There are no secret formulas for hiring successful head coaches. Sometimes picking the low-hanging fruit off the Nick Saban tree works, sometimes it does not.
You can use a search firm or you can create your own, trusted administrators who do the research. You can outbid competitors for the hot head coach, reach for a successful coach from a Power Five school or simply give an outstanding coordinator a chance.
The only thing for sure is that there are no guarantees.
And that all of the coaches who are struggling this year in their new jobs (I’m looking at you, Scott Frost) could turn things around as soon as next season. Or they might not.
The point (you knew there was one coming) is that when Florida hired Dan Mullen there were two schools of thought.
One was that it was a perfect hire and why did it take so long? The other was that fans with selective memory did not like the offense Florida had when he was here, you know, back when they were 44-9 in four seasons and pointed to his record against ranked teams at Mississippi State (2-15).
But as everyone knows, Starkville and Gainesville are different places and so far at UF he is 2-0 vs. AP ranked teams.
Mullen is on his second opportunity as a college football head coach, something that has worked for coaches like LSU’s Ed Orgeron (I don’t count interim jobs) and Mario Cristobal at Oregon.
But again, no magic formulas. Of the 25 head coaches who have their teams ranked in the Top 25 right now, eight of them are in their first jobs as a head coach. I thought it was nine but Kirk Ferentz coached at Maine in the early 1990s. I did not know that.
Anyway, it’s something to think about as you get ready for a week without Gator football to stress out about and can just sit back and watch some ball.
Dr. Football survived a tumultuous week of college ball with a respectable 7-3 record. I even picked the Gator game correctly. Never a doubt.
That makes the record for The Picks 45-25 for the season and at least readers aren’t Googling my buyout.
MISSISSIPPI STATE AT LSU: Hey, I have to give Orgeron his due. He may talk like a cartoon character, but he gets his guys ready to play. We saw that when LSU was here. They didn’t lose because of a lack of effort. And that’s why they won’t lose what could be a hangover game on Saturday. Of course, every game in the Baton Rouge is a hangover game. LSU, 28-19.
N.C. STATE AT CLEMSON: Two unbeatens, both coming off bye weeks. This is the biggest game in the ACC this year. This is the game on Saturday where you tell everybody the chili is finally ready. Grab a bowl and enjoy. Clemson, 28-24.
MICHIGAN STATE AT MICHIGAN: It baffles me why a rivalry game this big would be played at noon, but I have given up trying to figure out why networks do the things they do. Like when they canceled “Get A Life.” Loved that show. Michigan, 23-17.
AUBURN AT OLE MISS: People keep acting like Gus Malzahn’s buyout means Auburn would have to write a $32 million check. No, it would only have to pay half right away and the rest over four years. He loses this game and someone may have to get a checkbook out. Auburn, 38-31.
VANDERBILT AT KENTUCKY: Wildcats have had a week off. And Vandy’s gonna Vandy. Kentucky, 31-20.
ALABAMA AT TENNESSEE: Well, at least the Vols winning last week means we might turn it on for a minute or two. Alabama, 38-12.
COLORADO AT WASHINGTON: I like to joke about how I can’t tell you which teams are in which division in the ACC. It’s much easier in the Pac-12 because of this thing I like to call geography. So I know without looking it up that this is a big cross-divisional game. I think. Washington, 23-20.
WAKE FOREST AT FLORIDA STATE: Wake Forest ranks 115th in scoring defense and 123rd in total defense. If the Semis can’t block these guys, they might as well give up. FSU, 38-10.
OREGON AT WASHINGTON STATE: This is where GameDay is for the first time ever. Won’t help. Oregon, 38-21.
OKLAHOMA AT TCU: OK, so let’s see what the Sooners defense looks like after the firing of Mike Stoops. Still can’t get you to watch, can I? Oklahoma, 40-13.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at email@example.com. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.