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2023 College Football Coaches Carousel Notes: Matt Rhule Hits 'A+' While Scott Satterfield Starts 'C'

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Matt Rhule A+ By all appearances, Rhule was the #1 pick for the AD Trev Alberts. Rhule first turned down Nebraska. Alberts deserves a bonus for getting what might be the best name on the board. Rhule is a proven recovery artist (see: Temple, Baylor) who will be in his element in Lincoln. The next step is a baby step for the Cornhuskers in what will be an even tougher Big Ten with no divisions in the future: a goddamn bowl game. Lucas Fickell A+ A year after Fickell was heavily courted by the likes of USC and LSU, he found his new home. It makes perfect sense that he switched from the Big Ten footprint to the real Big Ten. This will be one of the most fascinating transformations. AD Chris McIntosh got rid of Paul Chryst because the coach didn’t embrace the modern game. That means NIL involvement, a portal dive, and the hiring of the talented Phil Longo as offensive coordinator. Long comes from Mike Leach’s Air Raid tree, most recently with Drake Maye in North Carolina. The Badgers will never stop hitting the ball, but get ready to have some fun. Air Wisconsin? Deion Sanders ONE If you accept that CU sold his soul a little by convincing Trainer Prime to embrace two things he doesn’t necessarily like – the west and the cold – this is nothing but a monster hire. Sanders is already knocking out the roster in hopes of becoming competitive right away. The entire university has already eased its transfer restrictions to help get more football players into the school. There’s no doubt that Prime can coach, and he already has a starting quarterback (son Shedeur Sanders) and the No. 1 player in 2022 (Travis Hunter), both transfers from Jackson State. Get ready. Deion is bringing street to Pearl Street. Jeff Brohm ONE Brohm returned home. That’s all you need to know about a coach who just ran for the title of the richest conference in the country (Big Ten). Brohm peaked in his sixth season at Purdue, winning 17 games over his final two seasons. Brohm will provide Louisville with a rebirth as a native son and local legend as one of Howard Schellenberger’s quarterbacks. It will be easier to win in the reconfigured AAC. Brohm will possibly have a better chance of a College Football Playoff berth with Louisville when the CFP expands. Jamey Chadwell ONE Chadwell apparently turned down several chances to leave coastal Carolina for bigger programs. I can’t tell you why. He chose Liberty, which has a lot of features but is anything but Power Five. After the loss of Freeze, this is about as good as the Flames could have made it. Hugh Freeze ONE- Kiffin Lane was Plan A. There was no Plan C. That’s because by the time Kiffin turned onto Auburn, Freeze was already crawling over broken glass to get to the Plains. He paid his penance for being an outcast by the way he left Ole Miss. At Liberty, Freeze proved that he has lost none of his ability to call plays and run a program. Is he weird and quirky? Absolutely, which means he’s a perfect fit for Auburn. Kevin Wilson B+ Tulsa is not an easy place to beat. It shares space in the state with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. But Wilson remains a respected figure in Oklahoma because of his work with Bob Stoops. His resume includes a rough sojourn in Indiana, but also overseeing a Heisman Trophy winner (Sam Bradford, 2008) and two-time Heisman finalist (CJ Stroud, 2021-2020. This disciple of Leach should revitalize interest as the hurricane has a better chance of winning on a reconfigured AAC. GJ Kinne B+ Observers praise the potential of the state of Texas. Kinne was hired because he can tap into that potential as a Texas native and head coach for the Incarnate Word in San Antonio. In their only season, the Cardinals went 12–2 and advanced to the FCS Semifinals. Kenny Dillingham B One of the surprises of this carousel. AD Ray Anderson was allowed to make the signing after the failed Herm Edwards era. But Anderson made a huge comeback, landing one of the hottest coaches in the country. Dillingham, 32, is the youngest head of the Power Five. He has extensive experience at four FBS schools, three of them in the Power Five. The Phoenix native is the last to try to wake this sleeping giant. tom herman B It worked for Lane Kiffin. It didn’t work for Willie Taggart. Regardless, FAU has become a place where coaches can rehabilitate their careers. The former Texas coach makes his break after two years out of the game. Herman will have a lot of access to Florida talent, and if the Owls can tap into Boca Raton NIL money, who knows? Kiffin won 11 games twice in FAU. Herman has a similar appearance, trying to rebuild a still promising career. Alex Golesh B Tennessee’s offensive coordinator was going somewhere. He chose USF deep in his fortunes. There is a lot of talent in a professional city. The Vols finished first in total offense and scoring. Golesh has a lot of experience at UCF, Iowa State, Illinois and Oklahoma State. Let’s hope USF didn’t make a mistake by hiring another coordinator with no head coaching experience. Eric Morris B If someone asks you to name Patrick Mahomes’ college offensive coordinator, Morris is your answer. In 2015, with Mahomes at the controls, Texas Tech was second in scoring and yards. There’s a lot of offensive potential here in a show that has become offensively obsolete. Morris hails from Washington state, where he was coordinator, having brought QB Cameron Ward with him from Incarnate Word. Ryan Walters B- If not for Deion, Walters would probably be the trainer at his alma mater. And it would have made perfect sense. But when Colorado became Prime, Walters became a curious hire in West Lafayette. Boilermakers traditionally hire offensive coaches. Throwing the ball is the best way to compete in the Big Ten. Meanwhile, Walters is one of the best defensive minds in the game. As Illinois coordinator, the Illini finished second in total defense and yards per play. But is that what Purdue needs? Zach Arnett B- The only surprise here is that Arnett was elevated less than 24 hours after Leach’s death. Regardless, he is a rising star who lands his first head coaching job at age 36 with the SEC. Any defensive coordinator who can play complementary football amid Air Raid deserves credit. Hiring deserves full marks because of the circumstances. Who else would the Bulldogs get to know about the league and the program? Barry Odom B- UNLV believes it can enter the Pac-12. That goal likely had something to do with Marcus Arroyo being sacked after a promising (for UNLV) 5-7 season. Odom was chosen to seize the moment. The Rebels play in an NFL stadium and have a new football facility. Odom brings a lot of experience as an established defensive mind. 500 as head coach at Missouri, his alma mater. Tim Beck C+ Beck has big issues to fill with the loss of Chadwell. But recruiting near the beach in a fortified sunbelt gives him a chance of success. The life assistant lands his first major job at age 56. Beck’s NC State offenses never finished higher than eighth in the ACC. Trent Dilfer C+ I have no idea if Dilfer can win at UAB. This matters? He thinks he can win at UAB. Throughout his career, Dilfer has been a force of nature, whether it’s winning a Super Bowl, rising to the Elite 11, becoming a TV personality, or winning state championships at a private school in Nashville. In the post-Bill Clark era, Dilfer can legitimately sell a playoff berth to a transitional AAC program that has won Conference USA twice since 2018. troy taylor C+ Like most people, I last remember Troy Taylor as QB for Cal (1986-89). This hire is more about what Stanford is willing to do with her. To compete in the Power Five, the cardinal must loosen admission standards and enter the transfer portal. That simple. Anything less and uncertainty grows in a place that doesn’t know which conference it will play in. By the way, Taylor was 30-8 at Sacramento State. Biff Poggi Ç This hedge fund millionaire lived every man’s dream. He took his riches and rose from high school coach to the lower levels of FBS. Who are we to doubt the coach of a program that spent eight years at FBS? In the meantime, Poggi became an assistant/right hand head coach to Jim Harbaugh at Michigan. Brent Key Ç Another rookie head coach, Key got the job 4–4 as an interim following the firing of Geoff Collins. Someone, somewhere needs to harness all the talent in and around Atlanta. Key is a GT alum who at least knows the way to success, even if it’s fraught with loss. Somewhere, Paul Johnson is still laughing. Scott Satterfield Ç Three quarters into Louisville’s season, Satterfield was still in the hot seat. The Cardinals caught fire and finished 8–5. Satterfield finished 25-24 in four seasons. Did he leave before the platoon? Hard to say, but he immediately improved his prospects. Cincinnati heads into the Big 12 two years away from a CFP berth, having played in its last two AAC titles (winning one). Kenni Burns Ç Burns was never a coordinator, but those kinds of guys get jobs at MAC. As of 2019, he was the assistant head coach for Minnesota’s running backs. Under his watch, five different Gophers have rushed for 100 yards in 2021. In 2022, Mohamed Ibrahim led the Big Ten with nearly 1,600 yards. Row the Golden Flashes? Brian Newberry Ç- AD Chet Gladchuk had to hit a home run after unceremoniously sacking Ken Niumatalolo. Gladchuk traded the winningest coach in program history going home. Newberry apparently had support in the locker room. Navy can compete for the AAC title with the right trainer. If Coach Ken has been fired 11-23 over the past three seasons, wasn’t Newberry part of the problem? lance taylor Ç- Louisville’s offense was not good (27 points per game) during Taylor’s only season as coordinator. He had never been a coordinator before. Consider that the Cardinals’ late comeback was enough for Taylor’s boss Satterfield to flee town. In 2015, Taylor recruited Bryce Love and was named running backs coach of the year after coaching Christian McCaffrey at Stanford.

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