Early Risers: Top 5 Rookie Coaches to Make an Impact their First Season
With a new season comes new coaches. Some will be better than others, but all in all its hard to predict who will be best. What is in store for these new coaches, well they got a pretty good idea already. Now whats in store fo the fans, well here is the most accurate prediction I can give you. You might find that there will twists and turns, but you will find it to be accurate when the season begins.
Honorable Mention: Skip Holtz/ USF
Skip Holtz is a very well renowned coach. He is the son of legendary coach Lou Holtz. He won two C-USA Conference titles at East Carolina. I believe he will do pretty good his first season at USF, but it is hard to tell, due to the drama that followed the firing of Jim Leavitt. Skip Holtz will get the job done, but in his first year is questionable thats why he has earned the first honorable mention
Honorable Mention: Lane Kiffin/ USC
Lane Kiffin finished his first season with Tennessee with a 7-6 record. Which actually was not bad for being a first year college coach and debuting in the SEC. He had close calls with Florida and Alabama.
Both those teams won their SEC divisions with Alabama going on to win the national title. Now no one can cast a shadow like Pete Carrol did at USC, but Kiffin is going to do his best impression. Lane Kiffin wil do dissent at USC, but he has earned a honorable mention because of the recruiting investigation thats going on at USC right now.
Honorable Mention: Ruffin Mcneill/East Carolina
Ruffin Mcneill surprised me when he was able to win the Holiday Bowl at Texas Tech despite the Mike Leach drama that was going on. This shows that he is a good coach and was one of the top candidates for Texas Tech job. Although he didnt get the job at Texas Tech he did get the job at his alma mater, East Carolina. I feel he should be quite successful continuing the dynasty Skip Holtz started. The only thing that slows him down and causes him to be on the honorable mention list is his experience at being a head coach.
5. Tommy Tuberville/ Texas Tech
There are positives and negatives about putting Tommy Tuberville at number five. The negatives being the stress of trying to continue a dynasty despite all the Mike Leach drama. Another negative being that he had to take a year off from coaching after being fired by Auburn.The positives that put him at number five are that he has been a good coach. He led Auburn to an undefeated season, SEC Championship, a winning record in bowl games, and he is the only Auburn coach to beat Alabama six times in a row. He had one bad year due to offensive trouble, but till this day I believe that Auburn firing Tommy Tuberville was the stupidest thing they have ever done. Tommy Tuberville is a good coach that knows how to get the job done and will have a winning record at Texas Tech his first season.
If you thought it was hard putting Tommy Tuberville at number five, it was even harder putting Charlie Strong at number 4. Charlie Strong is a great defensive coordinator that knows what it takes to be a head coach, I feel any coordinator that comes out of a the SEC to be a head coach will most likely be successful depending on the team. Well this SEC team was Florida, and as you saw this year Dan Mullen did a pretty good job at Mississippi State. It will be hard to clean up a program that Steve Kragthorpe ruined, but I feel Charlie Strong has the skills to start where Bobby Petrino ended.
3. Jimbo Fisher/Florida State
The new head coach in waiting does not have to wait any longer. Jimbo Fisher is ready to take Florida State back to the top. Of course, Jimbo Fisher will NEVER be Bobby Bowden. Despite this he is going to do his best to cast his own shadow at Florida State. He brought in a very impressive recruiting class. The only rookie coach that beat him in recruiting was Lane Kiffin. Jimbo Fisher is an offensive mastermind and even though he did not put up the best number at FSU, he has the keys to be a very successful head coach. His successful jump into head coaching will start his first season.
2. Brian Kelly/Notre Dame
Bryan Kelly believe it or not will actually bring Notre Dame back to the top. How long it will take to do it is questionable, but what is not questionable is what he is going to do his first season at Notre Dame. He has already gotten the team on track during the spring, and with last years record while he was at Cincinnati, it is hard to say he is not going to be good. The only major problem Kelly faces is replacing quarterback Jimmy Clausen. Kelley will find a replacement, and upset a few teams to show he is the real deal. It would even be better if Notre Dame joined a real conference.
1. Turner Gill/Kansas
Now wait a second Turner Gill at number one? Really? Yes, really. Turner Gill like many coaches has his positives and negatives. His negatives being his prior head coaching job was at Buffalo. His coaching record is 20-30. So why is he number one? He is number one because Turner Gill craves being the underdog. He was an underdog bringing a program like Buffalo to its peak. Well even though in his first season at Buffalo he only won two games, the team scored more points that season than ever before. He was an underdog when he played undefeated Ball State in the MAC Championship. I you do not remember, Buffalo won that game. Turner Gill is the real deal, and if you do not believe just watch. He is going to upset some major teams in the Big 12 this year despite the fact that he is inheriting a program that has the same coaching drama as USF and Texas Tech.