Commentary

Ranking the open coaching jobs

UNC, ASU and Illinois are three of the best available coaching gigs in America

Updated: November 30, 2011, 5:24 PM ET
By Brock Huard | ESPN Insider
Bryn RennerBob Donnan/US PresswireSophomore QB Bryn Renner is one reason prospective coaches may look hard at UNC.

The college football coaching carousel is beginning to spin rapidly, and a number of very desirable jobs have become available. As I set out to rank the best available job openings based on desirability to potential hires, I asked a handful of current and former collegiate coaches and ESPN analysts to get their opinions, accounting for eight factors: facilities, tradition, committed administration and boosters, coaching staff budget, captive local population, livability, centralized recruiting base and current talent level.

Under normal circumstances, the Penn State Nittany Lions job would be at the top of this list, but I left it off altogether because it's too difficult to evaluate the situation in State College at this point.

Instead, the top available job this offseason comes from the ACC:

1. North Carolina Tar Heels

UNC was the landslide winner among those I polled, and this job also scores well because of the area's incredible livability and centralized recruiting base. Butch Davis was able to recruit top-end talent to Chapel Hill before he landed in hot water over NCAA rules violations.

Even though Carolina is still first and foremost a basketball school, the pieces are in place to accomplish what the Texas Longhorns, Florida Gators and Ohio State Buckeyes have done during the past decade: win big in both hoops and football. The school's academic reputation, state-of-the-art facilities and strong alumni base help create the opportunity for the school to break through on the gridiron.


To read more from Brock about the best available college coaching jobs, become an ESPN Insider.

• College football analyst for ESPN
• Six-year NFL QB and three-year starter at University of Washington
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