Forty names, games, teams and minutiae that make news in college football, where a 330 pound carter should never be penalized:
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With six FBS head coaching openings already and more sure to come, the coaching carousel will pick up speed in the coming weeks. Among those who might be in line for jobs, such as head coaches or assistants on a different program, are a host of coordinators who have raised their profiles this season.
A Dash List, which comes with the following caveat: These guys all already have good jobs and may not want to leave:
Ryan Walters (21), Illinois defensive coordinator. Age: 36. Years on the job in Illinois: two. Why he’s raising his profile: The Illini are one of the surprise teams in the nation, going 6-1 and leading the Big Ten West. While there are offensive reasons for Illini’s surge, the biggest explanation is a defense that leads the nation in points allowed per game (8.9), yards allowed per game (221.1) and yards allowed per game (3.78).
Potential job fit: Walters and his father, Marc, played at Colorado, which has an opening. But alumni heartstrings aside, that’s hard work. Walters could be putting himself in a position to be too demanding.
Kenny Dillingham (22), Oregon offensive coordinator. Age: 32. Years on the job in Oregon: one. Why he’s raising his profile: Dillingham is the Nix Whisperer, among other attributes. He was the offensive coordinator at Auburn when Bo Nix was a freshman sensation, then he went to Florida State. Nix’s development stalled for the next two seasons. Now they’re reunited in Oregon, and Nix is having a season in his career: He’s producing his highest passing efficiency rating by far (165.93) and his most impactful career (382 yards and eight touchdowns). After trashing UCLA, the Ducks lead the Pac-12 in total offense and scoring.
Potential Job Fit: Dillingham is an Arizona native and Arizona State alumnus, and the Sun Devils are looking for a new coach. It seems a bit far-fetched to suggest that someone born in the 1990s is ready to be a Power 5 head coach, but Dillingham has been training since the age of 17 and would presumably come with recommendations from a couple of his bosses who landed good jobs at 30: Mike Norvell (promoted in Memphis at 34) and Dan Lanning (got the job in Oregon at 35).
Tony White (23), defensive coordinator for Syracuse. Age: 43. Years on the job in Syracuse: two. Why his profile is rising: It’s a rarity when Clemson isn’t the best defensive team in the ACC, but Orange can claim that honor right now. Syracuse (6–1) is allowing league lows of 4.73 yards per play, 294.7 yards per game and 15.1 points per game. That defensive scoring average is on pace to be the lowest at Cuse since the 1987 team gave up 14.1 going 11-0-1.
Potential job fit: The 3-3-5 former Rocky Long protégé has ties to Mountain West, if head coaching jobs open up there. Or he could stay on the coordinator list for a while longer, either in Syracuse or elsewhere.
Garrett Riley (24), offensive coordinator for TCU. Age: 33 years. Years of work at TCU: one. Why he’s raising his profile: Lincoln’s little brother is calling plays for an undefeated team with the No. 3 offense in the nation in terms of scoring (44.7 points per game) and yards (522.1). Riley also worked for Sonny Dykes at SMU in 2020 and 2021, when the Mustangs averaged more than 38 points per game. Dykes and Riley have made a star out of quarterback Max Duggan, who didn’t even start the season opener.
Potential fit for the job: He has a last name that will resonate in Texas and Oklahoma, where multiple jobs could open up at the Group of 5 level. But Riley could also have a couple more successful seasons as a coordinator away from a chance at something else. great.
Alex Golesh (25), Tennessee offensive coordinator. Age: 38. Years on the job in Tennessee: two. Why he’s raising his profile: Have you seen the Volunteers offense? They lead the nation in yards per game and scoring, putting on a series of pyrotechnic displays in this 7-0 start to the season. Yes, it’s head coach Josh Heupel’s offense, but Golesh is a complete partner in the game plan and scheme; he also previously worked with Heupel at UCF. Also, how many schools have the opportunity to hire a coach born in Moscow during the Cold War?
Potential Job Fit: Golesh has extensive experience in the Midwest as an assistant. He could be a candidate for the Mid-American Conference starts. Or, depending on how the dominoes fall, could the former Iowa State assistant under Matt Campbell end up playing there if Campbell leaves?
Jesse Minter (26), Michigan defensive coordinator. Age: 39. Years on the job in Michigan: one. Why his profile is rising: Michigan ranks second in the Big Ten to Illinois in points allowed per game (12.1) and yards allowed per game (4.03). That’s despite replacing seven starters, including the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft, another first-round pick and a second-rounder — three of the top 45 picks, in all.
Potential fit for the job: Minter is the son of former college coach Rick Minter, who is now on the Michigan staff as an analyst. But Jesse also spent four seasons in the NFL with the Ravens, making him part of the ongoing Harbaugh Brother Lend/Lease personnel deal. Could he be interested in turning professional again or does he end up being a college student like his father?
Gino Guidugli (27)Cincinnati offensive coordinator. Age: 39. Years on the job in Cincinnati: six, but this is his first as a solo OC. Why he’s raising his profile: The Bearcats lost a four-year starting quarterback, a 1,300-yard rusher and a second-round receiver and are still averaging the same number of points this season (36.9) as the team. last season’s playoffs. That’s a big reason why Cincy is 6-1 and has extended his winning streak in the American Athletic Conference to 19 games.
Potential Job Fit: There could be some turmoil within the AAC, and those schools might want to try to import some championship culture from the mainstream program staff.
mike denbrock (28), LSU offensive coordinator. Age: 58. Years on the job at LSU: one. Why he’s raising his profile: Transfer quarterback Jayden Daniels has been unlocked in the past two games, leading the Tigers to 90 points and 1,000-plus yards in SEC wins over Florida and Mississippi. Denbrock, whom Guidugli replaced in Cincinnati, is the oldest guy on this list, but so what? LSU is substantially improving its offense over the past two years despite a disappointing season from star receiver Kayshon Boutte and a different-than-expected running back rotation.
Potential fit for the job: Where Brian Kelly ends and Denbrock begins has always been a question, dating back to when the two worked together at Notre Dame. But Denbrock is another guy with deep Midwest roots who could be of interest to schools in that area.
Todd Monken (29), Georgia offensive coordinator. Age: 56 years. Years on the job in Georgia: three. Why his profile is rising: The Bulldogs have shed their serious offensive image for a fun, free and highly productive approach. If Georgia can maintain its current average of 41.7 points per game, it would break the school record.
Potential job fit: Monken’s name has appeared at Georgia Tech (open), Arizona State (open) and Auburn (will be). He also has extensive NFL experience, and there are a lot of franchises wallowing in bad offenses these days. But he also has a great job earning $2 million a year in Athens.
Brian Hartline (30), Ohio State passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach. Age: 35. Years on the job at Ohio State: Five, although this is his first with a coordinator degree. Why his profile is rising: Monster recruiter with a bunch of monster positions in an elite program. While coach Ryan Day calls the plays and plans the Buckeyes’ main game, Hartline is a star in the making who has amassed an incredible amount of receiving talent at Ohio State with more on the way.
Potential Job Fit: He was playing in the NFL in 2015 and didn’t become a full-time assistant coach until 2018, so more experience may be required before pursuing head coaching positions. But Hartline will be one to watch for years to come.
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