Ranking The College Football FBS Coaches in Florida For 2017
The best collection of college football coaches could be in the state of Florida next season – we rank the seven FBS coaches during the 2017 year.
In the last 72 hours, two of the state of Florida’s college football programs playing at the highest level – the FBS – made their coaching hires for the 2017 season. In what could be described as a shock to most, USF was abel to reel in former Texas head coach Charlie Strong…while FAU somehow got Lane Kiffin to sign on to coach the Owls!
The two hires mean that the seven FBS programs in the Sunshine State have arguably the greatest collection of head coaches out there. With a combined 12 national titles between them as players and coaches, it’s going to be harder in the future for teams to recruit against all the programs.
Just where do they rank heading into the coming year? We count them down from No. 7 to No. 1.
Oct 1, 2016; Greenville, NC, USA; Central Florida Knights head coach Scott Frost looks on against the East Carolina Pirates during the third quarter at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The Central Florida Knights defeated the East Carolina Pirates 47-29. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
No. 7 – Scott Frost, Central Florida
It’s nothing personal against the former Nebraska quarterback (who won the 1997 national title) and Oregon assistant (who was part of the team that played for the 2014 crown). Hell, he should be praised for getting them from 0-12 the year before to 6-6 and a bowl game this season.
The problem is that he is not a sexy name at this point among the seven. He’s the most sensible and normal one out of the whole group. Now, an American Athletic Conference title next season could change all of that.
Nov 15, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Florida International University newly acquired head coach Butch Davis sits court side with his wife Tammy Davis during the first half of a game between the Atlanta Hawks the Atlanta Hawks at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
No. 6 – Butch Davis, Florida International
Davis made it be known to anyone that would listen that he wanted to be the coach of the Miami Hurricanes before they hired Mark Richt, looking for a reunion with the school he spent six season with in the late 90’s. Well, at least he got back to South Florida, right?
There is no doubt that he is a master recruiter and can get the Golden Panthers back to a bowl game sooner rather than later. The problem is that some recruits weren’t born when he was dominating the college football scene with the ‘Canes, so he has to remind them of that.
Dec 3, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin reacts during the fourth quarter of the SEC Championship college football game against the Florida Gators at Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
No. 5 – Lane Kiffin, Florida Atlantic
If anyone out there thought you would see Kiffin end up coaching the Owls (outside of those in the FAU program…and even many of them didn’t think this would happen), I’m going to call you a liar. What looks to be a redemption job and a stepping stone is going to bring the program to new levels.
Kiffin is going to be able to take the success at Alabama – along with being a known name – and go head to head with the state’s big three for recruits. The problem is that he’s still at FAU, so Kiffin will lose many of those battles on school tradition alone.
Nov 19, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain celebrates the win over the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium. The Gators defeat the Tigers 16-10. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
No. 4 – Jim McElwain, Florida
The last two seasons, the Gators have somehow figured a way to have one of the worst offenses in college football and still play for a SEC title. The reason is a monster defense…which is great until you realize McElwain is supposed to be an offensive mind.
There are times watching the Gators play when you wonder of Coach Mac is in over his head and should not be in this position. That being said, if he can keep one quarterback around for a full season, that might be the start of things being better.
Nov 25, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong prior to kickoff against the Texas Christian Horned Frogs at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports
No. 3 – Charlie Strong, South Florida
I’m not going to lie to you – this might be the best coaching hire of the entire year and it truly does scare me as a FSU alum and fan. Strong got a raw deal and never had the full support of those in charge and with influence at Texas, so he was let go to find another job.
Strong has plenty of experience with coaching and recruiting in the state of Florida and will be able to steal recruits that may have only looked at the big three in the state. I don’t think Strong spends his next 20 years there, but don’t be surprised when the Bulls are playing in big bowls and competing for titles.
Oct 20, 2016; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt during the third quarter against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
No. 2 – Mark Richt, Miami
Sometimes, records can be deceiving – such as looking on the surface at Miami’s 8-4 record in the first season under the former Hurricanes quarterback. Dig deeper and you will see that three of those losses were by a combined 11 points…proof things are turning around down there.
If Richt is able to convince Brad Kaaya to stick around for his senior season in Coral Gables, the Hurricanes could be a team that is in the conversation for a big bowl game. It’s not what we want to hear as Seminoles, but Richt is doing things the right way that will bring them back sooner rather than later.
Nov 5, 2016; Raleigh, NC, USA; Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher watches his team during the first half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Carter Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
No. 1 – Jimbo Fisher, Florida State
It’s not hard to understand why the Seminoles are currently the kings of the Sunshine State when it comes to college football. Fisher has turned the program around into a new mindset from the last part of the previous decade and has them thinking they are one of the country’s best programs.
Fisher has consistently out recruited the rest of the state, including Florida and Miami, while bringing in top talent from across the country. It’s not saying that this will last forever, but for at least a few more seasons it appears that Garnet and Gold will continue to be the color of champions in Florida – and Fisher will continue to be the best FBS coach here.
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