The college football coaching carousel has come to a stop for now until this 2021 offseason. There are new faces on new teams. In some of the team’s cases, they improved at the coaching position. Unfortunately, that is what happens when coaches at smaller programs turn a team around, they get to coach a bigger program. Some coaches or coordinators also get a chance to get a fresh start. Hopefully, this season, we will be able to have spring football to get a preview of what these teams will look like. To me, it’s exciting to see either former or new coaches get an opportunity on a new team. College football is something that I enjoying watching and covering. I saw a list of new coaches this year in college football and some of them caught my attention. I will rank three of them from one to three.
Gus Malzahn UCF Knights
The UCF Knights have been a powerhouse in the AAC. They got a cleaning of the house with their athletic director and head coach both going to Tennessee. Both Danny White and Josh Heupel are the new athletic director and head coach for the Volunteers. A new era will start in Tennessee football. For the Knights, they got Gus Malzahn who had a good run for the Auburn Tigers that included a national championship. Malzahn’s biggest problem was beating the Alabama Crimson Tide, even though they did that on occasion, but not enough. The Knights will have a new system under Malzahn than the Heupel one of running up and down the field. This is an opportunity for the Knights to regain control of the AAC.
Bryan Harsin Auburn Tigers
Harsin replaces Gus Malzahn for the Auburn Tigers. Harsin comes from Boise State, who under his helm, won 78% of their games. He coached the Broncos football from 2014-20. Harsin never was able to escape the shadow of Chris Petersen. Petersen was able to develop quarterbacks, offensive tackles, and edge rushers. Harsin will have the same challenge that Malzahn had, beat the Alabama Crimson Tide and Nick Saban. The same Crimson Tide team that is the defending national champions. It will take Harsin some time to get his first win over Saban and the Tide. This is a great opportunity for him.
Steve Sarkisian Texas Longhorns
Sarkisian was the offensive coordinator for the Alabama Crimson Tide. He, at one time, was the coach of the USC Trojans. Sarkisian got another chance with one of the blood blue programs in college football. He takes over for Tom Herman who struggled as the head coach for the Longhorns. Just like Malzahn, the one thing the Longhorns have struggled with is beating their rival. The Oklahoma Sooners have dominated the Horns over the past few years. If Sarkisian can beat the Sooners, then he will be successful for the Texas Longhorns.
These coaches are not the only three that will be fresh faces for new teams. I am hoping that all three of these coaches will have successful seasons. I think that the UCF Knights will still be a good team in the AAC. Harsin will have a tough start with probably the toughest conference in college football, the SEC. Sarkisian will have to win right away at Texas because as we all know football is a religion in that state. I cannot wait till the college football season starts this fall.