Barring an NFL departure or two, the college football coaching carousel, at least on the Power 5 level, has come to a halt. Many things did happen, but here are five oft-talked about possibilities that did not occur.
The Tom Herman Bidding War: Multiple top-tier jobs looked like they could come available. Tom Herman looked like the only top-tier candidate. Many expected an epic bidding war that would take Herman’s future salary into the stratosphere. Not so much. LSU and Texas were the only jobs that came available. LSU wanted Herman. Herman wanted Texas. He will make about what Charlie Strong was earning, nothing to sniff at but hardly ground-breaking.
Les Miles Being a Hot Commodity: LSU fired Les Miles after four games. Miles has maintained his desire to get back into coaching. His name was thrown around for many Power 5 positions. Instead, LSU started playing a lot better when he left. Schools, perhaps, realized hiring a 63-year-old best known (besides goofiness) for steadfast refusal to join the 21st Century on offense may not be the wisest move.
P.J. Fleck Rowing His Boat Somewhere Bigger: Western Michigan is heading to the Cotton Bowl at 13-0. Barring unforeseen circumstances, it looks like P.J. Fleck still will be coaching them. Fleck, at least per Twitter, is the coolest coach in college football right now. He’s enthusiastic. He’s a great recruiter. He’s a turnaround artist. But, whether it was salary demands, ambition, or geographic location with his young children, the right Power 5 fit did not come available. He’s returning to Kalamazoo for another season.
Dan Mullen Moving on Up: Mullen got Mississippi State to No. 1 in the country. He groomed Dak Prescott, one of the NFL’s best young quarterbacks. He’s still only 44. Media members have raised his name during almost every coaching search since 2010, for jobs in all corners of the country and as disparate as Michigan and UConn. He’s still in Starkville. While intriguing, moving into the $5 million per year range for a coach fresh off a 5-7 may have been a tough sell.
Larry Fedora Moving on Up: Larry Fedora has done a solid job at North Carolina, racking up wins against soft schedules. His name was thrown out there as a possibility for LSU and Texas, not to mention Baylor and Oregon. He’s still at UNC and apparently behind many of his peers in compensation. Maybe try coaching shirtless?