And my take on why the new coach will or won't succeed in their new homes.
Maryland Terrapins: If you go beyond the PR nightmare and the perception that the Maryland Athletic Department has no clue about anything after firing Ralph Friedgen with an 8-4 record this year and a Bowl game yet to be played, the Administration did themselves a favor. Nothing against Coach Friedgen, but when your history shows that 4 out of your last 7 years are losing records, you don't have a long leash. And I am sure that the administration was worried that he couldn't pull another 8-4 record out of his hat next year. Add to the fact that the coach's contract is up after next year and he wants an extension at a heftier price, it makes sense to boot his ass out now. I am also sure that the marketability of the Terps football program played a role in this. When the bowls can choose the team that they invite from your conference and with Maryland in 3rd place in the ACC and getting bypassed until the 7th ACC school choice, the coach needs to be good and be able to get the program to look better than it does now. And Coach Friedgen cannot do that. If Mike Leach is the pick, then the Terps have a chance to become a sexy pick with the flinging the football around and might become a program that Bowl games want at their game.
Minnesota Golden Gophers: After being teased by the AD saying that he was looking to make a splash with the hiring of a coach that had the stature of Tubby Smith, the fans revolted when the name Jerry Kill became the choice for Head Football coach. And after the uproar has died down and doing some research on the new coach, I think that this is a good hire. He has shown that he can coach in the lower levels (Southern Illinois and Northern Illinois). He has a fast-paced offenseive scheme that will cause recruits to actually look at Minnesota. His assistants and he are loyal to one another and I think that he can bring the Gophers back from the depths of the Big 10 into a 4th or 5th place team that every five years might have a shot at a Big 10 title.
Pittsburgh Panthers: Um, let's start with the positives here. Dave Wannstedt is gone. He should have been fired a couple of years ago. The new coach does have enthusiasm which Wannstedt didn't have. But the replacement is almost a complete unknown. Mike Haywood won during his 2 years at Miami (Ohio), but hasn't shown over a period of time that he can recruit or continuously have his teams playing for conference titles. His game management skills are shaky. The MAC Championship game against Northern Illinois showed his shakiness. It was luck not his in game coaching that had Miami winning that title. That said, if he can get the Pitt program that should be a national power up and feeling good about itself and playing in BCS Bowl Games, then it is a good hire. Otherwise, it is just another young hot coach that needed more seasoning before he came to play with the big boys.
Miami Hurricanes: The U fired Randy Shannon saying that a 28-22 record and cleaning up the cesspool that was the Miami football program wasn't what they expected. That they expected to be playing for conference and National Championships. The Administration has too many expectations. Look at the programs that are playing for National Championships. They are on the shadier side of the rules. The firing of Shannon might have been warranted, but I wouldn't have done it. So they bring in Al Golden from Temple. And while Golden did good things at Temple, they are overblown in my mind. Yes, he got Temple to a Bowl Game. But he wasn't playing in the Big East. He was coaching in the MAC. And that says that yes, he can coach and even get some players to a Mid-Major school. Now the job Golden has to do will be magnified 20 fold. Does the "U" get back to it's glory days? Not with this hire.
Florida Gators: Will Muschamp is a very excited guy. So excited that other Head Coaches that were watching his inaugural press conference at the Gator's Head Coach were texting him to tell him to settle down a little bit. And while Urban Meyer was seen as an offensive coach, Muschamp is the architect of a BCS winning defense for Texas in 2005 and is known as a defensive guru. He was the Longhorns' coach-in-waiting, but jumped at this chance. Florida has youth and experience coming into this season. 31 Freshmen or Redshirted-freshmen played for the Gators last year and that experience will help with the Gators rising up back into an Elite program for the near future. Muschamp is a great choice by the Gators and I cannot wait to see what he does with the program. All I know is that I will be rooting for Florida's opponent each and every weekend.
And as for the other Head Coaching changes like Kent State, Indiana, Vanderbilt and others, they aren't in this discussion because they are perennial bad teams, or they aren't major college programs and I don't see any of them rising up and becoming the cram of the crop anywhere except in their own little world.