Recent college coaches who have made the leap to the NFL have not fared so well. Nick Saban, Mike Riley, Dennis Erickson, Butch Davis, Steve Spurrier and Bobby Petrino all struggled during their time in the NFL. In 19 seasons combined, they have just two winning seasons among them.
However, there are some fantastic coaches at the college level that deserve a shot at the NFL.
On this list you won't see anyone who already got their shot. There won't be Saban, Riley, Erickson, Davis, Spurrier or Petrino on the list.
You also won't see Urban Meyer or Joe Paterno. Meyer has retired and Paterno is just too old to make the move.
So read on to find out the coaches who most deserve a shot at the next level.
Current Team: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Career Record: 178-62-2
Why He Would Be Successful: Brian Kelly might have won just seven games in his first season in South Bend, but he is clearly a guy who has a successful history. He has won nearly everywhere he has coached.
At Cincinnati, Kelly lost just six games in his three seasons there.
Now, I am not sure that his spread offense would translate at the next level, but he has sent quite a few players to the NFL and he has shown that he can adapt to his surroundings wherever he is.
Current Team: San Diego State Aztecs
Career Record: 38-46
Why He Would Be Successful: Now I know Brady Hoke's career record is not that impressive, but anyone who can lead Ball State to 12 wins and can lead San Diego State to its first bowl win since 1969 has a chance to win where ever he goes.
Hoke is a defensive line coach and he is a great motivator. He also showed at SDSU that he is able to hire good coaches around him to set the schemes while he plays the role of head coach. That lack of ego would help him at the next level.
Current Team: Iowa Hawkeyes
Career Record: 100-78
Why He Would Be Successful: Kirk Ferentz has NFL ties after being an offensive line coach for the Cleveland Browns when they made the move to Baltimore to become the Ravens. He also sent 11 players to play in the NFL when he was the offensive line coach in Iowa in the 1980s.
Offensive line coaches seem to have more success in the NFL than other position coaches, and Ferentz has that background. That would help him if he did make a move to the next level.
Current Team: LSU Tigers
Career Record: 89-38
Why He Would Be Successful: Let's face it, Les Miles does have trouble when it comes to end-of-game management, but so does Andy Reid and many other NFL Coaches. Miles would fit right in!
But seriously, Miles turned around an Oklahoma State team that won just four games his first year to a consistent winner by the time he left for LSU.
By the end of his third season at LSU, Miles had led the Tigers to two BCS wins, including a BCS Championship in 2007.
While I wouldn't want him to coach my team, someone might want to take a chance on him.
Current Team: Auburn Tigers
Career Record: 26-24
Why He Would Be Successful: Now I am not ready to say that Gene Chizik is a hot coaching commodity yet. In fact, I think he could be benefiting from being the head coach when Cam Newton is in school.
However, Chizik is a great defensive mind that was the defensive coordinator when Texas beat USC in the BCS Championship in 2006.
Current Team: Oregon Ducks
Career Record: 22-3
Why He Would Be Successful: Honestly, the only reason I think Chip Kelly deserves a shot at the NFL is because I would love to see his scheme run with the speed and talent that would be available at the next level.
I am not sure that the misdirection of his offense would work, but there's only one way to find out.
Current Team: Rutgers Scarlett Knights
Career Record: 59-63
Why He Would Be Successful: Greg Schiano has done a great job turning Rutgers into a Big East contender. He is also the only coach in the history of Rutgers football to win a bowl game.
Schiano also has NFL experience. He was a defensive coach in Chicago in the late 1990s.
Current Team: Missouri Tigers
Career Record: 150-85-3
Why He Would Be Successful: Gary Pinkel has turned Missouri into a Big 12 North contender year in and year out. The Tigers have not finished lower than 2nd in the Big 12 North since 2005.
He does run a spread offense, but he is a great play caller and has a knack for quarterbacks.
Current Team: Oklahoma State Cowboys
Career Record: 46-29
Why He Would Be Successful: Mike Gundy is coaching at his Alma Mater and after spending most of his coaching career as an offensive assistant in Stillwater, he now is the big man there.
This is the first year that the Cowboys have won 10 games under Gundy, but OSU has only had a losing record once—his first season.
Current Team: Texas Longhorns
Career Record: 219-108-1
Why He Would Be Successful: Mack Brown would be higher on this list, but he is a little old to make the move to the NFL at this point.
Brown suffered his first losing season at Texas this year. Prior to that, Brown had only had four losing seasons since his head coaching career began in 1983.
Current Team: BYU Cougars
Career Record: 55-21
Why He Would Be Successful: Under Bronco Mendenhall, BYU has been one of the premier non-BCS schools in college football. He has put quite a few players in the NFL and has never missed a bowl game as a head coach.
Mendenhall might not have the NFL ties that would help him get a job, but he is one of the best coaches in college football currently.
Current Team: Virginia Tech Hokies
Career Record: 240-117-4
Why He Would Be Successful: Frank Beamer is another guy who would be higher on this list if he were younger. Since he arrived at Virginia Tech in 1987, he has been to five BCS bowl games.
Throw in seven conference championships and Beamer is one of the best coaches in college football.
Current Team: UConn Huskies
Career Record: 73-69
Why He Would Be Successful: Randy Edsall has been the head coach at UConn since 1999 when the Huskies made the leap from 1-AA to 1-A. This year, the Huskies are in their first ever BCS bowl after winning the Big East.
Edsall also has NFL ties. He is the protege of current NY Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, who he both played for and coached under at Syracuse. He also coached defensive backs for Coughlin in Jacksonville.
Current Team: Utah Utes
Career Record: 58-20
Why He Would Be Successful: Kyle Whittingham took over Utah from Urban Meyer when Meyer took the job at Florida. Since then, Utah has been one of the best non-BCS teams in the nation. Whittingham has won two BCS bowl games and finished 2008 with an undefeated record.
Whittingham's detractors might say that he hasn't had enough success against quality competition, but he will get his chance starting next year when Utah makes the leap to the newly expanded Pac-12.
Current Team: Oklahoma Sooners
Career Record: 128-31
Why He Would Be Successful: Bob Stoops has been at Oklahoma since 1999 and has been to eight BCS bowls during that time. Stoops won a BCS Championship in 2000, and his teams have been ranked in the top 10 seven times so far.
Stoops has had a tendency to struggle in big games, but he is still one of the premier coaches in America.
Current Team: Ohio State Buckeyes
Career Record: 240-79-2
Why He Would Be Successful: Jim Tressel started his head coaching career at Youngstown State, where he led the Penguins to four division 1-AA championships and another two championship games.
He carried that success over to Ohio State, where he has led the Buckeyes to eight BCS bowls and a BCS Championship.
Current Team: TCU Horned Frogs
Career Record: 97-28
Why He Would Be Successful: Gary Patterson has turned TCU into one of the powers of college football. The Horned Frogs are in their second straight BCS game this year, which is quite a feat for a team from a non-BCS conference.
Patterson is a marquee defensive mind in college football right now. He helped lead TCU to the top scoring defense in the country.
Current Team: Mount Union Purple Raiders
Career Record: 303-23-3
Why He Would Be Successful: Larry Kehres is the one name on this list that isn't immediately recognizable. That's because he isn't an FBS coach. Kehres coaches at Division III school Mount Union, where he has been since 1986.
While coaching at a Division III school might not seem that impressive, Kehres has turned it into an art form. Kehres has won 10 National Championships during his tenure at Mount Union, and in the last 10 years, the Purple Raiders have only failed to make the National Championship game once.
Anyone with that kind of coaching success will have a chance to make an impact where ever he ends up.
Current Team: Boise State Broncos
Career Record: 61-5
Why He Would Be Successful: Chris Petersen is one of the marquee coaches in college football. He has turned Boise State into one of the biggest threats against the BCS.
So far in his coaching career, Petersen has two undefeated teams to his credit and he has only lost more than one game once.
Petersen is also one of the best play-callers in all of college football. If he were to make the jump to the NFL, he would be a welcomed addition to any NFL staff.
Current Team: Stanford Cardinals
Career Record: 57-27
Why He Would Be Successful: Jim Harbaugh is a former NFL quarterback with a Big 10 mentality. He has taken that mentality and applied it to one of the historical academic institutes.
Haurbaugh is among the hottest coaching commodities in football. With plenty of openings expected this offseason, if he were to leave Stanford, it would most likely be for an NFL job.