In part two of a six part series highlighting candidates to become BCS conference head coaches, the College Gridiron Boss takes a look at coaches currently working the Conference-USA and the MAC
Skip Holtz, East Carolina - Hall of Famer Lou Holtz says that he looks forward to the day when he's known as Skip Holtz's dad. That may be a stretch, but Skip is a sure shot to be a BCS conference head coach. He took over an ECU program that had won only three games in the previous two years. Since then, the Pirates have gone 20-17 and made two bowl appearances in only three seasons. He capped off his best season in 2007 with an upset of Boise State to go 8-5. He went 33-23 over five seasons at UConn, laying the ground work for Randy Edsall to take over. It is difficult to guess what his destination may be. Potential Jobs: Maryland, Indiana, Syracuse.
Larry Fedora, Southern Miss - While he's yet to coach a game as a head coach, he has already made a pretty big impact in Hattisburg. He landed a solid recruiting class and has stirred up interest in Golden Eagle football. As an offensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee State, Florida, and Oklahoma State, everything he touched seemed to turn to gold. Potential Jobs: Kansas State, Vanderbilt, Oklahoma State, Arizona.
Kevin Sumlin, Houston. Similar to Fedora, Sumlin is yet to serve as a head coach. His resume is littered with big program stops, though. In his most recent stops at Oklahoma and Texas A&M, he has reportedly forged strong recruiting relationships in the state of Texas. A few solid seasons at Houston will have him on many school's short lists. Potential Jobs: Purdue, Washington State, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State.
June Jones, SMU. If Jones is able to make short work of another rebuilding project like he did at Hawaii, he would be a strong candidate for any program trying to change their gridiron fortunes. Contrary to the other guys on this list, his age, 55, could be a liability. He could be viewed as a guy who can quickly breath life into a program similar to what Dennis Erickson has done at Arizona State. He would likely be most interested in a program that would present a unique challenge. Potential Jobs: Indiana, Vanderbilt, Duke, Baylor.
Todd Graham, Tulsa. Graham has had successful first years at two programs, Rice and Tulsa. He appeared on the long list for some jobs this past off-season. The concerning part for Graham, a former defensive coordinator, is that both of his defenses while a head coach have ranked in the 100's. Potential Jobs: West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M.
Gus Malzahn, Tulsa Offensive Coordinator.In his first season away from the soap opera that was Arkansas football during his one season there, Malzahn simply led the nation in total offense. Only two years removed from the high school ranks, Malzahn may have another baby step before getting a BCS head gig. Potential Jobs: Arkansas, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State.
Turner Gil, Buffalo. Gil has quietly moved Buffalo out from the bottom barrel of college football programs. Buffalo's five wins last season was the program's most since 1996 and first time with over three wins since becoming a I-A program. Gil was fairly raw when he got this head coaching job, but appears to be learning on the job. Expect a bowl this season. Potential Jobs: Nebraska, Minnesota.
Al Golden, Temple. Golden got a serious look from UCLA this past off-season. There's a decent chance that the MAC East could be a showdown between Buffalo and Temple this season. Shows what coaching can do. Potential Jobs: Penn State, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati.
Butch Jones, Central Michigan. He was considered for the West Virginia job, but probably needs more time to prove himself. Jones hopes to cash in on having the talented Dan LeFevour by landing a BCS gig. Potential Jobs: West Virginia, Rutgers, Michigan State.
Jerry Kill, Northern Illinois. He's yet to be a coach at the I-A level, but had tremendous success in a difficult situation at Southern Illinois. Potential Jobs: Northwestern, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri.
Tom Amstutz, Toledo. Toledo Tom has had a good run, but his best days may be behind him. Unless it's felt that he would be a sure fire success, AD's may choose to pass on the bloated, Curly look-alike, Amstutz. Potential Jobs: Cincinnati, Indiana.