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College football coaching carousel: Latest buzz, top candidates, analysis of every vacancy

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Brian Kelly looks forward to new opportunity with LSU (2:17)

Former Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly explains why he is excited to get going at LSU. (2:17)

Industry insiders warned us in 2020. Despite a higher-than-expected number of college football coaching changes amid the coronavirus pandemic, the upcoming carousel had a chance to be historically active.

The predictions are coming true.

Beginning with USC after two games and LSU after seven, schools are making coaching changes fast and furiously. Clay Helton, fired at USC, landed a new job at Georgia Southern by early November. In the span of a week, Florida moved on from Dan Mullen and replaced him with Louisiana's Billy Napier.

And that was just the start. Hours after he quashed rumors that he would be going to LSU, Lincoln Riley was leaving Oklahoma and was headed to USC (taking defensive coordinator Alex Grinch with him). Then Monday night came the stunning news that it was Brian Kelly who would move to LSU, leaving Notre Dame with the Irish still in the hunt for a College Football Playoff spot. Notre Dame moved on by elevating defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to head coach.

The early signing period for recruiting is fueling athletic directors this year, as they hope to finalize hires in time to salvage or bolster classes. The flurry of activity could continue until mid-December. Additionally, schools will look to lock up their coaches with contract extensions, as Penn State did with a new 10-year deal for James Franklin and Michigan State did with Mel Tucker.

We've got you covered. Here we'll provide the latest intel from Adam Rittenberg, Chris Low, Mark Schlabach and others on the biggest coaching searches, the jobs that could come open soon and the candidates to fill the vacancies. It will be updated throughout the carousel.


Latest buzz at:
Oklahoma | Duke | Virginia

Jump to other topics:
Fickell in focus | Getting warm in Miami? | Other vacancies | Filled jobs


The latest chatter

Sunday, 2:30 p.m.: Miami has not fired coach Manny Diaz. However, the school is in extensive discussions with Oregon's Mario Cristobal to be the Hurricanes' next coach, sources told ESPN's Adam Rittenberg. Miami is also targeting Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich for its AD role, although a hire has not been made.

Sunday, 12:25 p.m.: Oklahoma officials are scheduled to arrive in Clemson later Sunday afternoon to finalize a deal with Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables to become the Sooners' next head coach, sources told ESPN.

Saturday, 4 p.m.: Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, who turned down the Tennessee head-coaching job a year ago, has emerged as the top target for the Duke head-coaching job. Elliott has also had discussions with Virginia about the Cavaliers' head-coaching position.

Friday, 11:30 p.m.: Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal has been offered a contract extension with the hopes of keeping him in Eugene. Cristobal, who won two national championships as a player at Miami, would be a big target for the Hurricanes if they were to move on from current coach Manny Diaz. Sources told ESPN the latest extension offer was "aggressive." After a 38-10 loss to Utah in the Pac-12 title game, Cristobal acknowledged that an offer from Oregon was in the works, but other schools were also interested.