Top College Football Head Coaching Jobs That Should Be Open This Offseason

Randy ChambersAnalyst ISeptember 22, 2013

Top College Football Head Coaching Jobs That Should Be Open This Offseason

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    There are many college football coaching jobs that open up on a yearly basis, but this season could provide one of the most intriguing coaching carousels in recent memory. A handful of prestigious programs may make a coaching change, which almost never happens in one season.

    When was the last time Texas or Virginia Tech changed coaches? Iowa? Now take all of those programs and add in a few other marquee schools to the mix as well. It would sure be a hectic college football offseason.

    What are the best possible college football job openings?


Kansas State

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    Wonder what those two coaches are discussing? A possible retirement location?

    Bill Snyder has helped build Kansas State and has coached the program for much of the last two decades, but he's not getting any younger at the age of 74. Kansas State isn't exactly a program that is easy to coach, and it is likely taking a toll on the old man. He recently signed a five-year contract that will carry over to 2017, but what is the likelihood that he actually stays around that long?

    Snyder is a Kansas State icon and does a ton for the program. Winning at least 10 games the last two seasons also does show that he still has the magic touch. However, the pressure of constantly rebuilding and competing in a tough Big 12 may be the deciding factor to how long he sticks around.

    Coaching the Wildcats would be a decent job for an up-and-coming head coach.


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    Yes, FIU is an intriguing coaching job that is likely going to open up. Ron Turner has shown absolute no progress in his first season, and a 72-0 loss to Louisville may have been the last straw. The Panthers rank dead last in nearly every major statistical category.

    Come on, man!

    As far as the job itself, FIU is in a prime location in Miami, Fla. That means that getting ridiculous talent isn't that difficult. No, they won't be 5-star players, but landing handfuls of under-the-radar talent that can make a splash can keep FIU afloat. Just look at T.Y. Hilton.

    FIU doesn't have the history, but Mario Cristobal showed you can win. If a coach is patient enough, this would be an attractive job to somebody who's willing to stick around.


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    It's time for Kirk Ferentz to go.

    He's a top paid coach in the country, but the win total has decreased each year since 2009. Big-boy money should produce more than four wins and no bowl appearance. This season, the Hawkeyes have already lost to Northern Illinois. The program has clearly lost its competitive edge, and an obvious change of scenery for both parties is badly needed.

    Iowa is an attractive job because coaches have shown you can win with this gig. The Hawkeyes have won five conference titles since 1981 and have played in two BCS bowls since 2002. Iowa is also the top program in its state, which gives it an advantage in recruiting.

    The Big Ten isn't going to be easy, especially with Urban Meyer on board, but a coach can certainly do a lot worse than Iowa.


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    Illinois is another Big Ten school that should be high on the market for a coach looking for a change. Tim Beckman is on his way out after two seasons and a combined record of 4-11, which includes nine straight losses last season.

    Yeah, Illinois will experience yet another coaching move.

    It's tough to coach a school that will always cherish basketball first. However, the recruiting territory that spreads as far down to St. Louis is one of the best in the Big Ten. Memorial Stadium has also undergone major renovations this year and proves to be one of the top facilities in the conference.

    Illinois may not be an attractive job right now, but many people forget that it wasn't that long ago when the Fighting Illini were consistently ranked in the AP Poll and competing for bowl games.


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    Maryland is another basketball school where it is tough to sell the football part. But a coach may be able to have the opportunity if Randy Edsall can't impress enough in his second season. Yes, the Terrapins are 4-0 right now, but they also lost to Connecticut, Boston College and Georgia Tech last season.

    Edsall needs to continue to win in order for his job not to be in jeopardy, which may be easier said than done with Florida State, Clemson and Virginia Tech on the schedule.

    Although the basketball team gets all the love, the football team has produced four ACC titles since 1983 and participated in four bowl games since 2006. Maryland also has a recruiting advantage with the school's ties to Under Armour. Maryland will also get a little more love once it moves to the Big Ten next season.

    Don't sleep on Maryland's coaching job.

Mississippi State

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    Besides losing five of the last six games last season, Dan Mullen is a combined 0-9 against ranked opponents since 2011. His case won't help with LSU, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Alabama and Ole Miss remaining on this year's schedule.


    Coaching a team in the SEC West is going to drive plenty of coaches away, but it's the SEC! A couple of solid seasons is good enough to attract top-tier talent as everybody and their mother wants to play for the conference down south. The good news is that the Bulldogs have shown they can do enough to qualify for a bowl game, but getting to that next step is the hard part.

    Plenty of guys would give Mississippi State a hard look if the job presented itself.

Virginia Tech

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    Replacing a legend is never easy and is sure to scare away a few potential candidates. Frank Beamer is the reason Virginia Tech is what it is today, as he's coached the program since 1987 and has qualified for a bowl game each season since 1993.

    However, his struggles in the last two seasons and age of 66 makes many believe that he could step aside for a younger coach who can spark energy into the program.

    Besides replacing a coach who's won more than 200 games, Virginia Tech is a scary choice because he's really the only coach who has had any major success. However, fans are passionate about their Hokies, the recruiting territory is underrated, and Virginia Tech is widely considered one of the elite programs in the ACC.

    This job comes with question marks, but even that wouldn't stop a coach from taking the risk.


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    Did you hear the tape?

    Of course you did.

    Truthfully, Bo Pelini was sitting on the hot seat before the college football world discovered how he felt about Nebraska fans. The team is underachieving with some of the best talent in the Big Ten, and that defense? Oh, boy.

    Nebraska could certainly do better, and the list of potential candidates would line up around the corner. The Cornhuskers have one of the strongest traditions in college football, a passionate fanbase and enough talent to consistently give their peers a run for their money.

    Any coach looking for an upgrade would gladly accept an offer from Nebraska.


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    Lane Kiffin is barely treading water and could very well lose his job at the end of the year. There's no reason the Trojans finish a season 7-6 and then lose to Washington State the following year. He doesn't seem to have a grasp on his team, and all the talent is being wasted with mediocrity.

    Sun Bowls and being unranked is not what USC fans are used to. Some would say that Kiffin is a great recruiter, which is why the Trojans should stick it out. Um, hello! It's USC. A one-armed monkey could recruit top talent to play in sunny California.

    USC has a rich tradition, is used to winning and gets more than enough talent to get the job done. There are very few jobs as attractive as USC, and almost every coach in the country would consider this gig once it opens.


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    Mack Brown may either retire or end up getting fired at the end of the season. However he opens up the coaching position, Texas needs a drastic change.

    Much like Kiffin at USC, the Longhorns are underachieving at insane levels, and there is little sign of that changing. Believe it or not, but Texas is working on its fourth straight season without at least 10 wins.


    You can count on one hand how many programs sell themselves, and Texas is one of them. From tradition to fan base and recruiting territory, Texas has absolutely everything a coach seeks. There's no rebuilding job needed, as it's the complete package and provides the opportunity to win right away.

    When Nick Saban is linked to the coaching job, you know it has to be pretty intriguing.