Cavalcade of Whimsy: The Wild, Crazy, Historic Start For All The New Coaches

Cavalcade of Whimsy: The Wild, Crazy, Historic Start For All The New Coaches

College Football Cavalcade

Cavalcade of Whimsy: The Wild, Crazy, Historic Start For All The New Coaches


Meet the new boss, same as the old boss … except he’s about 25 years younger and has a dopey beard

Head coaches should always get at least two years to show what they can do, but apparently, as a species, we might not have that long. So even though it’s ridiculous to judge a new head coach after just two games, there are enough historically weird things happening to at least acknowledge.

This isn’t your usual start for a batch of new coaching hires.

So far, some of the new guys are crushing the curve for everyone else, and for some, the rough two weeks have set a miserable tone that only a whole slew of big wins can make right.

As the shampoo ad put so beautifully, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, and there are a whole lot of indelible debuts.

How the new guys are doing so far? What can we take away from just two games? Starting with a few just getting things off the ground.

Mike Bloomgren, Rice: 1-2, but at least his team was competitive against Houston and Hawaii. This is going to take a while, but he’s a young energy guy with a powerful running game kicking in.

Steve Campbell, South Alabama: Fine, even with an 0-2 start. The team fought hard in loss to Louisiana Tech, and the Oklahoma State blowout loss was expected. But don’t lose at home to Texas State.

Mario Cristobal, Oregon: Incomplete. Starting a season with Bowling Green and Portland State – followed up by San Jose State – is smart in a sport without a preseason, but meaningless. However, after his Duck team wet the bed in a bowl loss to Boise State, there’s a prove-it factor coming.

Dana Dimel, UTEP: To be fair, he inherited a team that went 0-12, but …. you don’t lose to Northern Arizona 30-10. This is going to take a while.

Okay … let’s do this …

Herm Edwards, Arizona State; The guy just got a win over Mark Dantonio. Even if Michigan State is an overrated flop – it’s not; it’ll be fine – that was a dream moment on a big stage. It’s not possible to come up with a more stunning opening act.

Sonny Dykes, SMU: Blown out by North Texas. Blown out by TCU. Now comes Michigan. The high-octane offensive coach’s team is 124th in the nation in total offense.

Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M: Yeah, the Aggies lost. Whatever. If you’re an A&M fan, you’re giggling with excitement over what’s coming down the road after that performance on Saturday night. This is a very, very comfortable national championship head coach – ten-year contracts will do that – and A&M has him.

Scott Frost, Nebraska: It’s going to be a process to get all the pieces there, but even after just one game, it’s obvious. This is going to be a blast.

Josh Heupel, UCF: He’s keeping the national title vibes going with a dominant 2-0 start, but UCF hasn’t played anyone with a pulse.

Chip Kelly, UCLA: Oklahoma, forgiven. Cincinnati. nope. You’re Chip Kelly. You’re supposed to have an offense that can put up more than 38 points in two weeks. To be fair, Kelly inherited a team with no run D and no running game. There’s not a quick fix to get night-and-day better on the lines.

Sean Lewis, Kent State: The youngest head coach in college football almost beat Illinois, blew away Howard, and in two games has done the impossible – his FlashFast attack made Kent State offense fun.

Chad Lunsford, Georgia Southern: He’s not quite a first year head man after coaching six games last year, but this is his first full season, and he’s 2-0 after the team went 2-10 last year.

Joe Moorhead, Mississippi State: 578 yards per game, over 21 yards per completion, and blowout win at Kansas State, and all the pieces in place for Bulldogs fans to legitimately believe an SEC title is possible. He was a star at Fordham, he was a star coordinator at Penn State, and he’s going to be a star in Starkville. Oh, yeah, and the former coach just lost to Kentucky.

Chad Morris, Arkansas: Colorado State got rocked by Colorado and rolled by Hawaii … and then it beat an SEC team. If you’re looking around the table and can’t figure out who the worst team in the SEC West is …

Dan Mullen, Florida: Kentucky 27, Florida 16. If you’re the Florida head coach, you … can’t … lose … that … game. You especially can’t do it in just the second game of a new era.

Billy Napier, Louisiana: There’s only a one game sample size – a 49-17 win over Grambling. The 39-year-old, though, is going to be a high-riser.

Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee: This is one of the It’s Just Two Games Give It A While Before Forming ANY Opinion guys. However, he’s been great so far at not sugar-coating the situation.

Jonathan Smith, Oregon State: Lost in the blowout loss to Ohio State was a Beaver O that actually worked for stretches.

Kevin Sumlin, Arizona: There are bad starts to a coaching era, and there’s this. Not only have the Wildcats gone 0-2 in ugly fashion against two teams outside of the Power Five, and not only has the most exciting player in college football become as interesting as watching ESPN Sunday Countdown, but that other big head coaching hire at the rival up the road came out rocking.

Willie Taggart, Florida State: Epic fail on national TV in front of a home crowd against Virginia Tech, almost as big a disaster in a close-call win over Samford.

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