Oct 6

So Far, So....

Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC  Tags: college football

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A quick look at the first-year head coaches of 2010. More than 20 coaches are in their first season at their respective schools this year. Now that we are five games into the season, let's take a look at what coaches are having an immediate impact, and what coaches are going to need a few recruiting classes to turn things around. I wrote an article in the preseason where I predicted how each coach would fare. Please feel free to find it in our story archive (link above) titled New Coaches for 2010.

* Brian Kelly, Notre Dame (2-3) - The Irish are not setting the world on fire, but they are - to me - better already. They won their opener, then lost to three pretty good teams in Michigan State, Michigan and Stanford. Then they beat BC on the road. I still think this team will go bowling and perhaps reach eight wins. Regardless, it isn't Charlie Weis, and that is a positive unto itself.

* Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech (2-2) - After winning his first two games big over easy competition, Tubbs lost a close one to Texas, then on the road at Iowa State. His style (like most coaches) is just different than Mike Leach's, so this one may take a season or two to find real success. Losing to Iowa State says you have work to do.

* Jimbo Fisher, Florida State (4-1) - Take away a bad loss at Oklahoma, and you might think FSU was really turning it around. They have won three straight by a combined score of 99-24. At 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the ACC, the Seminoles are looking ok. But they play at Miami Saturday, and we will know more then for sure.

* Turner Gill, Kansas (2-3) - It has been up and down for this team, with more of the down at this point. Kansas beat Georgia Tech at home for a big win in week two, but that has been about the only real bright spot. A loss to North Dakota State was bad, a loss on national TV at Southern Miss was also bad, but a 55-7 thumping at Baylor most recently is the worst. Work. To. Do.

* Mike London, Virginia (2-2) - London opened up by beating his previous school, Richmond, 34-14. Next, the Cavaliers put up a valiant effort on the road out at USC. But after a win over lowly VMI, UVA looked eerily similar to the Groh days in a 20-point home loss to Florida State. This program was a mess, let's give him time.

* Charlie Strong, Louisville (2-2) - Strong's team sits at 2-2, but 0-2 in games against halfway decent quality. Wins over Eastern Kentucky and Arkansas State are not much, and losses to Oregon State and Kentucky show that the Cardinals have a long way to go. I like this coach, but he seriously has his work cut out for him.

* Derek Dooley, Tennessee (2-3) - Even though just 2-3, Dooley might be the coach of which I am most impressed. He has lost some tough ballgames, but Tennessee has that fight back in them, and that is for sure. They hung with Oregon for about 35 minutes before the Ducks took off. Then they lost to Florida, but played tough. And last Saturday - in a game that defies the laws of emotion - they lost to LSU. Give Dooley some time to learn and this program will be back.

* Lane Kiffin, USC (4-1) - This record is somewhat deceiving. The Hawaii and UVA performances were subpar, and two road wins - though wins nonetheless - came against Minnesota and Washington State. A home loss to Washington this past weekned has some fans fuming! The Trojans now go to Stanford where they will either make amends or have Kiffin in hot water before he even gets settled back in.

* Ruffin McNeill, East Carolina (2-2) - The Pirates opened with two home wins followed by two ugly road losses. The ACC may be "down" but McNeill isn't buying it! Virginia Tech beat 'em 49-27, then UNC followed up with a 42-17 thumping of their own. In two weeks they get NC State at home. Next they play Southern Miss on the road.

Other notable first year coaches:

* Robbie Caldwell, Vanderbilt (1-3) - A hopeless job...Good luck, my friend!

* Joker Phillips, Kentucky (3-2) - Does he really go by that name?

* Butch Jones, Cincinnati (1-3) - Not quite the same in Cincy post Brian Kelly.

* Skip Holtz, South Florida  (3-1) - The loss came on the road at Florida.


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