Friday’s Den: College football coaching changes for this year

College football coaching changes for 2021:
Arizona
— First-time head coach Jedd Fisch is a longtime offensive coordinator.
— Arizona hired alums Ricky Hunley, Chuck Cecil as assistant coaches/defense.
— Wildcats went 0-5 LY, losing 70-7 to rival Arizona State; they gave up 39.8 ppg. .

Arkansas State
— Butch Jones went 50-27 at Central Michigan/Cincinnati, but went 14-24 in SEC games while at Tennessee. After three years working for Nick Saban, Jones is a head coach again.
— Previous coach bolted to Utah State, after Red Wolves had first losing season since 2010.
— ASU threw ball for 384.4 yards/game LY, #2 in country.

Auburn
— Previous coach Malzahn went 68-35 at Auburn, 39-27 in SEC, got told to take a hike.
— When you go 39-27 in SEC games and still get fired, expectations are high.
— Bryan Harsin comes from Boise State, where he was 69-19, 45-8 in Mountain West.
— Auburn opponents converted 50.3% of their 3rd down plays LY. Not good.

Boise State
— First-time head coach Andy Avalos was defensive coordinator at Oregon.
— Avalos is a Boise alum, like every Boise HC since 1998.
— Last four years, Boise is 27-2 in Mountain West
— Last three years, Broncos are only 7-6 outside Mountain West.

Buffalo
— Previous HC went 20-10 last three years, won two bowls, bolted to Kansas.
— First-time HC is 35 years old, was Dallas Cowboys’ cornerbacks’ coach LY
— Buffalo went 6-1 LY, scored 43.4 ppg, lost MAC title game, but won bowl.

Central Florida
— Previous coach bolted to Tennessee; UCF hired former Auburn coach Malzahn.
— Malzahn was 39-27 in SEC games at Auburn, but coaching Auburn during the Saban era at Alabama hasn’t been good for job security.
— Knights scored 42.2 ppg LY but went 6-4; the defense needs work.
— QB Gabriel has thrown for 7,223 yards in two seasons.

Illinois
— Illini hasn’t had a winning season since 2011.
— Bielema was 68-24 at Wisconsin, but was 11-29 in SEC games at Arkansas.
— QB Peters is 6th-year college player; he started here last two years. He figures to hand off a lot this season; Bielema prefers to run the ball a lot.

Kansas
— Leipold won six D-3 national titles, went 24-10 his last three years at Buffalo.
— Leipold was hired the day before Kansas’ spring game, which was awkward.
— Jayhawks haven’t been to a bowl game since 2008.
— Kansas will try to run ball well, to keep their defense off the field.

UL-Monroe
— 64-year old HC Terry Bowden spent last two years as a Clemson assistant.
— Former Arizona/Michigan HC Rich Rodriguez is the new OC- his son is the QB.
— Nine of their 10 losses LY were by double digits; this is a total rebuild.

Marshall
— Previous coach was 85-54 but got fired; the governor of West Virginia didn’t like him.
— When you go 55-30 in conference games and still get fired, expectations are high.
— New coach Huff has been NFL/college assistant for 16 years, last two at Alabama.
— Huff kept the same offensive coordinator, has 9 starters back on offense.

South Alabama
— New HC Wommack was an assistant at Indiana during their turnaround.
— QB Jake Bentley has 8,409 passing yards, playing for South Carolina/Utah.
— Major Applewhite is the new OC; they’ll throw more vertical passes.
— Jaguars haven’t been to a bowl since 2016.

South Carolina
— New HC Beamer is son of former Va Tech coach Frank Beamer.
— Gamecocks went 2-8 LY, giving up 41+ points in five of last six games.
— South Carolina has only 9 starters back; 5 on offense, 4 on defense.
— No returning WR had more than 11 catches last season.

Southern Mississippi
— Golden Eagles had three different head coaches, just last year.
— New HC Hall was OC at Tulane; he’ll be his own OC here.
— RB Frank Gore Jr ran for 708 yards LY; his dad is still active in the NFL.
— Southern Miss has 10 starters back on offense.

Tennessee
— New coach Heupel comes from UCF, with new AD White.
— NCAA is investigating, which usually screws up recruiting for a while.
— Tennessee hasn’t been to a bowl since 2016- last year was their worst record in 97 years.
— Heupel is an offensive guru, but this turnaround will take a while.

Texas
— Tom Herman went 32-18 in four years, 22-13 in Big X games, got the ax anyway.
— Rival Oklahoma has won six consecutive Big X titles; Texas boosters don’t like Oklahoma.
— Longhorns were 7-3 LY, will be breaking in a new QB this year.
— New coach Sarkisian was fired at USC for showing up drunk, but he knows Nick Saban, so he gets another head coaching job.

Utah State
— New HC Anderson led Arkansas State to 6 bowls in 7 years.
— Utah State has regressed since scoring 47.5 ppg in 2018.
— Aggies went 1-5 LY, scoring 10.4 ppg in the losses.
— Utah State has 9 starters back on offense, 7 on defense.

Vanderbilt
— New coach Clark Lee is a Vanderbilt alum.
— Commodores get three guys on OL back who opted out of last year.
— Vandy allowed 38+ points in seven of nine games LY.
— QB Seals completed 64.6% of his passes LY, so they’re good there. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.