Saturday, January 22, 2022

2022 college football coaching carousel grades: Lincoln Riley an ‘A+’ with Brent Venables an ‘A-‘ replacement

Dennis Dodd grades each team for their hires during the college football offseason

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CBS Sports graphic

Blink and you missed the latest coaching carousel. Twenty-eight schools changed coaches in a 99-day period. Compare that to the 2020-21 hiring cycle when 18 changes took more than 10 months to complete. (Ohio’s Frank Solich retired last July.)

Changes were so fast and furious in 2021 that at least one school fired a coach and then hired a replacement within the regular season (Georgia Southern swapping Chad Lunsford for Clay Helton.) Thirteen schools that changed coaches were bowl-eligible.

The only certainty is that the landscape of college football will change further. Three of the Pac-12’s most traditional powers will all have new coaches: USC, Washington, Oregon. Brian Kelly changed jobs, cultures and accents in leaving Notre Dame for LSU. Florida has its third full-time coach since 2014. Almost half of the 28 coaches hired (13) are first-time program leaders.

Change is here to stay. In the last three offseasons, 67 schools have hired new coaches. That’s more than half of FBS.

Here’s how we grade the hires as we enter the 2022 college football offseason with the carousel having stopped spinning … at least for now.

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