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Their first seasons are in the books, they’re starting to implement their systems even more and many second-year coaches have already been recruiting surprisingly well.
The coaching carousel was incredibly busy heading into last season with Jimbo Fisher getting the Texas A&M job, Dan Mullen going to Florida, Chip Kelly coming back to the college game at UCLA, Scott Frost coming home for the Nebraska job, Willie Taggart leaving Oregon after one season for Florida State, Tennessee hiring Jeremy Pruitt, Arizona State bringing Herm Edwards back to the sidelines and Oregon landing Mario Cristobal.
That was only a chunk of the coaching-change madness, but those coaches represent programs that in year two could really start making noise on the college football landscape.
Fisher put a scare into Clemson last season and looks to have the Aggies on the right track to start seriously competing in the SEC West. Mullen has Florida buzzing after whipping Florida State and Michigan to finish the season. Frost was a huge winner at UCF and seems to have the Huskers going in the right direction. Many of the other coaches on the above list have things moving in a positive direction as well.
We ask Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell if he sees any of these programs making a run to the College Football Playoff soon - like Georgia did in Year 2 under coach Kirby Smart - and which one has him most excited for this season to see how much the team has progressed?
“I don’t see any of the second year coaches making a run at the College Football Playoff next season but if I had to pick one it would be Mullen at Florida. Mullen is a very good coach, he has his team playing at a high, competitive level and it’s not a stretch to think they could break through in the SEC East.
"In the long term, I’m looking at Fisher at Texas A&M as perhaps the coach and team to break through in the SEC West. I think Mullen and Fisher will have the quickest success of the group overall, but it’s a strong group of coaches and guys like Cristobal and Frost could make waves as well.”