Ten College Football Coaches About to Break Out

lsu les miles 560x289After LSU fired their head football coach, Les Miles, the sports world has been debating over who might be the replacement in Death Valley. Many names have begun surfacing and it shouldn’t be too difficult for LSU to find someone that can handle both the pressure of coaching in the SEC and the LSU fan base.

The SEC has become the best, and most financially stable, conference in all of college football. It is the conference any head coach would want to earn a job. They have great recruiting, unlimited pocketbooks, and the best fans in sports.

That brings us to our own discussion on who are the best head coaches in college football ready to make that big jump to the next level of their career. These are guys who are doing such a great job today that they are either ready to move into a head coaching job, from an assistant job, or maybe just to switch from a small conference like Conference USA to the SEC. Here are the best head coaching candidates ready to cash in on their successful careers.

10. Dave Aranda, LSU

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  • Position (1st Year): Defensive Coordinator (2016)
  • Details: With all the turmoil that went down in Baton Rouge recently, it makes sense that Dave Aranda will either move up or move over very soon. He is going to show the league what he can do with an SEC defense and once he does that, it will not take too long to give him his own team.

9. Jeff Brohm, Western Kentucky

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  • Position (1st Year): Head Coach (2014)
  • Record in Current Position: 23-9
  • Biggest Turnaround Season: His second season was the biggest turnaround when he finished the season 12-2 after going 8-5 during his first year.
  • Details: The Hilltoppers have been slowly moving into the picture as a future upset special with Jeff Brohm at the helm. He led them to a 12-2 record last season which moved them into the polls for the first time in their history in the FBS.  Their offense can score some points and put up some yards so it will not take too long for Jeff to earn a chance to coach in a conference like the Pac-12 or ACC.

8. Sonny Cumbie, TCU

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  • Position (1st Year): Offensive Coordinator (2013)
  • Biggest Turnaround Season: It only took him one season to turn TCU’s offense from 80th ranked in the country to 6th ranked in back to back seasons.
  • Details: TCU has been making its’ way into the spotlight for several years now but their offense has exploded over the past couple of seasons with Sonny Cumbie at the helm. His style and offensive playcalling has turned him into a hot candidate for the next big head coaching job that opens up in the country.

7. Matt Wells, Utah State

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  • Position (1st Year): Head Coach (2013)
  • Record in Current Position:
  • Biggest Turnaround Season: He went from 9-5 to 10-4 during his first two seasons and has since dropped down to 6-7 but his talent his something that belongs at a bigger program with more funding and better recruiting.
  • Details: Matt Wells is a man that is one of the best offensive minded coaches in college football today but he is only has good as the program he coaches. Utah State is a program that will never be respected because it as severe struggles in recruiting, among many others. However, Matt was the Offensive Coordinator for one season before being promoted, and under his leadership, the offense was able to put up 34.9 points per game while finishing the season with an 11-2 record, the best record in school history. There are many options heading his way, the question is, does the former Utah State QB want them?

6. Mike Bloomgren, Stanford

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  • Position (1st Year): Offensive Coordinator (2013)
  • Details: Over the past few seasons, Mike Bloomgren has had the chance to coach Andrew Luck and Christian McCaffrey making his job even easier at Stanford. But he has turned the offense into the main reason the team remains a powerhouse each season. As far as offensive coordinators go, the best ones don’t last too long without big time job offers in college football.

5. Ed Orgeron, LSU

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  • Position (1st Year): Interim Head Coach (2016)
  • Record in Current Position: 2-0
  • Details: After USC fired Lane Kiffin in 2013, Ed Ogreron took over the 3-2 Trojans and finished the season 6-2 having wins over #5 Stanford, Arizona, Utah, Oregon State, Cal, and Colorado before leaving the program after hearing that USC hired someone else for the head coaching job. He returned to coaching at LSU as their Defensive line coach in 2015 and when they let Les Miles go earlier this season, he got another shot at being a turnaround coach for a program. The season will mark the second time he has had a chance to prove he could be a head coach again and whether or not LSU hires him as their head coach next season, he is going to end up somewhere in 2017.

4. Geoff Collins, Florida

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  • Position (1st Year): Defensive Coordinator (2015)
  • Biggest Turnaround Season: Defense was ranked 80th in the country in 2014. In his first season in Gainesville, he moved the defensive unit up to 12th overall in the country.
  • Details: Jim McElwain thinks very highly of Geoff Collins and so does Florida apparently as they have made him one of the highest paid assistant coaches in the country. His ability to attack and play aggresively has turned the Gators into a highly touted defense that remains as strong as it has been for many years.

3. P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan

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  • Position (1st Year): Head Coach (2013)
  • Record in Current Position: 22-21
  • Biggest Turnaround Season: In P.J. Fleck’s second season they finished 8-5 after going 1-11 the year before, his first season.
  • Details: Don’t let the 22-21 record fool you, he started off his career with a 1-11 record before turning things around in 2014. They have since gone 19-7 over their past 26 games and are already 5-0 this year. He has them looking at consecutive bowl games and another on the horizon. It will not take long for his name to surface as a top candidate for a major program in one of the Big 5 conferences.

2. Gary Patterson, TCU

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  • Position (1st Year): Head Coach (2000)
  • Record in Current Position: 146-49
  • Biggest Turnaround Season: After four seasons as Head Coach of TCU, Gary Patterson had a terrible 2004 where they ended up finishing 5-6. He followed it up with a 2005 season where he finished 11-1, improving by six games.
  • Details: After nearly 18 seasons at Texas Christian University, it doesn’t look like Gary Patterson is going anywhere now. He has turned them into a yearly top-10 powerhouse but he has failed to get them to finish off a season. LSU could be a move that would bring him into the SEC and he already has ties to the recruiting giants in the South. If not LSU, he might remain with TCU until something comes up in the ACC or even the NFL.

1. Tom Herman, Houston

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  • Position (1st Year): Head Coach (2015)
  • Record in Current Position: 18-1
  • Biggest Turnaround Season: During his first season in Houston, 2015, they finished with a 13-1 record after having gone 8-5 in 2014 under previous coach Tony Levine.
  • Details: The number one name on everyone’s head coaching list is Tom Herman, and that’s only after watching him turn Houston into a national title contender in two seasons. After Les Miles was fired at LSU, his name has become the top rumored name for that job and deservedly so. He is a big time recruiter and QB coach that has shown he can take over a team and get the most out of them. He has the offensive skill power to create a competitive Tiger team that will do a lot of damage in the SEC with him running the team. Even if LSU doesn’t happen, don’t expect him to remain with Houston the rest of his career.