This is a list of my own construction, likes and dislikes and thoughts on candidates. No insider info, just my take as an avid college football fan. - Brian Tier 1 - The Godfather The longest of long shots that would take an offer you can't refuse and even then, it probably isn't enough. Nick Saban, Alabama HC He deserves another tier called Lord of the Rings. This is a list I would go through if I was part of the hiring process. Look. You have to make Nick say no to you or you're not doing your job. Get your boosters together and go to Sexton with 15-25 million a year. Whatever you can afford. Offer him everything he has at Bama. He 99.9% likely stays and you force the REC to give him another car dealership or vacation home or another pay raise. Nothing lost. Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma HC The first candidate I think is a possibility and so is my first real call with hope. He's an elite playcaller, incredibly young still at 37, he's shown a desire to get better on defense with hires and he's making strides with recruiting. Grinch is a good DC. The problem is OU thinks they're LSU without the recruiting base in state, they have a set of rules they play by similar to our weed policy that does sometimes handicap them the way we are, and Lincoln has seen that as much support as he has there going to the SEC is gonna get tougher. Sark is gonna build a monster at Texas. Jimbo will still be a pain recruiting due to oil money.. he has struggled to land elite RBs and WRs of late. Guess what grow on trees in Louisiana? He can go get you a QB anytime he wants from anywhere. We also produce stud defenders and he can go find linebackers in Texas. His coach Bedenbaugh on the OL is one of the best in the nation.. there's a lot to sell him on here. He was a rock star at OU but that's changed cause he hasn't won it all. He knows he's good. He knows he'd win titles here. I think there's a chance however small. Bob Stoops, Fox College Analyst He's not an ideal choice and I think he's tied to OU forever. However, maybe he's interested in setting a blue blood aright, setting the infrastructure up to hand it off to another protege like he did with Riley and enhance his legacy after taking care of his health. He'd bring instant respect, credibility, and stability. Obviously he was terrible on defense, loyal to his brothers poor coaching, etc etc.. but he's a good man who tries to do it right which isn't easy in big time college athletics. Can't see it even being entertained. Joe Brady, Carolina Panthers OC Not saying he's a slam dunk. But this guy is the epitome of if he were to be interested it would take a Godfather offer to land him. Not sure I'd even want him. He *can* recruit. He just didn't like it. Rakim Jarrett and Jermaine Burton really upset him the way Tre Bradford and Tristan Leigh upset Riley. It would take a massive offer, I think he's the next Bengals coach if he wants that job. He's an NFL guy. However, you'd be hard pressed to find a guy who wouldn't transition well. Limited coaching tree access, though. I think that will hurt him in the NFL as well. Urban Meyer, Jacksonville Jaguars HC The other LOTR. I don't think I would touch him at this point. He's a liar and a winner. Can you trust him as an AD? Nope. Makes him impossible to hire. And he lies about dumb stuff that is easily proven wrong when he's in trouble. It's strange. Would win a title at LSU without question, if he actually stuck around a few years. Just.. I would say no. Tier 2 - The Usual Suspects Here's the list that you'll see make the rounds by most lazy writers. Luke Fickell, Cincinnati HC Brilliant coach. Does things differently. Self-aware. Recognized he wasn't ready for the interim job at tOSU, but out of love for his alma mater took it and got killed for it. He has built a Be Different we are Family atmosphere at Cincinatti. He's a different guy that sells sincerity, love, accountability.. there's a reason Marcus Freeman didn't want to leave and nearly didn't. Problem is like with Freeman both wives and families are centered in Ohio and they believe football isn't everything and so luring them from Ohio would be the hard part. He's a guaranteed success, imo. I rarely ever think that with a coach. I do with him. Matt Campbell, Iowa State HC This guy is a stud. You know in his 5+ years at Iowa State he's had less 4 star recruits total than LSU usually lands in a single year? And he beats people he has no business beating. OL coach at heart, he's just a damn good football coach. Can he recruit? Hard to say, but we know he can run a program and punch up. He's a hell of a coach waiting to prove it elsewhere. Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss HC I mean, he's the whole f'ing show, isn't he? You get it all with Lane. That's good and bad. Will he be responsible? Will he build a sustainable program? He's at a massive disadvantage at Ole Miss, but he's as good a playcaller as there is in football at this level. He would have to really sell me on a vision. And I'd have to trust him. That's tough. James Franklin, Penn State HC There's the cover up of rape at Vanderbilt. That's ugly as hell. There's the fact he is as bad as coaching game situations and managing the clock as Les Miles is. Other than that, dude can recruit, he's a diversity hire, he's a heck of a leader and motivator, and he's a sharp guy. Would be fascinating to see what he could do at a program where he's really given keys to a car that can go. Penn State is like a vintage race car, LSU, Bama, tOSU, Clemson, etc.. they're running on nitrous. Bill O'Brien, Alabama OC He can coach proven by his time in the NFL as a coach. He is a terrible evaluator and acquirer of NFL talent also proven by his time as an NFL GM. So the problem is in college you're both the GM and head coach.. can he recruit? He was only at Penn State two years and they had the death sentence sanctions. We don't know. That terrifies me. Lots in his corner though because the man is a fantastic coach and supposedly a really good guy. I think he's a tough sell with his image and his lack of recruiting history. Would heavily depend on his interview. Jim Leonhard, Wisconsin DC I'm putting him in a tier above most others. I think he'd recruit well but that's a gut deal. I think he's as brilliant as Aranda if not moreso defensively. He's at his alma mater and seems content, but hey. You never know. That job has not opened up yet. Miles always thought Michigan was his dream. Same with Fickell and tOSU.. but recall what Bo told Miles, "Hey, maybe LSU is your Michigan, Les. Make it your Michigan for those young men and yourself." Jim probably belongs in a lower tier, but I think he's gonna go as far as he wants in this business. But he already made NFL millions so he's an unusual case. Tier 3 - Uncut Gems Guys with something to prove, all the potential in the world and highly valuable, but one wrong cut and you've just killed your margins. Jeff Hafley, Boston College HC Another Ohio guy. What is it with the best coaches and Ohio? Anyway, he's a rising star. He's recruiting really well. Very short resume, but look at how that defense has fallen off a cliff. It got worse under Schiano and even worse since him. Hafley made that tOSU game go and I was super impressed how he called our 2019 Clemson game on ESPN's coaches film room. Up and comer. He's an uncut gem though because you know he's valuable, but the finished product could vary wildly depending on the cut. Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina HC Brilliant offensive mind. Extensive head coaching and program leading but all on very, very low levels. He's fun to watch, but I have no idea how he'd translate in every aspect. Billy Napier, UL-Lafayette HC Everything says yes about Napier. Right pedigree. He's a journal guy just like Aranda. He believes you write everything down to reinforce the learning behavior. Learned under Nick and Dabo. He's waiting to implement the right system at the right place and has turned down SEC jobs. He's interviewing you as much as you interviewing him. Sounds like Saban? But who knows. There's only one Nick. Everyone's tried to be him. I think he's got the recruiting base here though already. Can he step up? I like him if everything goes south. Mel Tucker, Michigan State HC Think he's gonna do great things there. He took flack for leaving Colorado, but c'mon. These guys are all mostly mercenaries. I actually think he's in the right fit where he is at, but he's without question someone I would want to at least talk to.