In the competitive cauldron of Power Five football, the head coaching carousel never stops spinning. The recent vacancy at Texas A&M has sparked a flurry of analysis, placing the spotlight on the inheritances of collegiate head coaches since 2015. A revealing scatter plot from CFBData charts the course of these inheritances. This graph is a treasure trove for understanding the starting blocks from which various coaches leaped into their roles. Let’s take a look at where the Texas A&M position ranks in terms of head coach openings since 2015.
Best College Football Coaching Openings Since 2015
Next Texas A&M Coach Starts on Third Base
Texas A&M’s recent opening, as a result of Jimbo Fisher’s firing, is a prime position. The inheritor stands on what could be dubbed “third base,” a nod to their advantageous starting point with a high talent roster and a solid ELO rating according to a chart released by CFBData. From the data, it appears the Aggies’ role is one many would envy, a position prepped for success from day one.
As we delve into the data, some roles have undoubtedly been tougher. Take Lance Leipold, who took the helm at Kansas, a program that certainly appeared to be “in the minors,” given its lower-end talent and ELO rating.
Similarly, Mike Elko’s stepping into the Duke job presents a challenging scenario. Yet, these positions, while daunting, also offer the potential for significant turnarounds, the kind that can define a coach’s career.
Both these coaches have done excellent jobs this season, putting them both in the running for the job at College Station. Despite not being setup for success when taking on the roles, Leipold and Elko have seemingly turned their programs around, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by the college football world, with their names now in the running for jobs on “third base.”
Ranking the Texas A&M Job
Conversely, jobs like USC and LSU frequently appear near “third base,” epitomizing roles set up for success. Coaches stepping into these roles inherit a wealth of resources and talent, situating them on a fast track to winning seasons. These coveted positions often come with high expectations, where anything short of championships can be deemed underperformance, as Jimbo Fisher now knows.
Ranking the top jobs since 2015 isn’t a straightforward task. It’s a delicate balance between the potential for immediate success and the long-term capacity for growth and championship runs. Texas A&M’s role, with its high inherited talent and performance, certainly contends for the top spot. It would be easy to make the case that the Aggies role is a top-five opening since 2015.
It is certainly up there with Ryan Day’s position at Ohio State and Lincoln Riley’s position at Oklahoma when they took over. It seems as though, the next coach at Texas A&M will be walking into a locker room with a wealth of talent, but with that comes high expectations.