Today's college football world is a literal coaching carousel, where lack of production, job opportunities at other schools, and the ever elusive call up to the NFL will cause the carousel's song to stop playing at any given moment.
Just this year alone USC and Notre Dame, two of college football's milestone programs, lost their coaches for two very different reasons.
Additionally, Bobby Bowden officially called it a career and handed the reigns of Florida State over to his successor. (Yes, he gets a shout out here as the cover picture even though he can no longer be included on this list because he's earned it, damn it!)
17 other college football programs joined these three in the coaching search sweepstakes this spring, with some hiring each others' coaches in the process.
To say it is a rarity for a coach to stay at one place for 10 or more years is an understatement. There are 19 schools right now, to be exact, who have retained the same football coach for the past decade.
The motto of the story is if you find a good coach you had better hang on to him. But, have any of these schools held on to their coaches too long?
Here's the power rankings of college coaches who will have been with their respective universities for 10 or more years at the start of this season and a verdict as to whether they deserve 10 more.
Jim Grobe will be entering his 10th year at Wake Forest in 2010, and with a 59-51 record he has the third worst winning percentage amongst the tenured coaches.
The Demon Deacons have been to four bowls under Coach Grobe, including the 2006 Orange Bowl.
Wake Forest missed out on a bowl game in 2009, however, and the outlook for them to do well in the ACC in 2010 is not so good.
VERDICT: Coach Grobe will be lucky to keep his job for 2011, let alone 2020.
Ralph Friedgen is entering his 10th year at Maryland, and despite a 2-10 season in 2009 he has posted a 66-46 record at Maryland.
His first season at Maryland in 2001 helped to boost that record, as Coach Friedgen and Maryland won the ACC title that year.
Coach Friedgen's .589 winning percentage incorporates four bowl game wins, including a 30-3 Peach Bowl victory over Tennessee in 2002 and another dominating win over West Virginia in the 2003 Gator Bowl.
VERDICT: The Terrapins are playing catch-up in the ACC this season, and another sub-.500 record won't be a bargaining chip for Coach Friedgen in contract negotiations.
Howard Schnellenberger is the third coach in a row on our list who will be entering his 10th year at his university.
Coach Schnellenberger has been the only head coach of Florida Atlantic, who formed its football program in 2001 and quickly moved up to the Division I level in 2004.
Since becoming a D1 program, Florida Atlantic has had a 36-37 record, including bowl wins in 2007 and 2008.
Coach Schnellenberger is actually undefeated when it comes to bowl games, as he is 6-0 for his career with Florida Atlantic, Miami, Louisville, and Oklahoma.
VERDICT: Coach Schnellenberger is a staple in the Florida community and knows how to recruit in that state. With expectations not too high at FAU, its easy to see Florida Atlantic keeping him for the next couple of years, despite his record.
Larry Blakeney has always been the more tenured Trojans coach, even though his Trojans play 3,000 miles from the Coliseum.
Coach Blakeney will be entering his 20th season as Troy's head coach, including 13 when the school was a Division II and then an FCS team.
Since joining Division I, Troy has had a 61-48 (.560) record and four bowl appearances.
Coach Blakeney was 77-22 at the FCS level and didn't suffer his first non-winning season until 2002, when the Trojans went 6-6.
Troy went 9-4 under Coach Blakeney in 2009 and is expected to be competing for a Sun Belt Conference Championship this year.
VERDICT: As the only coach in Troy's history, it's pretty safe to say that the job belongs to Coach Blakeney for as long as he wants it.
Randy Edsall will be entering his 12th season as Connecticut's head coach.
Despite a rough start to his career at UConn, Coach Edsall has earned a 62-58 record, including an 8-5 2009 season.
Coach Edsall has definitely turned the tide in Connecticut and has coached the Huskies to three bowl games in a row now despite playing in a very competitive Big East conference.
UConn recently beat South Carolina in the 2009 PapaJohns.com Bowl and is projected to do well in the Big East in 2010.
VERDICT: UConn should let Randy Edsall coach for 10 more years, but chances are he will move on to a bigger program eventually.
Chris Ault will be entering his 26th year as Nevada's head football coach, including stints from 1976-1992, 1994 and 1995, and now 2004-2009.
Coach Ault is unique on this list because he is the only coach to have coached his tenured team three different times.
The Wolf Pack are 68-43 (.613) under Coach Ault since he took over for Chris Tormey after the 2003 season. Nevada also had a 138-53-1 record under Coach Ault as an FCS team.
The Wolf Pack have now been to five straight bowls under Coach Ault and had their first winning season since 1998 in 2005, when they also won the Hawaii Bowl in overtime against Central Florida.
VERDICT: Considering this is Coach Ault's third time around Nevada's coaching carousel, it's his job for as long as he wants it. Especially if he keeps going to bowl games.
Greg Schiano will be entering his 10th year as Rutgers' head coach, and the latter part of his tenure has been a wild ride.
Coach Schiano has a .500 record with the Scarlet Knights (55-55) but has been on a roll of late, posting 7-5 records in 2007 and 2008 and a 9-4 record in 2009.
Also, Coach Schiano has been to five straight bowl games and was victorious in the last four.
2006 was a storied year for the Rutgers program, as it went 10-2 and won the Texas Bowl 37-10 over Kansas State and earned a No. 15 BCS ranking.
VERDICT: Coach Schiano had multiple job opportunities after 2006 and turned them all down to stay at Rutgers, but there will be many more in the next 10 years.
Mike Riley has been the head coach at Oregon State for going on 10 years now, with a little break between 1998 and 2003.
Coach Riley has a 64-47 record, giving Oregon State a .576 winning percentage in a tough Pac-10 conference that was being dominated by USC.
Oregon State was a historically losing program in the 80's and 90's, but it has found its niche in the 2000's with Coach Riley at the helm.
Oregon State has five straight bowl appearances and has consistently been in the top half of the Pac-10 standings under Coach Riley despite being one of the smallest schools.
VERDICT: Coach Riley's name was thrown around for the USC position this spring, but he held firm at Oregon State. If that job didn't pull him out of Corvallis, nothing will. Yes, at least 10 more years at Oregon State for hiim.
Kirk Ferentz is entering his 12th year at Iowa and is coming off a tremendous 2009 season.
Coach Ferentz is 81-55 in his tenure at Iowa, giving him a .595 winning percentage. He's added a 5-3 bowl record to that percentage, including a 24-14 win over Georgia Tech in the 2009 Orange Bowl.
The Hawkeyes struggled to a 4-19 record in Coach Ferentz's first two seasons at Iowa but have since turned things around, winning Big Ten championships in 2002 and 2004.
VERDICT: Coach Ferentz has been mighty impressive at Iowa so far, but he won't be the coach in 2020. Whether that is because of him moving on or Iowa moving on is still up in the air.
Gary Pinkel has nine football seasons under his belt at Missouri and will be gearing up for his 10th this fall.
Coach Pinkel has posted a 67-46 record at Missouri, giving him a .592 winning percentage. He also had 73 additional wins with Toledo between 1991 and 2000.
Coach Pinkel has been to five straight bowl games with Missouri and six bowl games in the last seven seasons.
In 2007 the Tigers rolled to a 12-2 season and won the Big 12 North Title, their first since 1969.
VERDICT: Despite two losing seasons at the start of his career in Missouri, Coach Pinkel has given Tigers' fans a reason to celebrate, and unless one of the Top 10 programs comes knocking on his door, Coach Pinkel will be at Missouri for a long time.
Pat Hill has been the coach of the Fresno State Bulldogs for 13 seasons now, and 2010 will be his 14th.
Pat Hill has a 100-66 (.602) record with Fresno State, including a miraculous 2001 season that included upsets of Colorado and Wisconsin on its way to an 11-3 record and at one point a No. 8 ranking.
The Bulldogs have found themselves in a bowl game for the last seven seasons and beat No. 18 Virginia in overtime in the 2004 MPC Computers Bowl, 37-34.
Pat Hill has won six games against Top 25 opponents and one against a Top 10.
VERDICT: Its hard to believe that he hasn't left for greener pastures, but Pat Hill always manages to recruit well and win games. Fresno State would be lucky to have him for 10 more years.
Gary Patterson has been with Texas Christian for going on 10 years and had the best of those 10 years in 2009.
Coach Patterson has an 85-28 (.752) record at Texas Christian, giving him one of the highest winning percentages amongst tenured coaches.
In 2009 the Texas Christian Horned Frogs posted a 12-1 record and earned a No. 3 ranking at one point.
The Horned Frogs then dropped the Fiesta Bowl to fellow non-BCS conference team Boise State.
Coach Patterson has been to a bowl game in each of his nine seasons at Texas Christian and will be looking to dominate the Mountain West Conference in 2010 to go 10-for-10.
VERDICT: Gary Patterson will inevitably be snatched up by a bigger program that should also give him at least 10 seasons to perform.
Bill Snyder has now logged 18 seasons as Kansas State's head coach after taking the team back over in 2009.
2010 will be Coach Snyder's 19th at Kansas State, and after a 6-6 season in 2009 he still has some work to do to return Kansas State to the prominence it had during his first tenure.
In all Coach Snyder is 142-74-1 at Kansas State, giving him a .654 winning percentage.
Coach Snyder had also been to 11 straight bowl games during his time with the Wildcats, including the 2003 Fiesta Bowl. He also coached Kansas State to a No. 1 ranking in 1998 and a Big 12 Championship in 2003.
VERDICT: Coach Snyder tried to retire in 2005, so he may not have another 10 years left in him, but Kansas State would love to have him for as long as he can resist the shuffle board courts.
This will be Frank Beamer's 24th season with the Virgina Tech Hokies, and he has been the only Division I coach in Virgina Tech's history.
With a 187-92-2 record, Coach Beamer has a .665 winning percentage and 17 bowl appearances.
Virgina Tech went to back-to-back Orange Bowls in 2007 and 2008, beating Cincinnati 20-7 in the latter.
Coach Beamer has won three Big East championships and three ACC championships so far at Virginia Tech.
VERDICT: Coach Beamer definitely deserves to be the coach at Virgina Tech until he decides to retire. The only question is whether or not that will be in the next 10 years.
Mark Richt has been a Georgia Bulldog for nine seasons now and will be taking the field for his 10th in 2010.
During that time Coach Richt has had an astounding 90-27 record (.769). Add nine bowl appearances, seven of which were wins, and you have a formula for success in the SEC.
Georgia crushed Hawaii in the 2007 Sugar Bowl 41-10 and has won four bowl games in a row dating back to 2006.
Coach Richt coached Georgia to its first SEC title in 20 years in 2002. He is also one of only five SEC coaches to win more than 10 games in four straight years.
VERDICT: Yes, Coach Richt is fairly young, and Georgia is a high profile job in a high profile conference, so his tenure is solid as long as he keeps winning, which statistics indicate he will.
Mack Brown has been the head coach of the Texas Longhorns for 12 seasons now and will be coaching a 13th in 2010.
Coach Brown has posted a ridiculous .825 winning percentage, going 128-27 in his time at Texas. That gives him the highest winning percentage amongst our tenured coaches.
The Longhorns won Big 12 championships in 2005 and 2009 and won the National Championship in 2005.
Coming off a 13-1 season, Coach Brown looks to compete for another Big 12 championship in 2010.
VERDICT: Texas has already announced that Will Muschamp will succeed Coach Brown, indicating that Brown may have one foot out the door. But that also means that the job is taken until Coach Brown leaves.
This will be Jim Tressel's 10th season at The Ohio State University, and after an 11-2 record in 2009 he has the Buckeyes primed for a National Championship run in 2010.
Coach Tressel has amassed a 94-21 record at Ohio State and has nine bowl appearances. His .817 winning percentage is the second most amongst our tenured coaches.
Coach Tressel has had two 19-game winning streaks and had back-to-back National Championship appearances in 2006 and 2007.
Ohio State won the National Championship in 2002 over Miami in one of the greatest college football games ever played.
Add six Big 10 championships to his resume (and a probable seventh in 2010), and it's easy to see why Coach Tressel has made it into the Top Three.
VERDICT: The only way Coach Tressel will not be the coach at Ohio State for the next 10 years will be if he accepts one of the bevy of NFL offers he'll receive in that time period.
Bob Stoops has been with Oklahoma for 11 years now, making 2010 his 12th.
Coach Stoops has a ridiculous .801 winning percentage, going 117-24 in that time period.
Coach Stoops' bowl record is less impressive, however, as he is 5-6 in bowl game appearances (granted these are mostly high-profile bowl appearances).
Coach Stoops coached Oklahoma to the National Title Game in 2000, 2003, 2004, and 2008, winning the National Title in 2000.
Additionally, Coach Stoops has won six Big 12 championships in his tenure at Oklahoma.
VERDICT: Yes, yes, 1000 times Yes! If Coach Stoops wanted out of Oklahoma he would have left by now, but he's spurned offers from other schools (Notre Dame) and the NFL alike.
Penn State has played 1,202 games in it's football programs history, and Joe Paterno has been on the Penn State coaching staff for 680 of them.
Coach Paterno is now entering his 45th year as the head coach for the Nittany Lions, making him the longest tenured coach at a Division I University in college football history.
In that time period Joe Paterno has earned 394 wins and a winning percentage of .749.
Coach Paterno won National Championships in 1982 and 1986 and is the only coach on this list to have won a national title twice.
Coach Paterno is also a nine-time recipient of the Coach of the Year Award and has won three Big 10 titles.
VERDICT: Jo-Pa should have this job as long as he feels up to it. 45 years is as special as it gets...unless he goes for 55.