Mario Cristobal was one of several high-profile head coaching hires for the 2022 season. Three moves created openings at several programs that have been among the elite of college football. Cristobal being hired at Miami, Brian Kelly at LSU and Lincoln Riley at USC all created major discussion throughout college football.
Mario Cristobal leaving Oregon, the exit of Kelly from Notre Dame and the departure of Riley from Oklahoma meant six programs that have been at or near the top of college football would have new coaches in 2022. Add in Sonny Dykes who has TCU undefeated after moving from SMU and this is an important year in college football.
The process of how the programs cannot be judged in one season or less. Some of the programs are having more success than others in their first seasons under their new head coaches. All of the programs had varying levels of rebuilding needed. Miami has gone the longest without success of the programs under first-year head coaches.
Creating a new culture, upgrading the talent and getting in his own players are all frequently referenced changes that need to occur under new head coaches. With a 3-4 record and ranked 57th in the ESPN Football Power Index, Miami is having the worst season of the seven high-profile programs with new head coaches.
Notre Dame under Marcus Freeman and Oklahoma with Brent Venables are 4-3 and 21st and 37th in the FPI. Freeman and Venables are in their first seasons as head coaches. Cristobal is in his 11th season as a head coach. Talent is not the issue for Miami. Miami is 13th in the
The talent composite rankings in order among programs with new head coaches are Oregon under Mario Cristobal’s successor Dan Lanning seventh, LSU eighth, Oklahoma ninth, Notre Dame 10th and USC 11th. TCU as could be expected is 32nd in the talent rankings but the only undefeated team in this group at 7-0.
The Horned Frogs are 15th in the FPI. LSU leads the programs with new head coaches in the FPI at ninth with a 6-2 record. The Tigers began the season with a loss to Florida State in New Orleans and won four in a row before a loss to Tennessee and wins in its last two games. LSU will be favored in three of its last four games
USC is 6-1 and 10th in the FPI. The Trojans’ sole loss was at Utah. Cristobal and Oregon were swept by the Ducks in a pair of 2021 games. Oregon is 6-1 with its sole loss to top-ranked Georgia in the season opener and 13th in the FPI. Miami’s ranking of 57th in the FPI is significantly far behind other programs with new head coaches.
The Miami losses to Middle Tennessee State and Duke contribute to the season of vast underachieving in the inaugural campaign under Cristobal. Cristobal preached patience with the media on Monday during a slightly contentious meeting. Miami has to win three of its five remaining games to quality for a bowl game.