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Syracuse football head coaching hot board 1.0

Syracuse football is looking for a new head coach. Here is a look at some potential candidates.

Scott Frost | Oregon offensive coordinator | Age 40 

Scott Frost

Why he fits: If you want high octane offense, Oregon is the place to go. Frost has been in that system for some time and is one of the nation's hottest assistants. Athletic Director Mark Coyle interviewed him for the Boise State job, so he is clearly on Coyle's radar. Frost does not have the recruiting ties in the Northeast or in the South that other candidates have, but his name and system should correct that somewhat quickly. He can sell prospects on playing in an Oregon style offense on the fast track of the Carrier Dome. Frost has no head coaching experience, but many feel he is ready to make that transition.

Mike Sanford | Notre Dame offensive coordinator | Age 33 

Mike Sanford

Why he fits: Sanford is a rising star in the coaching world. He is young, energetic and is considered a creative offensive mind. His father is a long time head coach, so it is in his blood. He has also been a recruiting coordinator when he was at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh and David Shaw. In addition, he was the offensive coordinator for Boise State during the 2014 season that was capped with a Fiesta Bowl win. That was AD Mark Coyle's last football season at Boise. There is a connection there and Sanford is highly thought of by Coyle because of that. His experience as a recruiting coordinator while helping to build up a program would also serve him well at Syracuse.

Lincoln Riley | Oklahoma Offensive Coordinator | Age 32

Lincoln Riley

Why he fits: Riley has had a lot of success as an offensive coordinator at both East Carolina and Oklahoma this season. He has guided the Sooners to one of the top offenses in college football after a very productive five year stint with the Pirates. Because of his time with East Carolina, he has experience recruiting in the east. Riley is considered a young, innovative offensive mind. That should create some buzz among the fan base. In 2014, the Oklahoma offense ranked 24th in the country. In 2015, with Riley running the show, the Sooners' offense was ranked 6th nationally entering week 12. They improved by 10 points and 80 yards per game.

Ed Orgeron | LSU defensive line coach | Age 54 

Ed Orgeron

Why he fits: Orgeron was not successful during his run as the Ole Miss head coach, but he sure recruited well. Then, as interim head coach at USC, he went 6-2 down the stretch of the season. Players wanted him as the permanent replacement. Orgeron is a players' coach who has always been able to recruit. He coached at Syracuse from 1995-97 as the defensive line coach, so he has a connection to the program. He has ties to the Northeast and in the South. Orgeron is a name that would receive national recognition, would galvanize the fan base and would be strong on the recruiting front. He also comes with significant head coaching experience, something that may be important for new AD Mark Coyle.

Bo Pelini | Youngstown State head coach | Age 54 

 Bo Pelini

Why he fits: Pelini can flat out coach. He led Nebraska to at least a nine win campaign in each of his seven seasons as the head coach of the Cornhuskers. They determined that was not good enough, and opted to go in another direction. That has not worked out real well for them, as they sit at 5-6 on the season. Pelini also had three 10-win seasons during his tenure with Nebraska. Now he is the head coach at Youngstown State, but he clearly wants to get back to the power five ranks. Pelini wanted the job back when Gross hired Greg Robinson, so you would have to imagine there is still interest on his end. The program is in a better place now than it was then. Pelini has significant recruiting ties to the Midwest, an area Syracuse has recruited well in recent years. He also has name recognition that could create buzz within the fan base.

P.J. Fleck | Western Michigan head coach | Age 34 

P.J. Fleck

Why he fits: Fleck is a young, energetic coach who will absolutely win the introductory press conference. But beyond that, he is a good football mind and a rising star in the coaching world. Fleck has a reputation as an innovative offensive mind and a move to the power five ranks is a matter of when not if. His Broncos team is averaging nearly 37 points per game and over 485 yards of total offense per game in 2015. That type of offensive prowess would not only serve him well on the turf in the Carrier Dome, but excite the fan base and help improve attendance assuming it translates. Fleck also has recruited well in the Midwest, and his youthful personality would be something recruits could relate to.

Matt Campbell | Toledo head coach | Age 35 

Matt Campbell

Why he fits: Campbell is another young, energetic coach who is on the rise. He has helped keep Toledo as a contender in the MAC. His Rockets squad is averaging 36 points per game while giving up only 18, showing he has the ability to make an impact on both sides of the ball. Campbell is a strong recruiter, giving Toledo some of their highest ranked classes in program history. He has even won recruiting battles over Syracuse, such as starting safety DaJuan Rogers. He may not be a sexy name to some, but he is young, has head coaching experience, is a good recruiter and has a reputation as a good offensive mind. Campbell checks most of the boxes.

Matt Rhule | Temple head coach | Age 40 

Mark Rhule

Why he fits: Rhule has done a great job turning Temple around and building them into a program that was and deserved to be ranked. They took Notre Dame down to the wire and nearly pulled a big upset. The Owls are a disciplined, physical football team, and that starts with Rhule. When Rhule took over, Temple was coming off of a 4-7 season. He was offensive coordinator under Al Golden there, but left for a season to go to the NFL. The Temple program struggled without Golden and Rhule. He built them back, which is something he will ahve to do at Syracuse, though there is talent to work with. Rhule also has significant Northeast recruiting ties, specifically in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia.

Greg Schiano | TV analyst | Age 49 

Greg Schiano

Why he fits: Schiano is a name that causes angst among most Syracuse football fans. But he actually would be a good hire for a number of reasons. Schiano has significant head coaching experience and has turned around a program with less historical tradition than Syracuse from his time at Rutgers. That also means significant Northeast recruiting ties, specifically in New Jersey and New York. From his time at Miami as well as Rutgers, he has also recruited Florida well. Not to mention, Schiano still has name recognition. It would create a buzz. His hire actually makes a lot of sense in a number of ways. Most Syracuse fans would sign up for a new coach with recruiting ties to the key areas they recruit, winning head coaching experience and experience building up a program. That's what Greg Schiano brings to the table.

Mario Cristobal | Alabama offensive line coach | Age 45 

Mario Cristobal

Why he fits: Mario Cristobal is the best recruiter in college football. He has won that award with Scout and has earned that reputation. From his time at Miami to his time at Rutgers and now at Alabama, Cristobal has recruited South Florida, New Jersey and New York City as well as anyone. He has head coaching experience, going 27-47 at Florida International. But he took over a struggling program and got them to seven and eight wins in years four and five. It was a down year in year six that resulted in his firing. So he has proven capable of building a program. Cristobal is still relatively young, and his recruiting prowess would make him a great hire. Not to mention, his name still has cache. It should create some buzz.

Brent Venables | Clemson defensive coordinator | Age 44 

Brent Venables

Why he fits: Venables has run one of the top defenses in college football over the last couple of years. He recruits well in the South, and his defenses have proven to be physical, talented and aggressive. Again, no head coaching experience, but he is someone who will be on everyone's radar as an assistant who could make that transition. Having been a part of highly successful programs in Clemson and Oklahoma, he knows what it takes to get the job done.

Jeff Brohm | Western Kentucky head coach | Age 44 

Jeff Brohm

Why he fits: Brohm has been an assistant on some Western Kentucky teams that won seven or eight games routinely. In his first year as head coach in 2014, he led them to an eight win campaign and bowl win over Central Michigan. His teams score points and have played with more discipline since he took over. Brohm has ties to the South and Midwest, so should be able to recruit at Syracuse, though he is a question mark regarding Northeast recruiting. It's clear Brohm, a former Louisville quarterback, can coach.

Dino Babers | Bowling Green head coach | Age 54 

 Dino Babers

Why he fits: Babers has done a fantastic job at Bowling Green, and has them sitting at 8-2 this year. They have two wins over Big Ten teams in Purdue and Maryland. While neither are great this season, it is always impressive when a non power five school can beat multiple power five teams in a single season. It took Babers a while to get his first head coaching gig, but he has coached in the East, South, Midwest and West Coast. Babers has a 35-15 head coaching record overall. The Falcons are averaging over 45 points and 580 yards of offense per game. Those are some gaudy numbers.


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