Grading every college football coaching hire from 2022 after year 1

Sonny Dykes, TCU Horned Frogs. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
Sonny Dykes, TCU Horned Frogs. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /
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Brent Venables, Oklahoma Sooners
Brent Venables, Oklahoma Sooners. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /

Marcus Freeman overcame bumpiness to salvage first year leading Notre Dame

Promoting defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman from within to replace Brian Kelly was a good idea, in theory. Freeman brought a certain cool factor to Notre Dame it had long been lacking. While he struggled mightily to win games out of the gate, Freeman and the Fighting Irish program rebounded to have a solid 9-4 season under his watch. Notre Dame feels like it is in a good place.

Grade: B

Tim Albin won an division title in first full season as the Ohio Bobcats head coach

Tim Albin’s inclusion on this list is a tad controversial. While he did go 3-9 in his first season at the helm of Ohio U in 2021, he was serving in the interim role for the recently retired Frank Solich. Though his Bobcats’ coaching predecessor is an absolute icon in the sport, Albin seems to have righted the ship a bit in his first full year on the job. Ohio won 10 games and played for a MAC title.

Grade: B+

Brent Venables may just be a coordinator, as Oklahoma fans are falling to pieces

Replacing Lincoln Riley was never going to be easy, but you can say the pressure is certainly on Brent Venables in year two at OU. The good news is he still achieved bowl eligibility in year one in Norman as a first-time head coach. The bad news is OU is a college football blue-blood. His first year was not as disappointing as Mario Cristobal’s in Miami, but Venables feels very John Blake…

Grade: C

Dan Lanning proved he will have what it takes to sustain excellence in Oregon

After getting blown out by his former employer’s team during Labor Day weekend, Dan Lanning rebounded to have a strong first year at Oregon. He may have inherited many of Mario Cristobal’s players, but his decision to recruit Bo Nix out of the transfer portal from Auburn was a great decision. Oregon won 10 games in year one, showing Lanning learned a ton from Kirby Smart.

Grade: A-

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