Thu. Dec 2nd, 2021

Early signing day is barely five weeks away (Wednesday, Dec. 15). There’s your answer as to why nine schools have already changed coaches and two of those schools — Texas Tech with Joey McGuire, Georgia Southern with Clay Helton — have already filled their openings.

Recruiting is everything, particularly when judging which coach is going to lead your program in the future. Impatience has become the operative philosophy for athletic directors these days. Three of the nine coaches who lost their jobs did so before the completion of their third seasons.

Below, we offer our opinions on the seven FBS jobs currently open, not only who should be hired at each school but who will actually be hired.

Stay alert. There should be plenty more changes coming this month — watch Arizona State and Virginia Tech — as the 2021 college football season concludes and early signing day approaches.

TCU
Gary Patterson and TCU mutually parted ways Oct. 31. In his 21st season, Patterson carved out a legendary career at TCU but only had two winning seasons since 2016. Most troubling, the defense that made G.P. famous had faltered lately.

Who TCU should hire — Sonny Dykes, SMU coach: This one is too easy. Dykes has seen the most sustained success of any SMU coach since the program suffered the death penalty in 1987. Sources told CBS Sports that Patterson was pushed out so the school could get in line ahead of Texas Tech for Dyke’s services. Word is that Dykes preferred TCU to Tech, anyway. This hire will be interesting with Dykes coming from a bitter rival. Hey, but if he can win, who cares?

Who TCU will hire — Sonny Dykes, SMU coach: This grand reentry into Power Five should be more successful than the last time. Dykes went 19-30 at California before being fired in 2016. He is familiar with TCU having worked as analyst under Patterson in 2017. Dykes reportedly has a contract extension on his desk to stay at SMU and could end up being the highest paid Group of Five coach. Houston’s Dana Holgorsen has that honor making $4 million per year.

Washington State
Nick Rolovich and four of his assistants were fired Oct. 20 after refusing to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to meet a state and university mandate. Rolovich had applied for a religious exemption to remain unvaccinated but was denied.

Who Washington State should hire — Jake Dickert, Washington State defensive coordinator: Dickert is currently 1-1 as the interim coach. The 38-year old former Wisconsin-Stevens Point receiver considers himself more than an interim. “I may have acting head coaching before my name; I like to say I’m the ‘interviewing’ head coach,” Dickert told CBS Sports. The Cougars have completely bought into Dickert since Rolovich’s firing, narrowly losing to BYU before winning at Arizona State. Dickert has built a defense that leads the Pac-12 in takeaways (20) and is tied for second nationally in recovered fumbles (12). “Every day, I’ve been preparing for this moment,” Dickert said.

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