It’s Week 12 and the coaching carousel is off and running with two weeks left in the season. Last weekend saw the Boise State Broncos, Mississippi State Bulldogs and Texas A&M Aggies fire head coaches and the Penn State Nittany Lions fire their offensive coordinator.
There are reasons why athletics directors have moved quickly to make changes.
On the field, the Louisville Cardinals are one win from booking their first trip to the ACC title game and the Missouri Tigers are pushing for a New Year’s Six bowl game. Their coaches, Jeff Brohm and Eliah Drinkwitz, don’t appear to be going anywhere.
ESPN college football insiders Heather Dinich and Adam Rittenberg look at the rapidly developing coaching cycle, the under-the-radar stars who will impact the College Football Playoff and pick a title winner for every Power 5 league.
What sparked the weekend of firings with just two weeks to go in the season? Are you hearing any other rumblings about potential changes?
Dinich: I talked to Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork this week about the timing, and he had very specific reasons for firing Jimbo Fisher when he did. The regents’ meeting last Thursday was a regularly scheduled session that gave him the opportunity to present the decision to the group, plus he knew the preparation for Abilene Christian wouldn’t be impacted, and he simply believed “staying the course would set us up for a bad 2024 sequence,” he said.
“I was worried about the transfer portal, signing day, the bowl season,” Bjork said. “If we were going to make assistant coaching changes, when would those happen? Frankly the Aggie fans, we didn’t have a whole lot of hope.”
Rittenberg: The portal is certainly a new factor that accelerates the need to make changes, at the head coach and coordinator level. Penn State’s decision to fire offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich, hours after the Michigan loss, is a signal to both the team’s current and future quarterbacks that there will be a new direction on offense in 2024. I’m interested to see if Texas…