The 2021 Coaching Carousel was one of the wildest in college football history.
We saw a bit of everything this offseason. Successful coaches in prominent positions bolted to other major programs, Miami publicly sought to hire Mario Cristobal while the position was still filled and TCU hired rival SMU’s Sonny Dykes early on.
This year’s Coaching Carousel has already nearly doubled the number of coach changes we’ve seen in 2020. There have been 28 coach changes made with more chances of happening after bowl season.
All these coaches on the move have had a significant impact on the transfer and recruitment portal. More and more players have entered the transfer portal to explore their options for the coming seasons.
Much of the future of college football will be shaped by the decisions made during this offseason. Take a look at some of the winners and losers of this year’s coaching cycle:
USC made the biggest recruiting of the offseason pulling Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma.
Riley is known as one of the best offensive minds in football and had an impressive 55-10 record with the Sooners leading them to four conference championships.
Recruiting has already taken off for Riley at USC, toppling a trio of five-star prospects from the state of California.
The hiring of Lincoln Riley really did shake things up for sleeping giant USC.
With all the movement this offseason has been going, one of the biggest winners was a school that wasn’t involved in the coach hunt.
Baylor managed to keep Dave Aranda away from other schools after a magical season. In just his second year, Aranda helped Baylor win their third Big 12 Championship in program history.
Aranda appeared to be a candidate for the LSU job, he was a very successful defensive coordinator for the Tigers. Baylor locked Aranda before LSU could take a big step and the Bears will have their head coach for years to come.
Oregon built a constant contender in the Pac-12 conference during Mario Cristobal’s tenure. It all fell apart after being dismantled by Utah in the conference championship game.
News broke shortly after Miami contacted Cristobal for his head coach job. It didn’t take long for Cristobal to agree to a deal with the Hurricanes, leaving Oregon in shambles.
The Ducks have since lost several engagements, including five-star offensive tackle Kelvin Banks.
It remains to be seen where Oregon goes from here, but losing Cristobal so late in the game is a killer.
Dabo Sweeney made Clemson a national powerhouse. The Tigers have won two national championships and made six college football playoff appearances.
One of the main reasons for this success is the remarkable consistency within its coaching staff. Dabo will now be tasked with replacing the coordinators on both sides of the ball for the first time as Clemson coach.
Defensive coordinator Brent Venables has moved to Oklahoma and offensive coordinator Tony Elliot appears to be accepting the post in Virginia.
TCU didn’t have to go very far to find a replacement for Gary Patterson. Sonny Dykes made the short drive from Dallas to Fort Worth to take on the role of head coach of the Horned Frogs.
Dykes will bring an exciting style of play to TCU. Expect the same high-flying offense that made Dykes so successful in overthrowing the EMS program.
TCU is looking to make some noise in the Big 12 conference as soon as possible.
Texas Tech appears to have taken on a home run with former Baylor assistant and legendary high school coach Joey McGuire.
McGuire has hired excellent staff highlighted by offensive coordinator Zach Kittley of Western Kentucky.
As a former coach of Cedar Hill, the Texas high school powerhouse, McGuire has connections throughout the state of Texas, which could be a big boost to recruiting at Lubbock.
The excitement in West Texas is real.
Oklahoma state found itself just inches from a college football playoff spot behind a masterful coaching job from defensive coordinator Jim Knowles.
The Cowboys defense limited the Big 12’s 12 teams to just over 200 yards per game, leading the Pokes to an 11-2 record. One of the best defensive units the Big 12 have seen in a few seasons.
After a heartbreaking loss in the Big 12 title game, Jim Knowles has been named the new defensive coordinator at Ohio State.
Knowles has been the key to Oklahoma state’s defensive turnaround for the past two years.
- Virginie Tech
- Texas A&M
- our Lady