Coaching carousel winners and losers: Grading every 2018 college football hire and beyond

Compared to last silly season, 2018 was a breeze. There were 21 coaching changes, only one more than all of last year. There were changes at only nine Power Five schools compared to 12 in 2017.

Senior citizenship had its privileges with Mack Brown and Les Miles back in the game. Offensive coaches continue to be favored. Urban Meyer continues to retire. As such, Ohio State was the only blueblood to make a change. The biggest news out of the West Coast is that USC stayed put.

Every school involved once again responded to Wednesday's early signing day. All the changes were buttoned up before then.

Here are the winners and losers from this year's coaching carousel along with grades for each hire and a bonus set of winners and losers at the bottom.

Winners

Jury is still out

Losers

More winners and losers

Winner -- Purdue retaining Jeff Brohm: Loyalty, what a concept. That's what Brohm showed when turning down his alma mater (Louisville) for arguably a worse program. In two seasons, Brohm is only one game above .500 (13-12). He is a combined 2-4 against Wisconsin, Iowa and Northwestern in the Big Ten West. There's a lot of work to be done but the future is bright. Purdue got lucky.

Winner -- USC for hiring Kliff Kingsbury: As long as everyone agrees Kingsbury, the new offensive coordinator, is a coach-in-waiting for Clay Helton, then this is a net win for USC. Texas Tech's former coach looks like a perfect match in the development of rising sophomore quarterback J.T. Daniels. Kingsbury inherits him and a talented set of receivers. Pac-12 titles have been won with that combination alone.

Loser -- USC for retaining Clay Helton: Athletic director Lynn Swann showed his inexperience in retaining Helton. In making the announcement Swann revealed a general lack of knowledge of his constituents and USC football. It's safe to say a larger portion of fans wanted Helton out -- not that fans should be guiding or even influencing hiring policy, but those are the people buying tickets. In the statement, Swann basically said every part of the program was "deficient," but he was still retaining Helton. Swann has now tied his fate to that of Helton. If the Trojans tank in 2019, Swann might find himself out of work, too.

Loser -- Rutgers for retaining Chris Ash: The Scarlet Knights retained Ash despite his 1-11 season and a 7-29 record in four seasons. In this age of impatience, it doesn't make sense. Ash is a good coach and fine man, but let's be honest: He is still the coach because Rutgers couldn't afford his $10 million buyout. The athletic department is upside down financially since joining the Big Ten. The school has borrowed heavily from Rutgers' internal bank hoping for a bridge to 2021 when the school gets its first full share in rights fee money from the Big Ten. Ash is only part of the problem.

Loser -- Pac-12: For so many reasons, but let's consider its current commitment to football. The league continued its ongoing streak of 15 straight years without a national championship. Everything from its officials to its spending have been called into question. But if Meyer was a free agent, which he technically is at the moment, how many Pac-12 schools have the money and/or desire to hire one of the best coaches in the game? We're talking at least $8 million in salary a year, but we're also talking about some sort of guaranteed success in exchange for that money. The possibilities: USC? Washington? Maybe Oregon? That's about it.

To put it in sharper focus: Since November 2017, half of the league has changed coaches (UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State and Colorado). None of those teams seriously considered Jeff Tedford, who just finished 12-2 at Fresno State. That's the most wins in the program's 50-year FBS history from a coach who has 12 years' experience in the Pac-10 (11 as a head coach) and tutored Aaron Rodgers.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Dennis Dodd has covered college football for CBS Sports since it was CBS SportsLine in 1998. He is one of only seven media members to attend all 16 BCS title games and has chronicled conference realignment... Full Bio

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