Where does Florida stand among the best jobs in college football?

·3 min read

On Monday, USC sent a ripple throughout the college football world by firing head coach Clay Helton. The Trojans program may be in a down stretch that dates back to when Pete Carroll left for the NFL in 2010, but as a program with rich tradition, a recognizable brand and excellent location in one of the best recruiting states in the country, there aren’t many more attractive openings around the sport.

A job of USC’s caliber doesn’t open every offseason and nearly every coach in America would listen if it came calling. The opening has also prompted a lot of discussion about the best jobs in college football, and The Athletic polled over 100 people working in college football, including athletic directors, head coaches, assistants and staff.

According to the consensus from those people, The Athletic ranked UF as the 10th-best job in the country.

Florida has a great location, proximity to excellent recruits and a semi-recent history of national title contention. What it doesn’t have at the moment are facilities that compare with most of the other schools on this list. The Gators finally got an indoor practice facility a few years ago, but they still don’t have a dedicated football operations building like the other schools in the SEC. That building is in the works, though. It’s supposed to open next spring. After that, there will be no more excuses for the Gators. If they aren’t competing for national titles — or more specifically, recruiting a roster capable of competing for national titles — then it will be time to look inward. Florida received no first- or second-place votes but was one of the most popular choices as the No. 5 job on voters’ ballots.

Florida is a bit of a tricky job to evaluate. Outside of a few years in the 1960s and a couple of good teams in the 1980s that were neutralized by NCAA sanctions, the program’s history as a top team really only dates back to the hiring of Steve Spurrier in 1990.

But in that time, the Gators have seen as much sustained success as anyone in the country, and though the program only has three national titles, they were all won during a 12-year stretch.

Add in the fact that there’s arguably no better state from a talent perspective than Florida, and that UF is the flagship university in the state, and it’s clear to see why this is considered an elite job.

Still, the Gators ranked behind several other SEC teams that don’t necessarily have elite locations but do not face as much competition for players in their home states, like Georgia, Alabama and LSU.

Florida is certainly among the best jobs in college football. And once the new football facility is built, it could become even more attractive, especially if coach Dan Mullen can return the team to its championship ways.


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