How Five New College Football Coaches will Fare in 2010
After an offseason full of coaching changes, the 2010 college football season will be full of new faces across the country.
From Tallahassee to Los Angeles and Knoxville to South Bend, new coaches are aplenty and will have mixed results in their debut seasons. Let's take a look at how each coach will likely fare in 2010.
Lane Kiffin, USC
Lane Kiffin has done less and gotten more than any coach in the country. His horrendous career as the Raiders' head coach led to a job in Knoxville.
And since major college programs apparently look for coaches with a 7-6 record at Tennessee, Kiffin landed another high-profile job, this time at USC.
Kiffin is better known for his antics off the field than his coaching record. He received numerous NCAA recruiting violations while in Knoxville and disgruntled nearly every coach in the SEC with his recruiting "strategies."
Am I being a bit hard on Kiffin? Yes. Is it deserved? Yes.
Until he actually wins, I have a tough time believing Kiffin will have USC back in the National Championship race any time soon.
The players, good nonetheless, aren't nearly as talented as previous years and the Trojans will have a tough time getting through the improved Pac-10.
Expect mediocrity, and nothing more, from Kiffin's first season. But don't worry, USC fans. Because if history tells us anything, he's an Emerald Bowl away from a job at Texas or Florida.
Prediction : 7-5, December bowl
Jimbo Fisher, Florida State
I like Jimbo Fisher. He was the right hire for Florida State, and I expect him to keep the program and the fan base energized after the departure of NCAA great Bobby Bowden.
Fisher has a lot to work with, but he needs to find a way to harness that talent and turn it into wins, something Bowden was unable to accomplish in the latter part of his career.
Fisher will do a better job of managing his players and expect improvement, but not immediately. Quarterback Christian Ponder has continuously struggled and choked in big games and doesn't seem like he is fit to lead the Seminoles back to the top of the ACC.
But in a few years, when Fisher's new recruits become starters, expect Florida State to be competitive on the national stage once again.
Prediction : 7-5, December bowl
Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
Kelly was the perfect hire for Notre Dame. He's a proven winner, a competitor, and wants to be there.
Notre Dame needs to be reenergized, and Kelly is just the man to do it. Unlike Weis, he plays defense to complement a talented offense and should be able to do wonders with the talent available to him in South Bend.
The problem, though, is that most of the players are gone.
Quarterback Jimmy Clausen is gone, as is his No. 1 receiver Golden Tate.
So don't expect a miracle from Kelly at Notre Dame. His team will be much better than last year, but fans shouldn't expect a BCS bid.
Nevertheless, Notre Dame fans can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing their team finally got it right and is back on the path toward success.
Prediction : 8-4, January bowl
Derek Dooley, Tennessee
Why, Tennessee? Why?
The Lane Kiffin hiring was bad enough. But the Louisiana Tech coach?
I realize Tennessee isn't exactly a high-profile program anymore, but you should have been able to do better than Dooley.
Maybe the Louisiana-Monroe coach wasn't available for an interview.
And on top of the bad hire, Tennessee's team is looking down. The offense isn't clicking, and a tough SEC schedule looms come September.
Expect plenty of mediocrity in Knoxville for the next few seasons. That is, until the Utah State coach gets a shot at the head coaching job.
Prediction : 5-7, no bowl
Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech
Unlike most of the schools that were looking or head coaches this offseason, Texas Tech chose the perfect candidate.
We know that, like always, the Red Raider offense will be good. Taylor Potts is back to lead the explosive, high-powered offense and should put up plenty of points again in 2010.
But Tuberville brings another element to the table that Mike Leach couldn't. He knows how to play defense. That was the missing ingredient during Leach's tenure and kept Tech out of the Big 12 Championship race.
If Tuberville has enough talent on defense, he has the ability to turn the Texas Tech program into a major Big 12 player. And expect that progression to begin in 2010.
Prediction : 8-4, December bowl
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