2021 New College Football Head Coaches: Go Bowling, and Maybe More
These five head coaches will get a little while to get everything going, but fans will break something tasteful if there’s no bowl game.
Shane Beamer, South Carolina
Top Lines of the Resumé: Assistant head coach at Oklahoma over the last three seasons. Helped coach up Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts, and Spencer Rattler.
– Assistant at South Carolina for four years before becoming assistant head coach at Virginia Tech for four seasons.
Realistic Expectations In Year One: Get to a bowl game and make South Carolina look like a dangerous program on the rise. The schedule isn’t awful, but it’s going to take some work.
Realistic Expectations Over Next Five Years: Bowl games become automatic, there’s one magical year with a trip to the SEC Championship, and there are at least two wins over Clemson, Florida and Georgia.
Bryan Harsin, Auburn
Top Lines of the Resumé: Three-time Mountain West Champion head coach at Boise State. 69-19 overall.
– Sun Belt Champion head coach in his one year at Arkansas State
Realistic Expectations In Year One: Come up with a winning season, go bowling, be relevant in the SEC West race through mid-November, beat Alabama. Not necessarily in that order.
Realistic Expectations Over Next Five Years: Win an SEC championship, win the SEC West twice, beat Alabama at least twice, and come up with a tough brand of football that gives Auburn an even bigger identity in a state with that other team up the road.
Josh Heupel, Tennessee
Top Lines of the Resumé: National Championship-winning quarterback at Oklahoma. Heisman runner-up.
– American Athletic Conference champion head coach in 2018.
Realistic Expectations In Year One: Create a fun and exciting offense the makes Florida, Georgia, and even Alabama worry about what’s coming in the near future. The schedule is manageable enough to get to a bowl game in Year One.
Realistic Expectations Over Next Five Years: Bowl games in all five seasons, two SEC East championships, one SEC title.
Rob Ianello, Buffalo
Top Lines of the Resumé: Longtime star assistant head coach at Wisconsin, Alabama, Arizona and Kansas, and spent five years at Notre Dame.
– Akron head coach for two seasons. (We’ll just leave out that he went 2-22.)
Realistic Expectations In Year One: Win the MAC. Buffalo might lose a slew of key parts, but the talent is there to get back over the hump and win the conference after losing two of the last three title games.
Realistic Expectations Over Next Five Years: Two MAC Championships, one other appearance, at least four bowl appearances.
Butch Jones, Arkansas State
Top Lines of the Resumé: Two-time Big East Champion head coach at Cincinnati.
– Two-time MAC Champion head coach at Central Michigan.
Realistic Expectations In Year One: Get to a bowl game and make a push in the Sun Belt race. Arkansas State went to nine straight bowl games before going 4-7 last season.
Realistic Expectations Over Next Five Years: Bowl games in each year he’s there with one Sun Belt championship – which turns the program around and leads to Jones leaving for a bigger gig.