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Pamela Maldonado breaks down which hires in the college football coaching carousel are overrated and underrated.
- The 2021 coaching carousel has been absolutely insane. Pamela Maldonado bringing you an overrated underrated look at some of the coaching changes that we have seen heading into the conference championship week of college football.
- Lincoln Riley.
- Riley left Oklahoma for USC. Overrated. Here's why I'm not entirely convinced that Riley is as good of a coach as we think he is. Riley has been gifted with transfer quarterbacks from Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, and Jalen Hurts.
OK, fine. Maybe the Sooners did end up having a good offense. And they did, yes, make the playoffs. 2017, lose to Georgia. 2018, lose to Alabama. 2019, lose to LSU. 2020, you finally get a quarterback that's not a transfer in Spencer Rattler. And you miss the playoffs with two losses.
2021 season, missed the playoffs once again, and had a mid-season quarterback change. 10 wins on the season. Six wins by 7 points or less. I'm just not entirely convinced that Lincoln Riley is the head coach that should be getting all the praise.
- Brian Kelly.
- Wow. Brian Kelly has left Notre Dame, a day that I never thought I would see come. The next stop, Baton Rouge, Louisiana to lead the LSU Tigers back into relevance. Underrated move.
I love Brian Kelly, and I am so excited to see what he can do for this team. Kelly took Notre Dame from a 6-6 squad to no worse than seven wins in all but one season. In 2016, 4 and 7 finish.
But then, he bounced right back the following year to finish 10 and 3. His resume includes two undefeated regular season records and five seasons of at least 10 wins. LSU definitely has the bones with narrow losses to both Alabama and Arkansas, and wins over A&M and Florida. Kelly can absolutely make this team great.
Both Notre Dame, defensive coordinator, Marcus Freeman, and offensive coordinator, Thomas Reese, could possibly be joining Kelly in Louisiana. This is a team that we could see in the playoffs as early as next year. Fire up those futures bets.
- Sonny Dykes.
- TCU finally got rid of Gary Patterson after 21 years. It was one season too early, as I predicted, this change would happened last year. But it didn't happen. Underrated higher by far.
What makes a good head coach? Recognizing talent where others don't, and able to capitalize on the local market. And that's exactly what Dykes does. He excels in both areas.
Dykes has recruited Arlington and native Shane Buechele and whackos Tanner Mordecai. He saw that the Dallas Fort Worth was an area of strength. And he was able to utilize it to build a team.
Dykes can absolutely do the same thing with TCU. And the coaches that he's hired around him, success stories year after year. Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee went over to Miami. Defensive coordinator Kevin Kane became the assistant in Illinois. Defensive line coach Randall Joyner left for Ole Miss. And quarterback coach Kevin Curtis is now at Baylor.
SMU has had a top 15 offense in 3 straight seasons. If Dykes can add SMU running backs coach, Rashida Sample's, and offensive coordinator, and Garrett Riley to this squad, trust the TCU will be an absolute threat. Even if neither joins, I definitely believe that Dykes knows how to be a good hire. And I'm excited, so excited, to see what TCU is going to be in the upcoming years.
- Billy Napier.
- Underrated. I absolutely love this hire. This is the most exciting hire that I've seen of all the changes, thus far. He is one of the most sought after coaches. The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns head coach Billy Napier is off to coach the Florida Gators.
Napier has worked under head coaches Alabama's Nick Saban and Clemson's Dabo Swinney. He took what he learned from those two coaches and applied it to Louisiana program. Taking a 15 and 22 team into a 7 in 7 season in his first year and then has had 10 plus wins in each of his last three seasons. Napier is the first to ever have double digit wins in Louisiana.
A group of 5 is not the same as a Power 5. However, I have no doubt that Napier has built one of the most successful programs. And he has the ability to do so again here. Florida, get ready. Because your offense is about to shine.
That's a look at four coaching changes that we have seen heading into the conference week of the college football season. Overrated or underrated? Let me know if you agree or disagree with any of these things on Twitter @pamelam35.