The numbers game

When the college football coaching hot stove heats back up this winter, it's probably safe to assume that Clemson folks will be paying close attention.

If everything goes swimmingly this fall Chad Morris' name will once again be tossed around as a candidate for vacant head coaching opportunities. Fortunately, for those that won't be ready to say goodbye, there may not be all that many opportunities for him to walk.

In 2012, 28 FBS programs began the season with a new head coach. When college football returns this fall, there will be 31 more new head coaches on the job.

Arkansas and Arkansas State will have opened with new bosses in each of the last two seasons, so that makes for 57 schools with head coaches that have been on the job for less than two full years.

There are a total of 124 FBS schools. Assuming that a usually awful set of math skills is correct, once the 2013 season kicks off just under half of the country's teams will have changed head coaches within the last two seasons.

Before going any further, we'll make a few more assumptions.

Let's assume that Morris will be on the 2014 job market with the same criteria he's had the last two years: he will only take a position at a school that is in a conference with an automatic BCS bid.

With the College Football Playoff beginning in 2014, that could change things up for Morris.

But assuming that he'll want his next job to be at school with a seat at the table, Morris will only consider schools that are in the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC.

Aside from the SEC, which saw four schools turnover its head coaching position for this season, multiple schools from each conference could have coaches on the hot seat this season:


Missouri's Gary Pinkel is one of a few coaches that could be on the hot seat this fall.

ACC

Georgia Tech
Maryland [moving to Big 10 in 2014]

Big 10

Indiana
Iowa
Minnesota

Big 12

Iowa State
Kansas
Texas

Pac 12

USC
Washington

SEC

Missouri

A few questions to chew on:

-Would Morris leave Clemson for one of their biggest ACC rivals, which happens to be just a couple hours down the road?

-Is the Big 10 a place that he would want to start his career as a head coach?

-Would Texas and USC really consider a guy who's never been a head coach?

From this perspective, it looks like the answers to those all of those questions is no.

But say Texas and USC do make changes. The college football coaching carousel will be in full swing.

Keeping with the trend, one would have to assume that Art Briles, Kevin Sumlin and Gary Patterson would all be candidates for one or both of those jobs. Nick Saban, Mike Gundy, Dan Mullen, Chris Peterson and Charlie Strong might be, too.

All eight, potentially, could be wooed by the NFL.

It could be feast or famine when the college football coaching hot stove heats back up this winter. For the sake of continuity and increasing their chances of signing a particular high school quarterback from the state of Georgia, Clemson fans should cheer like crazy for the other USC and Texas this fall.

Missouri, too. Clemson fans should also be cheering for that SEC version of the Tigers.

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