorado), and D.J. Durkin (Maryland) have all been let go before the regular season ended.
Aside from Connecticut and Oregon State, Louisville has given up the most points of any Division 1A football team in the country. Petrino’s defense has been awful this year.
Colorado looked like they were a team on the rise over the last few years but have lost 6 straight, and will now go in a new direction in 2019.
Maryland had no chance of building positive momentum by keeping D.J. Durkin after the death of Jordan McNair. McNair was a player that died from heat exhaustion during two-a-days. The decision by the administration to allow Durkin to resume coaching duties after his suspension was a huge mistake and caused an uproar. The firing saved a lot of returning players from transferring and gave them hope that the administration is behind them moving forward.
On the Hot Seat
It may just be a matter of time, but there are several coaches that will probably be coaching their last game this weekend.
Larry Fedora from North Carolina was 3-9 in 2017 and followed that up this year with a 2-8 record and last place in the ACC. He is 37-38 at North Carolina since 2012. His first year with the Tar Heels he won a bowl game and in 2015 they went 11-3. North Carolina was 8-5 in 2016 and it has been downhill since then.
Lovie Smith from Illinois is another head coach on the hot seat. He is having his best season since he has been there, but a 4-7 record is not good by anyone’s standards, and giving up 117 points over the last two weeks doesn’t show the team is making progress. Losing 63-0 to Iowa could be the game that helps the administration make their decision.
We have seen a team like Purdue, under the coaching of Jeff Brohm, pull themselves out of the Big 10 cellar in just a couple of seasons. It can be done. You need some success recruiting, you must develop the mid-level recruits and have them overachieve, and you just have to out coach some of the better teams to pick up W’s.
USC’s Clay Helton could be another coach that could be gone after this week. Last week’s performance against rival UCLA definitely didn’t sit well with Athletic Director Lynn Swann. UCLA entered the game with a 2-8 record and was on a 3-game losing streak. The Trojans didn’t just lose, they lost by 22 and in bad fashion. USC has lost 4 of their last 5 games and now play undefeated #3 Notre Dame this weekend. If he ends the regular season losing 5 of 6, I will not be surprised if he is let go. USC did give #8 Washington State their only loss of the season, but that only shows the inconsistency of the team and one trending in a downward spiral.