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Top 5 College Football Power Five Head Coach Moves 2017

August 10, 2017 | Posted By Freddy Wills

Here is last year’s article –

Top 10 College Football Head Coach Moves 2016

This year is in no particular order, but I am going to talk about the power 5 big coaching moves first.

Baylor – Matt Rhule, coming over from Temple replaced Jim Grobe who stepped in just to settle the ship after the Baylor scandal.  This team lost their entire recruiting class a year ago, and Rhule definitely gets a pass this year, but I’m not so sure he’s going to need it.  This is a team that started 6-0 and went 0-6 to close the year out once their schedule got tougher, but lets talk about Rhule.

Rhule is clearly a different style head coach compared to Art Briles.  Actually there couldn’t be a more different style in comparison.  Baylor was reliant on offense to win games. Rhule was not. Baylor operated with extreme tempo. Rhule did not.  Temple was 86th, in pass % last year and I definitely think we will see a similar style in play from Rhule at Baylor.  Betting Take –  That means we won’t see as many high scoring games from Baylor.  I think Baylor also because of the limit they have on talent will also want to slow the game down.  Although I would be careful taking this team on a side there are a lot of unknowns right now and they really are a wild card.

Also worth noting is Anu Solomon transferred over from Arizona where he enjoyed a very successful career at QB.  He fits what I think is more of a Matt Rhule mold than  Zach Smith who played as a freshman last year.

Minnesota – P.J. Fleck, coached Western Michigan and was one of the hottest coaches on the market.  reminds me of last year’s Justin Fuente who left Memphis and took over a program that already was winning games in Virginia Tech.  Minnesota is coming off a 9 win season and they hire arguably the most coveted head coach to take over.

The Gophers return just 12 starters however and lost 28 lettermen including their long time QB Mitch Leidner.  The offense could be in trouble, because the Western Michigan staff known as more of a passing team is taking a team that has been notorious for running the ball first.  Luckily this team should be favoried in their first 7 games which could lead to his team buying in and setting up an interesting October and November.

Betting Take – This team might be tough to bet on this year.  Fleck took over a 4-8 team at Western Michigan and went 1-11, 8-5, 8-5, and then 13-1.  Minnesota will go bowling, but it’s hard to really find betting value at this given time.  Possibly after they lose at Iowa and Michigan in back to back weeks there might be a spot to take them as dogs against Nebraska at home on November 11th.

Oregon – Willie Taggart, after a marvelous job at South Florida, Taggart will take over an Oregon program that is usually littered with talent.  However, the talent level has been going down and down.  Mark Helfrich went 24-4 with Marcus Mariota, but without him he went just 13-12 and finally got fired.

This sort of all happened very quickly to be honest, and it reminds me of Charlie Strong moving to Texas.  Now I’m not going to say it won’t work out.  There is a ton of talent to play with, but remember Strong turning around Louisville playing in a weak conference.  Taggart does the same at South Florida and now he’s stepping it up in competition.  Not only in the opponents he’s facing, but recruiting and the head coaches.  Just to refresh everyone’s memory.  Taggart was 7-21 at South Florida after a 3 game losing streak to open up the 2015 season.  He finished 18-4 and 15 months after being 7-21 at South Florida he was named the Oregon head coach.

Betting Take – I’m looking at fading Oregon.  There are a lot of specialist that are excited about this move, but I will say this Taggart did the right thing by bringing over Jim Leavitt who all he does is fix defenses.  What’s been wrong with Oregon?  The defense the last few years has been atrocious.  However, It did take Leavitt 2 seasons to fix and start improving Colorado until he got them back to being a top 25 unit.  The same could happen here and although there is plenty of talent on offense I don’t see this all changing overnight  especially when they get Stanford and Washington on the road.

Texas – Tom Herman, all he did at Houston was defeat three top 3 teams last year as double digit under dogs.  So if you are a Texas fan you are expecting maybe a National Championship?  I’m not saying there won’t be betting value with Herman this year, but I am saying there is too much hype to get involved with this team early.  Herman does his best against big time opponents, and I’ll wait until he has a bad loss and a big opponent to back him.

Before I completely take this team out of it I did talk about them as one of my surprise teams.  I do think they will win a lot of games this year and I do think they will go over the 7.5 total Vegas has set, but I don’t think they will be a good ATS team.  Texas has the experience, but it takes time to put in new systems.  Herman takes over a team that went 3-6 in Big 12 play last year despite being +19 yards per game so there is something to be said about that.  We will find out very early in their road game at USC what kind of team this can be with 17 returning starters.

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