Ranking the top coaching hires
How decisions to land Meyer, Leach, Sumlin and other major hires stack up
Judging a coaching hire is a little like grading an NFL team's draft: Everyone has an opinion right away, but until coaches blow a whistle and players take a snap, predicting their success is as reliable as a weatherman in Seattle.
Don't believe me? Who had Gene Chizik and Chip Kelly as head coaches in the Allstate BCS National Championship Game last season? Chizik was hired by the Auburn Tigers to a chorus of boos after guiding the Iowa State Cyclones to an 0-8 conference record in 2008. Two seasons later he led Auburn to a title.
Kelly had never been a head coach before he was promoted by the Oregon Ducks. In fact, he was an assistant at New Hampshire for 13 years before traveling across the country to become Mike Bellotti's offensive coordinator in Eugene. He reached the BCS title game in his second season as the head man, and the Ducks have won three straight conference titles.
However, this doesn't mean we won't give predicting the success of each coaching hire a try. In reaching out to seven of my colleagues at ESPN who cover college football, there was a near consensus on which teams were the biggest winners among those that recently hired new coaches.
They are ranked below, in order of best to worst.
To read Brock Huard's ranking of the eight major coaching hires, you must be an ESPN Insider.
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Insider CFB content
Expert Takes• Kiper: Top prospects for 2014, by position
• Haney: CFB's top 10 teams based on talent
• Kiper: Top QB prospects for 2014 | RBs | WRs
• Haney: Make-or-break QB prospect scenarios
• Joyner: Prospects set for breakout seasons
• Haney: Prospects who can elevate programs
Post-spring projections• Pac-12: Oregon, Stanford, USC on top
• ACC: Can Clemson win the league title?
• SEC: Bama, South Carolina early favorites
• Big Ten: Surprise winner in Legends
• Big 12: Two-team race for first place
RecruitingNation• Michigan No. 1 in 2014 class rankings
• Luginbill: Answering mailbag questions
• Crabtree: Urban recruits popular draft picks
• Notre Dame, Boise State trending up
• Recruiting updates for Pac-12 teams
• Recruiting updates for Big Ten teams
• Recruiting updates for SEC teams
• Recruiting updates for ACC teams
• Recruiting updates for Big East teams
• Recruiting updates for Big 12 teams
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