Ten things we learned from college football coaching carousel

Deion Sanders appeared at Colorado's men's basketball game on Dec. 8 and was met with thunderous applause. Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports

When the coaching carousel began in September, Deion Sanders wasn't a complete afterthought but hovered more on the fringes than the forefront. By December, Sanders stepped out of a jet in Colorado in a familiar spot -- as the center of attention.

He had interviewed for Power 5 jobs, most recently with TCU in 2021. A move from Jackson State to the FBS was inevitable, but where? A lighter-than-normal coaching cycle, especially in the Southeast, seemed to decrease the chances of a Sanders jump.

Colorado wasn't a likely destination for the Pro Football Hall of Famer, or even a probable coaching vacancy when the season began. After a search process that began with other candidates, Colorado zeroed in on Sanders and brought him to the Rockies late on Dec. 3.

Sanders' hiring at Colorado undoubtedly highlights a coaching carousel that, while not matching its predecessor in notable names and schools, contained plenty of interesting subplots. Most of the key jobs are filled, so it's time to break down the biggest hires, the most head-scratching ones and the emerging trends from this year's head-coaching carousel.

Here are 10 takeaways from the coaching cycle so far.

Jump to:
Fickell a fit at Wisconsin | Louisville a huge winner
ASU gets homegrown guy | Lack of diversity | Freeze finds a home
Rhule returns to Big Ten | Stanford must develop and retain
Retreads | Experiments

Almost no downside to Colorado's hire of Sanders

Every coaching hire carries risk. Sanders is still relatively new to college coaching. Just because he dramatically elevated Jackson State in the SWAC doesn't mean he can do the same for Colorado in an improving Pac-12.

But Colorado had fallen so far, both in performance and relevance, that a dynamic hire like Sanders has no real downside. Sanders gives the program an unprecedented bump in relevance, and his presence and ability to attract talent significantly increases the chances of better on-field play.