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Ranking all of the new head coaches in the FBS

This offseason, we had 25 coaching changes among FBS programs. Normally the coaches relish at getting with their new programs, working with their new players to implement their systems and begin recruiting for the school that just got done recruiting them.

Of course, the pandemic put a huge damper on all of that. All that work that you'd normally have with your new guys was all but wiped out. Recruiting is done more virtually and ten of the coaches that would have made this list won't even get to coach a game this year as their schools or conferences decided against playing this fall (we'll see if they play next spring).

The show does go on at most places, though, so these coaches have a lot of time to make up in order to have their teams ready for a successful season. Having said that, let's rank the new hires of the coaches that will be playing this fall:

 
1 of 15

1 - Mike Norvell, Florida State

Mike Norvell, Florida State
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After going 42 years with just two head coaches, the Seminoles are on their third head coach in four years. The Willie Taggart era was shut down after just two seasons and now Norvell, who just took the Memphis Tigers to a New Year's Six bowl, is tasked with getting Florida State back to its rightful place among the ACC's elite. He won three division titles at Memphis and had two 10-win seasons and a conference championship in four years. He runs an exciting offense and should bring a renewed energy to FSU. 

 
2 of 15

2 - Eli Drinkwitz, Missouri

Eli Drinkwitz, Missouri
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All Drinkwitz did in his lone season at Appalachian State was go 12-1, lead the Mountaineers to the New Orleans Bowl (he left before they won the game) and end the season ranked 19th in the AP poll. He was instantly a hot candidate for a Power Five job and ended up in the SEC. Missouri has been mediocre at best for the last five seasons and needs Drinkwitz's energy to revitalize the program. 

 
3 of 15

3 - Dave Aranda, Baylor

Dave Aranda, Baylor
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Matt Rhule took a program that was a mess and nearly had it in the College Football Playoff last season. Aranda is coming off an impressive run as LSU's defensive coordinator where his Tigers stymied Clemson in last season's national championship game. Baylor has hung its hat on defense of late, and Aranda looks to continue that trend.

 
4 of 15

4 - Lane Kiffin, Mississippi

Lane Kiffin, Mississippi
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Lane Kiffin is back in the SEC after his quick exit from Tennessee over a decade ago. After burning some bridges, he did well enough at FAU to earn another shot at a power five school.  Mississippi is also trying to rebuild its image after some on and off the field issues of late. Will Kiffin's act fly in Oxford? Well, probably if the Rebels start winning. 

 
5 of 15

5 - Greg Schiano, Rutgers

Greg Schiano, Rutgers
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Let's just say it: Rutgers has been an embarrassment in the Big Ten. The Scarlet Knights have gone 9-39 over the last four seasons and 4-40 in conference play in the last five years. Greg Schiano returns to New Jersey to try to get the program back to the success it enjoyed when he last was there. Schiano, who last coached the Scarlet Knights from 2001-2011 before heading to the NFL, took them to a bowl in six of his last seven seasons in Piscataway.

 
6 of 15

6 - Mike Leach, Mississippi State

Mike Leach, Mississippi State
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It will be so interesting to see Mike Leach's style play in the SEC, a conference that prides itself on tough defenses and physical offenses. Leach loves a spread offense and isn't as concerned with the defensive side of things, so expect some high scoring games in Starksville. He certainly will be quotable, and the Egg Bowl rivalry steps up a notch with Leach and Lane Kiffin going at it. 

 
7 of 15

7 - Jeff Scott, South Florida

Jeff Scott, South Florida
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Scott has been running one of the best offenses in the nation during his 12-year stint at Clemson. Whether in the Deshaun Watson era or the current  Trevor Lawrence  one, as co-offensive coordinator he has helped build the Tigers offense into a national force. Now he gets his own program in South Florida — one that was seemingly on the verge of breaking out a few years ago — and will instantly put his strong recruiting skills to use. 

 
8 of 15

8 - Willie Taggart, FAU

Willie Taggart, FAU
Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Taggart will be the head coach of his fourth different school in five years with three of those jobs in the state of Florida. He takes over a program after Lane Kiffin — a coach known for his tendency to switch jobs almost as often — left for Ole Miss. Taggart saw his last real success back in 2016 as the head coach of South Florida, so coming into a program that's currently enjoying success will be a much-needed break for him.

 
9 of 15

9 - Shawn Clark, Appalachian State

Shawn Clark, Appalachian State
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After hiring Eli Drinkwitz just a year ago to take over the football program, it had to undergo another coaching search after Drinkwitz left for Missouri. App State kept things in house by promoting associate head coach Shawn Clark. Clark served under both Scott Satterfield and Drinkwitz (and played there), so he understands what this program has built. Hopefully for Mountaineer fans he sticks around a while.

 
10 of 15

10 - Ryan Silverfield, Memphis

Ryan Silverfield, Memphis
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Silverfield has been with the program for four seasons, so he's familiar with the challenge. The players love him, and he's obviously earned the faith of the administration. His best player, Kenneth Gainwell, opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns so Silverfield will be tasked with retooling the offense. He has been around the block, with coaching gigs in high school, college and in the NFL. 

 
11 of 15

11 - Jeff Hafley, Boston College

Jeff Hafley, Boston College
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Hafley did a great job as the defensive coordinator in his lone season at Ohio State, which came after a seven-year stint in the NFL. He is known for his defensive prowess as well as for being a great recruiter, and he has worked for and alongside coaches like Chip Kelly, Kyle Shanahan, Greg Schiano and   Dave Wannstedt. The Eagles haven't won 8 games in a season since 2009 so Hafley has his work cut out for him. 

 
12 of 15

12 - Scotty Walden, Southern Miss

Scotty Walden, Southern Miss
John Rivera/Icon Sportswire

This is a bit of a weird situation. After just one game into the season (a 32-21 loss to South Alabama) Jay Hopson resigned from the program and 30-year old Walden was tabbed to take over. Walden is the youngest coach in FBS as he is officially named the interim coach but cut his teeth as a 26-year old head coach at D-III East Texas Baptist University. The young guy will likely need to impress if he wants to keep the job permanently. 

 
13 of 15

13 - Mel Tucker, Michigan State

Mel Tucker, Michigan State
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Tucker isn't coming to East Lansing on a high as he went 5-7 in his lone season at Colorado. There are a lot of layers to this hiring (why Mark Dantonio left; how this coaching search went; what Tucker left behind). What is interesting is that Tucker initially turned down the Spartans job before the school threw more money his way to land him. His salary is significantly more than that of his predecessor, which leads to some uneasiness about the hiring. Football-wise, Tucker has an impressive resume as an assistant in both college and the NFL but certainly didn't wow anybody in his lone season in Colorado.

 
14 of 15

14 - Jeff Traylor, UTSA

Jeff Traylor, UTSA
Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire

Traylor has spent a lot of time in and around Texas where he played high school and college ball. He was an assistant coach in high school and at the University of Texas and SMU before spending the last two seasons at Arkansas. Traylor will try to get the Roadrunners out of the mediocrity they've been in since starting their program 10 years ago. His high school coaching stints also could be his key to recruiting locally. 

 
15 of 15

15 - Sam Pittman, Arkansas

Sam Pittman, Arkansas
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

While the rest of the SEC openings went to big names or the hot candidate, Arkansas went a different route. Pittman may be a good coach, but at 58 he has never had a coordinator job, let alone a head coaching job. He is known as a good recruiter, which is sorely needed at Arkansas. While Ole Miss and Mississippi State made splashy hires in a division that already has Nick Saban,   Ed Orgeron, Jimbo Fisher and Gus Malzahn, Arkansas did not. 

More must-reads:

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