The 2021 college football season will feature 17 new head coaches at schools across the country, eight of whom will be taking the lead role for the first time. To kick off my multi-week dig into everything prep for the 2021 campaign, I’m analyzing the coaching changes. Why? Because they are typically very impactful on teams’ prospects for a season, particularly early on.
A few weeks ago I put together a piece detailing the performance trends of rookie head coaches in the NFL. I found that 26 of the last 41 rookie coaches improved their teams’ won-lost records in their first season. I’ll have the college football numbers for this in a few weeks when I look at carryover systems, but I can tell you that the success rate at the college level is nowhere near as high. There are a few reasons for this, with instability being No. 1. A head coach leaving in college football typically means new coordinators and new systems on both sides of the ball. This is a lot for players to overcome in a short time.