3 elite Dana Holgorsen replacements to make Houston a new power in expanded Big 12

Houston has opted to pay nearly a $14.8 million buyout to move on from Cougars head coach Dana Holgorsen. U of H is an intriguing Big 12 job. Here are some candidates who can replace him.

Dana Holgorsen, Houston Cougars
Dana Holgorsen, Houston Cougars / Peter G. Aiken/GettyImages
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2. Willie Fritz could get that sweet Power Five opportunity he deserves

Willie Fritz may be a mainstay at Tulane, but he was nearly poached for the Georgia Tech vacancy an offseason ago. He opted to lead the Green Wave in the Cotton Bowl after winning the Group of Five. Georgia Tech decided to remove the interim tag on Brent Key in the wake of Fritz's decision. Truth be told, both programs have come out of this well. However, Houston could be what gets Fritz to leave.

Fritz is in his early-to-mid-60s and could stay at Tulane for as long as he wants. Unfortunately, the Greenies are going to be stuck in the Group of Five as one of the few American holdovers in the latest wave of conference realignment. Teams like Cincinnati, Houston and UCF have leveled up out of The American this past season. SMU will be joining the ACC next year alongside with Cal and Stanford.

Again, Fritz may be comfortable at Tulane and may like his chances of making the expanded College Football Playoff field next season. Unfortunately, he is a top target from the Group of Five teams like Houston will want to hire immediately. Fritz just got a huge bump in pay an offseason ago at Tulane. He might be due for another one, as the Greenies could win the Group of Five in back-to-back years.

All things equal, Houston will be able to outbid Tulane for their head coach, if they want to hire him.