So Mack Brown is fired.
It’s not official yet, but the entire college football punditocracy seems to agree on that. So the Texas Longhorns is where we’ll start this list, but this will be a banner offseason. Depending on who gets cut, and when, and how the dominoes all fall into line in response, this will the greatest year for traditional college football programs having coaching vacancies.
If you’re ready to jump to a premier college football program, 2013 is the year to do it.
1. Texas Longhorns
With all that money and power this program has, via the Longhorn Network, they could be the most potent college football program in the nation. I think they may have passed up Notre Dame in that regard. And they’re the flagship school in the most college football crazy state in the country. Brown had his goose cooked when they gave up 556 yards rushing to Brigham Young; a school record.
That game was…well, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a group of Latter-Day Saints move like that. And I’ve seen The Book of Mormon twice.
2. USC Trojans
Hey Lane Kiffin won a game! Too late, too little. Remember when USC was everyone’s preseason in college football last year? And they totally flopped? Remember when Matt Barkley was the consensus #1 overall NFL Draft pick? How’d that turn out? This one seems to be a certainty, like the Texas job.
3. Nebraska Cornhuskers
The people who said Bo Pelini should be fired over his f-bomb rant are…kind of stupid?! Or desperately adopting a dumb extremist position in order to get media attention?
Yeah, it was a big deal, and NU probably is going to part ways with Pelini, but they would never consider it now. The Nebraska University statement sai d a lot of air-kissed platitudes and corporatespeak, but there was one rather important sentence in there. A.D. Tom Osborne knew of the tape for over a year, and he didn’t can Bo. So why would he do it in midseason?
That said, they could go 9-3 again, and get shredded in the Big Ten title game. Then their defense would get obliterated in a bowl game. Remember Pelini was the Defensive Coordinator at LSU. He hangs his hat on defense, and this is what his defense is? Hey, thanks for coming! Bo.
4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
will Brian Kelly bolt for the NFL after this season? Like another coach named Kelly, maybe BK did one season of seriously testing the NFL waters, then leaves the very next season when he finds the right fit job; a la Chip Kelly. Clearly, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are not the landing place for Brian Kelly. He’ll better deal them eventually, if not this year.
It’s possible ND will be 8-4 or worse this year, does that severely impair Kelly’s coaching stock? And now rumors are swirling that A.D Jack Swarbrick won’t be there much longer. So ND could be looking for a package deal soon.
5. Texas Agricultural & Manziel
JFF has elevated the profile of this program so much that they raised $750 million in donations in one year. Manziel has generated around $89 million in publicity for the school. I’m quoting two studies on this, but I’m not citing them because I don’t know if they’re truly legit. They sound pretty dead on accurate though. Kevin Sumlin has seen his stock soar while standing on the shoulders of Manziel. He’s on NFL radar and even though he’s only been there two years, you gotta strike while the iron is hot.
So think of all the traditional college football powers which will be undergoing regime change in the next few months.
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An analyst for 95.7 The Fan and 1620 The Zone, he also writes for Chicago Now. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and FacebookPowered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks