Taking a spin on college football’s coaching carousel

Anthony Gimino

November 30, 2015 at 1:11 pm.

Apr 18, 2015; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Kirby Smart during the A-day game at Bryant Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 18, 2015; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Kirby Smart during the A-day game at Bryant Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

The coaching football coaching carousel is taking some wicked spins, and we might just be getting started.

Jobs at USC, Georgia, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Miami and LSU — no, scratch that, not LSU — have opened, and a couple of those big ones have already closed.

As of Monday afternoon, 20 head coaches among the 128 in the FBS had been fired, had resigned or had retired.

In a period of less than 48 hours, LSU suffered whiplash by changing course and retaining Les Miles, Georgia stirred up what appeared to be a stable situation by firing Mark Richt, and USC shrugged its shoulders and changed the designation of Clay Helton from interim head coach to permanent head coach.

Which is funny.

Like there is anything permanent about these jobs.

Only three FBS head coaches have been in their position longer than 11 seasons: Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz are wrapping up their 17th seasons with national championship aspirations, and TCU’s Gary Patterson (15th seasons) has another 10- win campaign heading into the postseason.

With USC’s decision Monday morning, and Virginia Tech beating everyone to Memphis head coach Justin Fuente as the replacement for 29-year vet Frank Beamer, there were 14 total openings in the FBS as of Monday afternoon.

We rank the eight among the Power 5 conference schools:

1. Georgia. Mark Richt, who won 74 percent of his games and finished in the AP Top 10 in seven of his previous 14 seasons, handled his farewell press conference Monday in typical style — with class.

More than that, he told five-star quarterback commit Jacob Eason “to be patient” and see who the school brings in. Eason, plus the typically loaded Dawgs’ roster (hello, rehabbing running back Nick Chubb), make this, easily, the best job on the market.

Quarterback play has been the team’s biggest issue recently, so Houston first-year coach Tom Herman would have been the play here, but Herman said Monday he has agreed in principle on a new contract with the Cougars.

Go get him: Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart (a Georgia alum)

Plan B: Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen

Make a call to: Stanford coach David Shaw

2. South Carolina. A passionate fan base, a school with SEC money to spend, and somewhat reasonable expectations creates a nice environment for the guy who replaces Steve Spurrier. On the flip side, the roster lacks elite talent and the Gamecocks are playing catch-up to SEC East schools Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and, possibly, Missouri.

Go get him: Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart

Plan B: North Carolina coach Larry Fedora

Make a call to: Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez

3. Miami. It’s Miami. The new coach can recruit on a tank of a gas, selling tradition and the school’s NFL pipeline. A guy who can navigate the school’s vocal football alums and excite an apathetic fan base would be plusses. According to reports, 63-year-old Butch Davis, who engineered the Hurricanes’ wild success about 15 years ago, has already interviewed. But there’s a former Miami quarterback who just came on the market who would be the slam dunkiest of all slam-dunk hires.

Go get him: Former Georgia coach Mark Richt

Plan B: Butch Davis

Plan C: Alabama offensive line coach Mario Cristobal

4. Missouri. Gary Pinkel, stepping down because of health reasons, showed that Missouri can win in the SEC, winning the East in 2013 and 2014. Missouri doesn’t necessarily bank on four- and five-star recruits, so Temple coach Matt Ruhle is the blue-collar, tough guy who can coach ’em up while fitting the Tigers’ sensibilities.

Go get him: Temple coach Matt Ruhle

Plan B: Missouri defensive coordinator Barry Odom

5. Maryland. The cash infusion from Under Armour has Maryland thinking it could rise as the “Oregon of the East.” While it’s not likely that Chip Kelly is walking through that door, Maryland is focusing on offense and, according to the Baltimore Sun, could turn to an alum, former quarterback Frank Reich, who is the San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator. A ton of names have been mentioned here in what has been a muddled coaching search.

Go get him: Frank Reich

Plan B: Former Indianapolis offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton

6. Virginia. Mike London recruited well but couldn’t win, resigning after going 27-46 in six seasons. This is a nice job: The recruiting base is underrated, the school has shown it will pay big bucks for its head coach and it’s possible to win right away in the ACC Coastal.

Go get him: Western Kentucky coach Jeff Brohm

Plan B: Air Force coach Troy Calhoun

Make a call to: Former Texas coach Mack Brown

7. Syracuse. Scott Shafer was fired after three seasons, but he’ll leave behind freshman dual-threat quarterback Eric Dungey. One rumored candidate in particular would be able to work nicely with that — Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost.

Go get him: Scott Frost

Make a call to: Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Sanford

8. Rutgers. The athletic department is a mess, there is no winning tradition and the team is coming off a 1-7 season in the loaded Big Ten East. Well, at least it is a Big Ten job, right?

Go get him: Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck

Make calls to: Former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, former Miami coach Al Golden, Coastal Carolina coach and former CEO of TD Ameritrade Joe Moglia.

Other jobs available: UCF, Memphis, Louisiana-Monroe, North Texas, Toledo and Tulane.

At UCF, Bowling Green coach Dino Babers denied rumors Sunday night he had accepted the job; could be just a matter of time before he does. That would be a great hire. As for Memphis, first reported that the Tigers quickly offered the job to former Memphis defensive coordinator Barry Odom, who could also be in play at his current school, Missouri.

Jobs that have been filled: Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa State, Minnesota, Virginia Tech and USC.