There are 28 new coaches in the FBS ranks this season, which means almost a quarter of the 124 schools have new leaders.
That's the highest number of new college football coaches hired in one offseason – ever.
Recent history, though, shows a handful of the coaches hired this offseason won't even make it to the 2014 season. In other words, chances are a few new coaches being asked about the proposed 2014 playoff system won't even be around long enough to see it come to fruition.
There were 23 new coaches hired before the 2010 season, and four already are gone (Akron's Rob Ianello, Kansas' Turner Gill, Memphis' Larry Porter and Vanderbilt's Robbie Caldwell, though Caldwell’s situation – being hired in July after Bobby Johnson shockingly resigned – was a bizarre one). Caldwell lasted one season, the others two.
Of the 22 coaches hired before the 2009 season, five are gone (three did leave for new jobs). And of the 18 coaches hired before the 2008 season, 12 are gone (three left for better jobs). "Big Six" conference schools made 11 new hires before the '08 season, and seven already have moved on, either voluntarily or involuntarily.
Thus, from 2008-10, 63 coaches were hired, and 21 (a third) already are gone four or fewer seasons after being hired.
Agent Jimmy Sexton summed up the situation nicely. He represents a number of coaches and has seen both sides of the issue: He represents coaches who have been let go but he also is the agent for coaches who have gotten new jobs. In December, Sexton told a Memphis radio station, "I don't think there is any patience anymore in college football. It used to be the four- or five-year plan. Then it was the three-year plan. Now, they take a snapshot after two years, and if they don't like you, they pull the plug on you."
Sexton should be busy again in December.
• As expected, the makeup of the four-team field has been the most contentious argument as a playoff format is hammered out. Worth repeating: Only twice in the 14-year history of the BCS would a four-team champs-only playoff field have included a team outside the final top six in the BCS standings. That would've been the case in 2001 and last season. Six times, conference champs have finished 1-2-3-4; twice, the final top five has encompassed four conference champs, and four times four conference champs were in the final top six. I'm not advocating a champs-only playoff field; it's just that last season was an outlier, but a lot of folks seem to be focused on what happened last fall.
[Roundtable: How to pick the field for a four-team playoff]
• The SEC scheduling format is ridiculous. A 14-team league should play nine conference games, not eight. The league plans a 6-1-1 scheduling format – that is, six games against teams in your division (a full round-robin), one permanent crossover game against an opponent from the other division and one rotating crossover game against an opponent from the other division. But the rotation crossover game won't come in two-year increments (i.e., a home-and-home set); instead, the teams will meet every six seasons. In other words, Georgia will play host to Alabama one year, then travel to Tuscaloosa for the second game in the set six years later. It's further proof that just because folks work for academic institutions doesn't mean they are smart all the time.
• Texas needed a new punter after the graduation of Justin Tucker, who also handled the Longhorns' kicking duties. Mission accomplished. Alex King has transferred from Duke and will spend his final season at Texas. King already has graduated and is eligible immediately. He averaged 41.4 yards per punt in his Duke career.
• So now we find out the reason Ole Miss has struggled of late. John Miller is the school's new assistant athletic director for football operations, and he told the Mobile (Ala.) Press-Register last week that new coach Hugh Freeze and his staff are "Christian-based." Miller: "We don't allow any cussing in the building, not by the players, coaches, not on the field or anything. We do it a little bit different than you'll see throughout the country. When we get this thing going, our players will know that we care about them."
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