College Football Coaching Carousel

by Jules Gonsoulin
sports editor

Every year in college football, we see the same old routine. Winning teams keep winning and argue their place in elite bowl games, while losing teams keep struggling and eventually fire head coaches. This year was no different, with Florida, Nebraska and Michigan all making coaching changes.

After a long and uneventful tenure at Florida, Will Muschamp was forced to resign this year. His time at the University of Florida was characterized by an ineffective offense and the underdevelopment of potentially great players, such as quarterback Jeff Driskel. Muschamp’s tumultuous reign as head coach can really be summed up in one game: the 2013 Sugar Bowl against Louisville. The Gators came in as 13-point favorites and were blown out by the Cardinals. Muschamp’s faulty coaching style created a losing culture in Gainesville, and the Gators sank into mediocrity.

On Dec. 4, Florida hired former Colorado State coach Jim McElwain to lead the Gators. This is a strong hire, considering McElwain’s recruiting connections in the Southeast, as well as his experience as an offensive coordinator.

Nebraska also fired head coach Bo Pelini after several seasons of lackluster performance in the Big Ten Conference. Pelini’s firing came as a shock to many, because his Cornhuskers consistently win around nine games per season. However, they often lost when it mattered most. They haven’t won the Big Ten championship, nor a national championship, under Pelini. Nebraska fans are used to a national championship culture, and Pelini simply wasn’t getting it done. The University has hired Mike Riley from Oregon State to fill Pelini’s place. Riley turned a horrendous Oregon State team into a consistent Pac-12 contender in his time there, so he knows how to turn a program around, which is what Nebraska needs.

Lastly, Michigan fired Brady Hoke. Coach Hoke’s Wolverines were simply a bad football team this year, and this move feels long overdue, since the head coach has been on the hot seat all season. Michigan still hasn’t replaced him, but notable possible hires include Mark Stoops from the University of Kentucky, Jim Harbaugh from the San Francisco 49ers, and Dabo Swinney from Clemson. While many speculate that Les Miles of LSU could possibly transfer to coach his alma mater, he has told star recruits that he will stay in Baton Rouge. Miles has been recruited heavily for the Michigan position in recent years, but has remained adamant about staying in Baton Rouge.