CLOSE

Here’s a look at the latest head coach hirings and vacancies in college football.
USA TODAY Sports

This year’s coaching carousel wasn’t particularly robust, but there was a chorus of praise from the college football media following nearly every hire. That’s not unusual. Aside from the rare head-scratcher (Ron Turner going to FIU a few years ago) or obvious bad fit (Charlie Weis to Kansas, anyone?), most hires look good the day they’re made.

Of course, reality and history tells us that several of these coaches will be on hot seat lists in three years. And it may not be the ones we think. But here’s an attempt to grade how each school did in this year’s coaching carousel, with the obvious caveat that more moves are possible.

South Florida

Old coach: Willie Taggart
New coach: Charlie Strong
Grade: A

Comment: This was a no-brainer for the Bulls, who had the fortunate timing to lose Taggart right when Strong was available. Strong is back in his comfort zone here, in a state where he has longstanding recruiting ties and at a program without the same sort of spotlight or pressure he faced at Texas. There’s no doubt Strong handled some aspects of the Texas job poorly, but his 37-15 record at Louisville wasn’t a fluke, either. He inherits a roster built to win now, and this hire should pay dividends quickly.

Baylor

Old coach: Art Briles/Jim Grobe
New coach: Matt Rhule 
Grade: A-

Comment: If you asked athletics directors in the American Athletic Conference to identify the league’s best coach, Rhule might have gotten as many votes as Tom Herman due to the job he did at Temple. His lack of history in Texas can be spun into a plus: It’s a clean slate for high school coaches to take a new look at Baylor, and Rhule is already making a good impression with savvy staff hires who are tied into the recruiting landscape. Under the…