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Potential New Coach Power Rankings: Week 9

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PNCPW Returns With A Vengeance

This is a Purdue mustache.
This is a Purdue mustache.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Here's the rules: No coach is exempt from being hired except for current P5 head coaches that are not retiring. Illinois, Maryland and Minnesota now need head coaches, but so does half the country, so my old scheme of assigning coaches based on any kind of ranking is no longer applicable. My predicted destinations may or may not mean anything. Nobody is safe, and anyone could retire at any time. Here we go!

1. Justin Fuente, HC #15 Memphis: 8-0. Last time: 1 (-)
Since the last rankings Memphis beat Ole Miss by 13, hung 66 on Tulsa and obliterated Tulane. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Fuente will win 10 games (AT MEMPHIS) for the second straight year. However, the schedule continues to be tough, with Navy, Houston and Temple in the next three weeks. Nevertheless, as badly as I want this guy at Illinois, a house in Champaign constructed entirely of gold bullion bars would also require a gold bullion storm shelter, and that we simply can't do.
Likely destination: SEC

2. Matt Rhule, HC #23 Temple: 7-1. Last time: 6 (+4)
Temple came up just short in an upset bid of Notre Dame, but was undeniably worthy to share the field with the Chrome Domes. It's an indicator of a strong market when the man who brought College Game Day to Temple can't crack the top spot.
Likely destination: Somewhere on the East Coast. Is that Old Bay I smell?

3. Tom Herman, HC #18 Houston: 8-0. Last time: 7 (+4)
The Cougars annihilated Vanderbilt 34-0 to claim their second P5 scalp. Their visit to Louisville is the only time they didn't completely outclass their opponent. They host Cincinnati this weekend.
Likely destination: USC should hire him. USC won't hire him.

4. Dino Babers, HC BGSU: 6-2, 2-0 against the B1G. Last time: 4 (-)
Much-maligned defense has allowed 10 points in the last two games as the Falcons keep rolling. Takes on Ohio tonight and WMU in a week on Wednesday Night MACtion! An overlooked factor is that after BGSU's shaky 2014, much of Babers' offensive staff left for Tulsa, including his OC. The performance of his offense this year proves that Babers is actually responsible for its success. The Falcons have been held under 48 just once in 4 MAC games. Illinois has scored 47 total points in 4 B1G games.
Likely destination: B1G. Has midwest written all over him.

5. DJ Durkin, DC #16 Michigan: 6-2, 3-1 in conference play. Last time: 3(-2)
Defeat discover's Durkin's defensive deficiencies? Not quite, but it's certainly not the otherworldly performance of early conference play. This young up'n'comer is probably itching to prove his head coaching chops somewhere. Also good at getting his defense to line up in the neutral zone without drawing a flag.
Likely destination: Literally anywhere is possible. Your guess is as good as mine.

6. Jeff Brohm, HC WKU: 7-2, 0-1 against the B1G. Last time: 5(-1)
Brohm has two losses; a 3-point loss to Indiana and a 28-point loss at LSU. Other than that, his Hilltoppers have rolled through C-USA with only a challenge by Louisiana Tech. A fairly easy schedule limits his upside for the purpose of this list though.
Likely destination: Not Illinois. Left on bad terms.

7. Matt Campbell, HC #20 Toledo: 7-1, 2-0 against P5 teams. Last time: 2 (-5)
Lost a Tuesday Night MACtionfest to NIU 32-27. The slightly erratic nature of this team caught up to it last night, but they could still control their own destiny in the MAC with games at CMU, BGSU and against WMU.
Likely destination: Ohio State. You never know when Urban will want to start over.

8. Ken Niumatalolo, HC Navy: 6-1. Last time: 9 (+1)
Beat USF by 12. I put this series on hiatus a while ago because not enough was changing. I'll do maybe a couple more of them, but since the last time I did it, Navy has beaten Tulane and South Florida by 17 and 12 respectively. Boy, there's a lot to learn there.
Likely destination: Nebraska. There's two L's, but they're not back to back.

9. PJ Fleck, HC Western Michigan: 5-3 Last time: 11 (+2)
Rowed the boat to a 58-28 win at EMU. Slicing and dicing through a weak MAC West, but 5-3 is better than the 1-11 he went two years ago. Is a high-energy ROW ROW guy, fairly eccentric, has the potential to show flashes of brilliance but ultimately fall apart.
Likely destination: Illinois. This is, of course, a list of coaches I want for Illinois in the order in which I want them...but I really want us to not hire Fleck. We're going to.

10. Rod Carey, HC Northern Illinois: 6-3. Last time: 12 (+2)
Carey shot down Matt Campbell's Rockets as his Huskies continue a 4-game winning streak despite losing their starting QB and WR1. Like the program itself, this team is a hydra.
Likely destination: I don't know, but his replacement will win at least 8 games if he leaves.

11. Brock Spack, HC Illinois State: 7-1. Last time: 13 (+2)
Illinois State takes sole possession of the MVFC lead with a win over Indiana State. Since losing at Iowa, they've rattled of 7 in a row. Despite tough matchups at SDSU and SIU, last year's national runners-up are a virtual lock for a high playoff seed.
Likely destination: Purdue. Brock Spack is in the header image. Look at that mustache.

12. Willie Fritz, HC Georgia Southern: 6-2. Last time: 10 (-2)
A disgusting 31-13 loss at Appalachian State ruins GSU's stranglehold on the Sun Belt and drops Fritz out of the top 10.
Likely destination: Navy. Ashes to ashes, option to option.

13. Lance Leipold, HC Buffalo: 4-4 Last time: 15 (+2)
Has already done Tim Beckman one better by having a season with more wins than the one that got the previous coach fired.
Likely destination: Realistically, he'll probably stick around Buffalo at least another year, but Bob Stoops hasn't indicated that he WON'T retire next week.


14. Bob Stitt, HC Montana: 4-4. Last time: 16 (+2)
Yikes, the Big Sky is murderer's row. Got obliterated by Portland State. Between them, EWU and SUU, this is a tough place to win as FCS schools go.
Likely destination: USC shouldn't hire him. They might.

15. Bo Pellllini, HC Youngstown State: 4-4. Last time: 14 (-1)
Just so you know, the plays that work, those are the ones that Bo called. The ones that don't, you can blame Thumpasaurus. Has the requisite four losses, so will he win at NDSU in two weeks?
Likely destination: Georgia. For the llllulz.

16. American Pharaoh, Triple Crown winner. Last time: 18 (+2)
American Pharaoh's stock keeps rising. Not only did he get to the top, he defended it by winning the Breeder's Cup.
Likely destination: Never mind, USC will definitely hire him.

17. Tracy Claeys, Minnesota interim HC: 0-1. Last time: NR
American Pharaoh would have tried to run a quick play with 19 seconds to go, then kicked the field goal if all else fails.
Likely destination: It's kind of Minnesota or bust, isnt' it?

18. Mike Locksley, Maryland interim HC: 0-2. Last time: 17 (-1).
After a narrow 30-31 loss to Penn State, Locksley's Terps traveled to Iowa and lost a game that was not as close as the score indicated. Gave up late in the fourth quarter.
Likely destination: Probably wherever Tim Beckman is hanging out.

19. Bill Cubit, Illinois interim HC: 4-4, 1-3 against the Big Ten. Last time: 8 (-11)
Gave up in the first quarter. Allegedly an offensive coach. Illinois has the worst offense in the Big Ten. The author of the worst Illini performance relative to expectations since perhaps the 84 Rose Bowl should go far far away from Champaign when this is all over, if not before. The Nebraska win suddenly makes sense.
Likely destination: A farm upstate.

20. Rick Stockstill, HC MTSU: 3-5, 0-3 against this list. Last time: 14 (-6)
This is going poorly. Has beaten only Ron Turner's FIU since getting outcoached by Cubit.
Likely destination: MTSU

21. Trollin' Tommy Tuberville, whose Bearcats play at Houston this weekend.
Likely destination: South Carolina, while in the middle of a recruiting dinner.

22. Al Golden, former Miami coach.
Likely destination: Tulsa, to coach the Golden Hurricane. Football, please make this happen.

23. Jim Bob Cooter, Detroit Lions OC. Likely destination: West Virginia. Tell me a man named Jim Bob Cooter wouldn't be welcomed as the next WVU head coach.

24. Ron Prince, Detroit Lions assistant HC O-line coach. Moving up in the world! Likely destination: Detroit Lions HC

25. Steve Sarkisian, former USC coach. He was alleged to have been drunk on the sidelines during the game against Arizona State. Is it a coincidence that this was the best game they played all season? Likely destination: Hawaii would be a nice change of pace.

26. Ron Zook, Packers Special Teams coordinator. What the hell was that, Packers? That familiar feeling of watching a team with Ron Zook on the sideline and thinking "This team has enough talent to not be getting blown out right now" haunted me. Likely destination: Please leave the Packers.

27. Ron Turner, HC FIU (4-5) Still not as good as Mario Cristobal, who was fired for Turner a few years ago. Intriguingly, Cristobal is still out there. Likely destination: as the first Illinois coach to subsequently find head coaching work since John Mackovic, I hope he stays at FIU.

28. Paul Petrino, HC Idaho: 3-5. Beat Troy and Louisiana-Monroe, only to lose to New Mexico State. WTF? Likely destination: Continuing the purgatory that is Idaho Football

29. Lincoln Chafee, D-RI. A man with experience on both the Republican and Democratic sides of the ball, Chafee was most recently the Governor of Rhode Island and was the latest to drop out of the race for the Democratic nomination for President. Hhowever, some question his recruiting chops and whether at 62 he can establish the kind of national recruiting that a coach needs to be successful in this day and age. Likely destination: Rutgers.

30. Mark Mangino, fired as Iowa State OC last week!
Likely destination: Golden Corral

31. Tim Beckman, former Toldeo HC. Coached Toldeo from a 3-9 season to back-to-back 7-1 conference seasons. Coached with Urban Meyer and Mike Gundy. Certainly has experience and pedigree. Likely destination: Idaho DC.

32. Adam Sandler

33. Twitch Plays College Football

34. Lane Kiffin

Every time I want to end the American Pharaoh gag, he does something impressive to earn a boost in the rankings, which is more than I can say for Bill Cubit.