NCAAF Top 4: High-profile program coaching changes
Many high-profile coaching jobs were filled in the college football ranks this offseason. For some programs, a new head coach can breathe life into a struggling team. For others, it’s a painful learning curve early in the schedule.
We look at four big-name college football teams under new head coaches this season and how they stack up in the NCAAF conference futures:
Auburn Tigers (+8,000 to win SEC)
Out: Gene Chizik
In: Gus Malzahn
Malzahn is back at Auburn after a brief stop at Arkansas State. The mastermind behind the Tigers’ potent offense during their BCS title run in 2010, inherits a young team packed with potential. Auburn is still trying to lock down a No. 1 quarterback, with Kiehl Frazier and Jonathan Wallace as the frontrunners. But don’t rule out JuCo transfer Nick Marshall, who has followed a similar troubled path to Auburn as former star Cam Newton.
Oregon Ducks (+150 to win Pac-12)
Out: Chip Kelly
In: Mark Helfrich
The Ducks lose Kelly to the NFL and turn the keys over to former offensive coordinator Helfrich. Oregon’s plan of attack should remain the same, leaving opposing defenses with their hands on their knees by the fourth quarter. Perhaps the biggest difference will be on those close calls that Kelly was so apt to go for. This is Helfrich first go-around as a head coach and those fourth-and-short and 2-point conversion decisions could weigh heavy on him in a competitive Pac-12.
Texas Tech Red Raiders (+1,500 to win Big 12)
Out: Tommy Tuberville
In: Kliff Kingsbury
Kingsbury brings some serious QB pedigree to Lubbock, where he played his college ball. The former NFL passer was the man behind the curtain for Johnny Manziel’s Heisman campaign at Texas A&M last season and served as offensive coordinator for record-setting QB Case Keenum at Houston. However, the 33 year old doesn’t have that same talent at Texas Tech, with redshirt sophomore Michael Brewer tabbed as a soft No. 1. Kingsbury will have to prove that it was him, and not all that ample talent, that got him where he is.
Wisconsin Badgers (+350 to win Big Ten)
Out: Brett Bielema
In: Gary Andersen
Andersen made Utah State the best bet in college football last season, going 11-2 SU and 11-1-1 ATS. He’s built a reputation of turning around lost programs but now has a history of success to follow and steps into a different world in Madison. Andersen is a Big Ten outsider and will quickly learn about performing on the big stage. He’s done well with little pressure in past jobs. Now he has a ton of expectations to keep the wins coming at Wisconsin.