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Potential New Coach Power Rankings: Week 6

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There is an explosive newcomer to the ranks this week. There's still plenty left to learn about this heirarchy.

Ha ha, you couldn't score on me Northwestern!
Ha ha, you couldn't score on me Northwestern!
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Here's the rules: Nobody is exempt from consideration except head coaches currently at other P5 schools. It is absolutely certain that Illinois and Maryland will have new coaches next year, and it's hard for me to believe Rutgers will retain Flood. I'll assume the strongest (by power poll) program will get the strongest candidate for the purpose of making this list.

1. Justin Fuente, HC Memphis: 5-0, 2-0 against this list. Last week: 1 (-)
The 25mph swirling winds of Champaign welcome you, Coach Fuente!
Memphis was on bye this week as they prepared to host Ole Miss. Fuente, 39, is in his fourth year at Memphis. In 1999, he set numerous quarterbacking records at Murray State after a couple years bouncing around the Big 12 as a player. Prior to Memphis, he was a co-offensive coordinator and QB coach at TCU, where he coached Andy Dalton. Next weekend could be huge for this future major conference coach.

2. Matt Campbell, HC #22 Toledo: 5-0, 2-0 against P5 teams. Last week: 2 (-)
Prepare for Buttgers, Coach Campbell!
Toledo moved to #22 in the rankings on the strength of a 38-7 thrashing of Kent State, which might not be as bad a team as a 52-3 loss to Illinois indicated. At 35, he is the second-youngest coach in the FBS as the Rockets zoom along in his fourth year. He is 31-13 at Toledo (20-6 in conference), which is a much more impressive record than his predecessor, one Tim Beckman.

3. DJ Durkin, DC #12 Michigan: 5-1, 2-0 in conference play. Last week: NR
Hope you like Old Bay, Coach Durkin!
At this point I can no longer deny that Michigan defensive coordinator DJ Durkin is a major player in this race. It's now been 12 quarters since Michigan was scored on, and this is the first year on the job for this coaching staff. They've inherited a talented roster, but one that finished 5-7 just last year. Durkin started out under Urban Meyer at BGSU and was a defensive coach at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh. He coached linebackers at Florida in 2010 and stayed on when Will Muschamp took over as head coach, being promoted to DC in 2013. The 2012 Rivals Recruiter of the Year interim-coached Florida to a win in last year's Birmingham Bowl before joining Jim Harbaugh as DC. At 37, this is a guy whose stock is rising fast and it's only a matter of time before he's a head coach.

4. Dino Babers, HC BGSU: 4-2, 2-0 against the B1G. Last week: 3 (-1)
Won 62-38 against UMass to move to 4-2. Babers loses a spot for two reasons: DJ Durkin deserves it a little more, and a trend of allowing large amounts of points is emerging. The best effort by the defense has been a 28-22 win against a Buffalo team with a first-year head coach. Still, this suggests a lot of fun could be had in shootouts...perhaps in West Lafayette?

5. Jeff Brohm, HC WKU: 5-1, 0-1 against the B1G. Last week: 5(-)
This area of the list gets difficult, as there's not much separation and the schedules are somewhat weak, but WKU's 58-28 thrashing of a pretty decent Middle Tennessee team moves him juuuust ahead of Matt Rhule. FIU is up next.

6. Matt Rhule, HC Temple: 5-0, 1-0 against the B1G. Last week: 4 (-2)
A 49-10 dismantling of Tulane was not quite as impressive as what WKU did, but with East Carolina and Notre Dame still to play in October, Rhule will get a big opportunity to climb back up. He can only play the teams on his schedule, so it's perhaps unfair to drop him two spots.

7. Tom Herman, HC #24 Houston: 5-0, 1-0 against the ACC. Last week: 7 (-)
Herman's Cougars make their debut in the AP poll this week and I'm not quite sure why they get the nod over Temple and Memphis. Nevertheless the first year head coach and card-carrying Mensa member put up 49 points on SMU to go 5-0, with Louisville the only team Houston has beaten by less than 14.

8. Bill Cubit, Illinois interim HC: 4-2, 1-1 against the Big Ten. Last week: 8 (-)
Thanks to talented experienced players on both sides of the line, Illinois surprisingly continues to look like a football team. Some strange coaching decisions may have cost the Illini a chance to win, such as rushing 3 on 3rd and long situations despite an effective 4-5 man pass rush. More bizarrely, a reverse pass on 3rd and 1 that resulted in an easy interception. I for one was not expecting to see Illinois have a shot to pull out a win at #22 5-0 Iowa in the fourth quarter, so Cubit retains this spot for now. During the bye week, it's time to see how he coaches health.

9. Ken Niumatalolo, HC Navy: 4-1. Last week: 6 (-3)
Lost to a good Notre Dame team. It's hard to know what to do with these option guys in this list. Navy has a bye and then plays Tulane. Why does everybody on this list play Tulane? Why can't Illinois play Tulane?

10. Willie Fritz, HC Georgia Southern: 4-1, 1-0 against this list. Last week: 9 (-1)
If everyone keeps winning, poor Willie will continue to drop in these rankings simply because the upcoming schedule is the easiest on this list by far. Still, I can't drop him below PJ fleck yet, because 43-17.

11. PJ Fleck, HC Western Michigan: 2-3, 0-1 against this list, 0-2 against the B1G. Last week: 10 (-1)
ROW ROW ROW held off a furious rally by Central Michigan to open MAC play 1-0. 41-39 is the epitome of MACtion, but MACtion should stay in the MAC. Dominating that conference is your ticket upwards.

12. Rod Carey, HC Northern Illinois: 3-3, 0-1 against the B1G. Last week: 11 (-1)
Rod Carey couldn't beat the Chips, but held off Ball State in another MACtion-fest, 59-41. Let's let this one cook a little longer.

13. Brock Spack, HC Illinois State: 4-1. Last week: 13 (-). Held off Bo Pellini's Penguins on a failed 2-pointer that would have tied the game at 31 with 32 seconds to play. This moves ISU into a tie with North Dakota State for the MVFC lead.

14. Bo Pelini, HC Youngstown State: 3-2. Last week: 13 (-1)
Bo doesn't really have any relationship with Thumpasaurus. The guy, you guys saw him, the guy is a total p****. Bo means, he is, and he's a total c***.

14. Rick Stockstill, HC MTSU: 2-4, 0-2 against this list. Last week: 14 (-)
Got wrecked by WKU. This one might not be ready for the B1G.

15. Lance Leipold, HC Buffalo: 2-3, 0-1 against the B1G. Last week: 15 (-)
Bye week. This is one to watch over the next few years.

16. Bob Stitt, HC Montana: 3-3. Last week: 16 (-)
What the Stitt? Weber State beat Montana 24-21. That's a pretty good FCS program, but it takes Stitt back to .500. Let's check back in in a few years.

17. Mike Locksley, Maryland interim HC: 0-0. Last week: 27 (+10).
With his promotion to interim head coach, Locksley enters the legitimate portion of this list with an opportunity to earn a gig. It would take one hell of a run, but stranger things have happened no they haven't.

18. American Pharaoh, Triple Crown winner (+2 from last week) Fans of a program like Maryland or Illinois want a coach that can generate excitement and bring in viewership and attendance. American Pharaoh has made the Breeders' Cup prep races must-see television

19. Tommy Tuberville, whose 3-2 Cincinnati team was on a bye. He's 0-2 against this list though.

20. Ron Zook, Packers Special Teams coordinator. I was hoping the Rams would bring the game within 7 so we could get some more airtime for the Zooker.

21. Ron Turner, HC FIU (3-3) (+1 from last week) Pounded UTEP to the tune of 42-3 at the half. Is still Ron Turner.

22. Jim Caldwell, HC Detroit Lions (0-5). It certainly looks like he might be available come the offseason.

23. Ron Prince, Detroit Lions assistant HC.

24. Gerg Robinson, DC SJSU

25. Turner Gill, HC Liberty (3-2)

26. Warren G. Harding

27. Paul Petrino, HC Idaho: 1-4. Didn't lose this week. One of the few times this can be said.

28. Tim Brewster

29. Tuberculosis

30. Lane Kiffin