A quick look at the 2019 FBS coaches

Clemson.coach swinney.com

As we grind our way toward a preseason ranking for all FBS teams, we have come to the important review of coaches.  There is generally little change in Savvy’s projections for coaches who remain in the same place from year-to-year, so most of the fun stuff happens in the teams that change coaches.

In last month’s review of each team’s returning roster production, I had the system funnel things down to a 1-5 value so that we didn’t have to deal with thousands of pieces of data.  For this preview of head coaches, I’ve asked Savvy to produce 1-9 values for the grid that follows.

Savvy’s projections are not intended to say that one coach is better than another.  Instead, it is more of how strong each coach’s resume’ is for his time in FBS.  Therefore, a rising star like Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell may be every bit as good as Nick Saban but Fickell hasn’t been a FBS head coach long enough to build Saban’s resume’.

That accrued data is combined with an evaluation of various trends and the result is a prevision that, in very general terms, answers this question:

If Savvy had $10, how much would it wager on each coach’s ability to bring his team to equal or better results in 2019 than it had in 2018?

You may have already come to another important question—like, how can any system accurately project the effectiveness of someone who has never been an FBS head coach before?

Actually over the years, I’ve discovered that many keys exist, they’re abundant, and they’re reliable.  Anytime a new one is uncovered, it’s like finding hidden treasure and I confess that the fun of that has made this pursuit somewhat of a guilty pleasure.

There are some oddities of note.  For example, if we converted Les Myles’ data from LSU into this simplified 1-9 discussion, he would likely rate an “8”.  But, he is starting at “6” mostly because he has been out of the game for a long time and because—well—he’s at Kansas now.

I was surprised to see Kevin Sumlin (Arizona) with the biggest drop in the over all (detailed) data.  Although Sumlin is a highly-admired coach, some of his trend lines bent sharply downward last season, a situation that now puts him squarely in the center of coaches we will be watching in 2019.

In the grid below, teams that have new coaches have colored highlights in the column labeled “here since”.  Those with coaches who have never head coached an FBS program are shaded in pink.

 Savvy   2019  
       
Coach Resume’      
team here since   strength of resume’
Air Force 07 Troy Calhoun 5
Akron 19 Tom Arth 3
Alabama 07 Nick Saban 9
App State 19 Eliah Drinkwitz 3
Arizona 18 Kevin Sumlin 5
Arizona St. 18 Edwards, Herm 6
Arkansas 18 Chad Morris 5
Arkansas St. 14 Blake Anderson 6
Army 14 Jeff Monken 6
Auburn 13 Gus Malzahn 6
Ball St. 16 Mike Neu 5
Baylor 17 Matt Rhule 7
Boise St. 14 Bryan Harsin 7
Boston Col 13 Steve Addazio 6
Bowling Green 19 Scott Loeffler 4
Buffalo 15 Lance Leopold 7
BYU 16 Kilani Sitake 5
C Michigan 19 Jim McElwain 5
California 18 Justin Wilcox 6
Charlotte 19 Will Healy 2
Cincinnati 17 Luke Fickell 7
Clemson 08 Dabo Swinney 9
Coastal Car 19 Jamey Chadwell 3
Colorado 19 Mel Turner 5
Colorado St. 15 Mike Bobo 5
Connecticut 17 Randy Edsall 4
Duke 08 David Cutcliffe 6
E Carolina 19 Mike Houston 3
E Michigan 14 Chris Creighton 6
Florida 18 Dan Mullen 9
Florida Atl. 17 Lane Kiffin 5
Florida Intl. 17 Butch Davis 6
Florida St. 18 Willie Taggart 6
Fresno St. 17 Jeff Tedford 7
Georgia 16 Kirby Smart 7
Georgia So. 18 Chad Lunsford 6
Georgia St. 17 Shawn Elliott 3
Georgia Tech 19 Geoff Collins 5
Hawaii 16 Nick Rolovich 6
Houston 19 Dana Holgorsen 5
Illinois 16 Lovie Smith 5
Indiana 17 Tom Allen 5
Iowa 99 Kirk Ferentz 6
Iowa St. 16 Campbell, Matt 6
Kansas 19 Les Miles 6
Kansas St. 19 Chris Klieman 3
Kent St. 18 Lewis, Sean 4
Kentucky 13 Mark Stoops 8
LA Lafayette 18 Billy Napier 6
LA Monroe 16 Matt Viator 5
LA Tech 13 Skip Holtz 6
Liberty 19 Hugh Freeze 6
Louisville 19 Scott Satterfield 6
LSU 16 Ed Orgeron 7
Marshall 10 Doc Holliday 5
Maryland 19 Mike Locksley 6
Massachusetts 19 Walt Bell 3
Memphis 16 Mike Norvell 6
Miami Fl 19 Manny Diaz 4
Miami Oh 14 Chuck Martin 4
Michigan 15 Jim Harbaugh 8
Michigan St. 07 Mark Dantonio 6
Middle Tenn 06 Rick Stockstill 5
Minnesota 17 P.J. Fleck 6
Mississippi 17 Matt Luke 5
Mississippi St. 18 Joe Moorehead 6
Missouri 16 Barry Odom 5
N Carolina 19 Mack Brown 5
N Carolina St. 13 Dave Doeren 7
N Illinois 19 Thomas Hammock 4
N Texas 16 Seth Litrell 5
Navy 07 Ken Niumatalolo 5
Nebraska 18 Frost, Scott 6
Nevada 17 Jay Norvell 5
New Mexico 12 Bob Davie 5
New Mexico St. 13 Doug Martin 4
Northwestern 06 Pat Fitzgerald 7
Notre Dame 10 Brian Kelly 8
Ohio 05 Frank Solich 6
Ohio St. 19 Ryan Day 5
Oklahoma 17 Lincoln Riley 7
Oklahoma St. 05 Mike Gundy 6
Old Dominion 09 Bobby Wilder 4
Oregon 18 Mario Cristobal 7
Oregon St. 18 Jonathan Smith 5
Penn St. 14 James Franklin 7
Pittsburgh 15 Pat Narduzzi 6
Purdue 17 Jeff Brohm 5
Rice 18 Mike Bloomgren 4
Rutgers 16 Chris Ashe 3
S Alabama 18 Steve Campbell 4
S Carolina 16 Will Muschamp 7
S Miss 16 Jay Hopson 5
San Diego St. 11 Rocky Long 6
San Jose St. 17 Brent Brennan 3
SMU 18 Sonny Dykes 5
Stanford 11 David Shaw 7
Syracuse 16 Dino Babers 7
TCU 00 Gary Patterson 6
Temple 19 Rod Carey 5
Tennessee 18 Jeremy Pruitt 5
Texas 17 Tom Herman 8
Texas A&M 18 Jimbo Fisher 7
Texas St. 19 Jake Spavital 3
Texas Tech 19 Matt Wells 5
Toledo 16 Jason Candle 5
Troy 19 Chip Lindsey 5
Tulane 16 Willie Fritz 6
Tulsa 15 Phillip Montgomery 5
UAB 14 Bill Clark 7
UCF 18 Josh Heupel 6
UCLA 18 Chip Kelly 6
UNLV 15 Tony Sanchez 4
USC 15 Clay Helton 5
USF 17 Strong, Charlie 5
Utah 05 Kyle Whittingham 8
Utah St. 19 Gary Anderson 5
UTEP 18 Dana Dimal 4
UTSA 16 Frank Wilson 4
Va Tech 16 Justin Fuentes 7
Vanderbilt 14 Derek Mason 6
Virginia 16 Bronco Mendenhall 7
W Kentucky 19 Tyson Helton 3
W Michigan 17 Tim Lester 5
W Virginia 19 Neal Brown 7
Wake Forest 14 Dave Clawson 6
Washington 14 Chris Peterson 8
Washington St. 12 Mike Leach 7
Wisconsin 15 Paul Chryst 6
Wyoming 14 Craig Bohl 5

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