Coaching carousel winners and losers: New grades for every hire ahead of the 2019 season

We jumped the gun when we wrote last month that the 2018-19 coaching carousel was "a breeze." It seemed perfectly logical to grade all the hires two days before the Early Signing Period on Dec 17, 2018. Then -- beginning Dec. 30 -- 10 coaches were fired/retired/moved in the space of 19 days.

There was an outcry regarding the National Letter of Intent that binds players who sign in the early period with one coach, only to find themselves with a new coach in a matter of days. The presumption that early signing day would force schools to hurry up and tidy up their coaching situation just didn't happen in Year 2.

More than a quarter of the 28 coaching changes occurred after the early signing date. That total number of coaching changes is the most since after the 2015 season (29).

Since things were thought to be wrapped up nice and tidy last month, Temple hired its second coach and Dana Holgorsen dropped from Power Five to Group of getting a (big) raise. FootballScoop.com reported that half the jobs in FBS have turned over at least once since Nov. 2016.

Now, it's time to regroup, reconsider and regrade. Here (again) are the winners and losers from this year's coaching carousel. This time we mean it.

* Names with an asterisk indicate new hires and grades following the Early Signing Period.

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.

Loser -- USC for its missteps: What will you remember most about the Kliff Kingsbury era at USC? Mostly, there never was one as Texas Tech's old coach spent a month on campus as offensive coordinator before jumping to the NFL with the Cardinals. Athletic director Lynn Swann seemed to be caught flat-footed when his de facto coach-in-waiting left Troy. It took three weeks for Clay Helton to hire Kingsbury's replacement in fellow Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell (the offensive coordinator at North Texas).  USC looks in disarray. In retaining Helton, Swann basically said every part of the program was "deficient." Huh? Swann may now his fate to 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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