There are now five open Power Five jobs and in today’s Tuesdays with Gorney, Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney gives his thoughts on each and ranks them in order of which program has the best chance of winning fast:
CLASS OF 2025 RANKINGS: Rivals100
Paul Chryst won 72% of his games and got fired. He was basically winning at the same clip as Jim Harbaugh at Michigan but maybe under the hood there were some issues brewing that needed to be figured out.
One is that the recruiting department seemed to be lacking severely, especially for a place like Wisconsin. Secondly, losing Jim Leonhard to another program was not something the Badgers wanted to do, so they’re gambling by getting rid of Chryst in place of Leonhard, who could be the long-term answer in Madison.
Wisconsin has not had a losing season since 2001. Ten of the last 17 seasons have brought double-digit victories. This is a place where winning football happens, the system works and while Chryst was very successful running the program the Badgers have now set a new course with the hopes that Leonhard can be the long-term answer.
The Scott Frost era saw the first four-straight losing seasons since the late 1950s and early 1960s at Nebraska, which is hard to believe because there was so much hope that Frost would lead the resurrection of the program.
There are certainly many positives about the Huskers job since the program is steeped in tradition, it has a willing fan base that is aching for relevancy on the national stage again and it literally cannot get much worse. So, any marked improvement will be seen as a bright light by those in charge.
It’s still a difficult ask in recruiting, though, since there is limited in-state talent and then regionally many other Big Ten programs have an established footprint. Still, though, with some creativity and the proper assistant coaches in place with relationships at talent centers across the country, this is still a prime-time job.
3. ARIZONA STATE
There have been a few bright spots in recent years when it comes to Arizona State whether, it was two eight-win seasons by Herm Edwards or two 10-win campaigns by Todd Graham, but otherwise the Sun Devils have been 7-6 or 6-7 for many of the other years.
The Herm Edwards experiment ended up not working and he might’ve been fired on the field by friend and athletic director Ray Anderson after the Sun Devils’ embarrassing loss to Eastern Michigan a few weeks ago. There is a looming NCAA investigation to deal with as well, so any potential coaching candidates will have to navigate through that to determine if they even want to get involved.
But there are many positives to this job where I believe the Sun Devils could flourish. There is plenty of in-state talent, but keeping those players home has been a significant challenge for both Arizona State and Arizona over the past several years. The weather, the campus, the – let’s say – social scene are all very beneficial. ASU is a place where winning can happen, but the right coach needs the right staff and in-state recruiting must pick up.
4. GEORGIA TECH
What Georgia Tech has going for it is that it’s located in one of the most talent-rich areas of the country, so while many top prospects will leave for Georgia or other SEC powers, the Yellow Jackets have a real chance to load up with local talent each and every recruiting cycle.
One problem is that Geoff Collins’ revamp following the successful Paul Johnson years did not work, so the new coaching staff will have to come in and basically start over again. With the transfer portal and Atlanta-area talent, that could be done quicker than most rebuilds.
From 1997 to 2014, Georgia Tech went to a bowl game every single year. Since that time, the Ramblin Wreck have only gone twice. I don’t think national titles are around the corner, but expectations of going to a bowl game – and a surprise ACC upset here and there – should be a solid starting point after three straight 3-9 seasons under Collins.
Karl Dorrell did not have an ample amount of time to implement his system at Colorado as he came in during the COVID year mess, then had one full season and was fired after an 0-5 start to this season, during which the Buffaloes were hardly competitive in any game. Colorado lost every game by double digits and gave up more than 40 points in its last four losses. So Dorrell is gone and a new coaching search starts.
The Buffaloes haven’t been piling up four-stars in recent recruiting classes but they haven’t been at the bottom of the Pac-12, either, so there is some talent there, a great college town, proximity to the talent in Denver and the suburbs and they’ve had success in Texas, California and other states before. Dorrell inspired no excitement in the program, and that’s what Colorado needs to get jumpstarted again.