Jim Harbaugh and 8 College Coaches Who Deserve a Shot in the NFL

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Jim Harbaugh and 8 College Coaches Who Deserve a Shot in the NFL
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

If there is one thing that remains constant about the National Football League, it's change.

Players, even the marquee, big-name ones, routinely swap uniforms in the offseason.

Teams that were doormats just a year prior (like Tampa Bay, Kansas City) all of a sudden become playoff contenders due to some solid draft picks, improved player development and maybe a little luck here and there.

And, almost like an annual office Christmas-gift exchange, coaches are fired and downgraded to television studio jobs and small-college gigs.

Most of the league's top coaches (Bill Belichick, Mike Tomlin, Rex Ryan, Andy Reid) are guys who have been in the NFL for an extended period of time. They might start off at lower level positions but ultimately their understanding of X's and O's or player philosophy/psychology gets them to the top.

But some teams love to make the big hire. They want to bring in a name that will get the media buzzing, the fans excited and the season-ticket holders to renew their purchases for the next year.

It's oftentimes in these situations where college coaches get their opportunity to shine at the next level. However, because of an overall dismal track record from coaches making the leap (Pete Carroll in New England, Nick Saban in Miami, Bobby Petrino in Atlanta, Steve Spurrier in Washington, Butch Davis in Cleveland, to name a few), more and more college coaches are happy with their respective schools and don't want to use their position as leverage for an NFL job.

That's not to say it can't and won't be done, though. There are a handful of coaches who run pro-style offenses in college, understand the fundamental differences between the professional and college game and have the ability to handle egos, juggle various personalities and properly motivate players to be successful as an NFL coach.

Let's take a look at a few of those guys and see if any would be willing to leave their current job for a chance at glory on the highest level...

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