Where do new and former Oregon Ducks coaches rank nationally after wild coaching carousel?

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  • Mario Cristobal
    American college football player, professional football player, college football coach, offensive lineman
  • Dan Lanning
    American football coach
  • Joe Moorhead
    Joe Moorhead
    American football coach

In an unprecedented season of college football, more than a fifth of all FBS schools saw a change at the head coaching position, and a number of storied programs will enter the 2022 year with a new man at the top of the organizational chart.

For the Oregon Ducks, this has been massively impactful, as former head coach Mario Cristobal left for his alma mater in Miami, which opened the door for Georgia Bulldogs defensive coordinator Dan Lanning to come in and accept his first career head coaching position. On top of that, Oregon also saw the likes of Joe Moorhead and Ken Wilson leave for HC jobs across the nation.

So what are we to make of each of these hirings, and where do they stand nationally? USA TODAY recently ranked all 28 of the head coaching hires, where they parsed out how excited each fanbase should be. Here are where the former or new Men of Oregon currently stand:

No. 1 — Mario Cristobal (Miami Hurricanes)

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

It shouldn’t come as a major surprise that Cristobal is ranked No. 1 on this list. The Hurricanes got an absolute home run in the hiring of Cristobal, bringing back their native son who has found massive success at Oregon. Now he will look to turn around Miami and bring them back to the levels of success that Cristobal saw when he won two championships with The U as a player. Here’s what USA TODAY had to say:

It’s hard to imagine a more perfect fit. The former Oregon coach is from Miami, played for the Hurricanes and was a key assistant under Larry Coker before taking the job at Florida International. He was a winner at FIU and a winner with the Ducks, and is expected to do the same at Miami after refreshing a roster that should always have as much as if not more talent than every team in the ACC. He’s an absolute home run for the Hurricanes.

No. 4 — Joe Moorhead (Akron Zips)

(Photo by Zachary Neel)

Joe Moorhead at No. 4 on this list? Can’t say I saw that one coming. However, the former Oregon offensive coordinator is a well-respected name in the industry, and his offensive prowess has the future looking bright at Akron, where he has previous coaching experience. Here’s USA TODAY’s take:

Akron pulling in a coach with Moorhead’s track record is a total coup. The former Akron assistant (2004-08) has served as the offensive coordinator at Penn State and Oregon and was previously the head coach at Fordham and Mississippi State, giving him a résumé that seems almost overqualified for one of the bottom programs in the MAC. Look for Zips to take a noticeable step forward in his first season.

No. 16 — Dan Lanning (Oregon Ducks)

(Eric Evans Photography)

Oregon Duck fans had to be hoping that their new head coach would be higher up on this list, but rationally, it makes sense. Lanning is a first-year head coach who is only 35 years old. On top of that, he has gone all-in on the youth movement, hiring a pair of coordinators who are even younger than him. A few years from now, it certainly could turn out that Lanning was among the best hires in this coaching cycle, but we need to see it before we anoint him. USA TODAY’s take:

Much like Freeman, Lanning was on a collision course for an elite Power Five job. Is this too much, too soon for the 35-year-old former Georgia defensive coordinator? Again, as with Freeman, he’ll have the chance to learn on the job with a roster that’s good enough to win the Pac-12 and contend for the playoff from the start.

No. 24 — Ken Wilson (Nevada Wolfpack)

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After spending 19 seasons as an assistant coach with Nevada, it makes sense that he would come back and become the head coach of the Wolfpack, no? It’s his first time as an HC, so we need to see what he can bring to the table, but fans of Nevada have to feel pretty good about this one. Here’s what USA TODAY had to say about it:

The biggest asset in Wilson’s favor are the 19 seasons he spent as a Nevada assistant before spending the past nine years in the Pac-12. He has recruiting connections in the state and may not view Nevada as a stepping-stone position for a better job in the Group of Five or Power Five. Wilson won’t get to coach star quarterback Carson Strong, who is off to the NFL, and it’s still unclear what direction he’d like to take the offense.

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Oregon Ducks Coaching Tracker: An updated list of Dan Lanning's reported hires