College football coaches enter their second year and face crucial campaigns in the 2022 season

The second year of the head coach assignment can be one of the most interesting points of the course of the program. Every season, we evaluate coaches in this position because, historically, he has proven to be a focal point.

Some coaches, like Urban Meyer in Florida or Nick Saban at both LSU and Alabama, were already in contention for the championship by year two. This isn’t an expectation for all coaches, but it does speak to how quickly things can move in a positive direction for a new hire. The same can be said on the contrary, though, as recently in 2019, we saw several Power Five coaches get fired before their second season was over.

Patience is shorter than ever in college football when it comes to success in coaching, so while fans and administrators often allow for a rough start in year one – or a “year zero” situation – there is an understanding that the positions of the second season program To meet or exceed expectations of the big picture.

The 2020-2021 recruitment cycle featured some large programs making changes, but the total number of changing positions was significantly lower than the coaching circuit last holiday season. And among those year 1 coaches in 2021, there are many coaches who won’t face increased pressure to get a specific set of results in year 2. The challenges facing Brett Bielima in Illinois, Clark Lea in Vanderbilt and Lance Leibold in Kansas are challenges that will surely require more than two seasons to fully address, although it will certainly be important to make sure their teams don’t take big steps back in 2022.

Other cases, such as Utah with Blake Anderson, did enough in the first year to inspire confidence that the right man had been appointed for the job; Even some of this fall’s adversity will be forgiven thanks to last season’s success.

With that in mind, we’ve identified six coaches who, based on 2021 results and predictions for 2022 and beyond, face a pivotal second year next season.

Complete the Power Five Trainer Rankings: 1-25 | 26-65

Steve Sarkissian, Texas

2022 CBS Sports Coaches Ranking: 39 (+7)

Texans won 5-7 in Sarkissian’s first year and lost six of their last seven games, including letting Kansas knock out the game with a two-point win in overtime in Austin. It wasn’t a matter of competitiveness, as we saw the Longhorns suffer a one-stop loss to the conference’s top three teams (Baylor, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma), but there’s also the internal frustration of not being able to convert. Any of those chances of winning quality — particularly when flipping any one of the five one-score losses would have made the Pot Texans qualify instead of losing post-season for the first time since 2016.

So what is the outlook for Texas in 2022? Moderate gain in earnings as SAARC builds the program? of course not.

By bringing in Quinn Ewers, one of the highest-rated potential players in Texas high school football history, as well as a few other instant-impact transfers, the Longhorns are expected to be one of the top teams in a conference. The win total says that not just a couple, but nearly all of those one-score losses will turn the other way and the Longhorns will compete for the Big 12 title. In fact, Caesars Sportsbook is currently the favorite to win the Big 12, narrowly ahead of Oklahoma. Other coaches have pivotal seasons ahead, but none of the coaches here have as high expectations as Sarkissian.

Brian Harsin, Auburn

2022 CBS Sports Coach Ranking: 48 (-21)

The first year rarely ended in pot form and still has the same amount of turmoil as Brian Harsin in the months following the season. Auburn ranked No. 13 in the country prior to November but ended the season with five straight losses, including a 17-13 defeat to Houston in a bowl match. Then came a turnover of staff, a marked exodus of transfers and a recruiting cycle that didn’t achieve the kind of results that inspired trust among Auburn believers. Suddenly, Harsin was defending himself against rumors that his job was on the line, the university was opening an investigation into allegations from former players and the college football media spent about a week on “Bryan Harsin Watch” in February in case it was going to be a career change.

Harsin has taken that storm, but another secondary offering, either on the field and/or on the recruiting track, will bring those heated conversations back to the fore. Auburn needs more than six wins in 2022 to be able to quiet the noise, and unlike a schedule that includes Pennsylvania, Georgia and the entire super-competitive SEC West, that will be a challenge for the Tigers.

2022 CBS Sports Coach Ranking: 33 (+19)

These next two coaches had positive results in 2021, and now the pivotal point is whether they can build on that success. Heupel was the first Tennessee coach to set a record in his first season in Knoxville since Lane Kevin as he kept his promise with a prolific offense that delivered fireworks throughout the 7-5 regular season. Tennessee was played under 24 points only twice, and one of those games was a defeat to the historic Great Defense of eventual national champion Georgia Bulldogs.

With Hendon Hooker back on the quarterback and Cedric Tillman looking like one of the best wide receivers in the SEC, Tennessee is once again expected to make one of the most explosive offensive units of the conference. The challenge is to maintain this advantage over the opponent in the second year. The opposing defensive coordinators now have a full year of tape to try to develop answers to what Heupel wants to do offensively, so how will you take Tennessee to the next level? Given the composition of the roster, it appears that the offense would have to be equally productive in order to match last season’s win total. Recording less is not an option.

2022 CBS Sports Coach Ranking: 41 (+24)

South Carolina was expected to win three or four games but it ended 7-6 by defeating North Carolina at the May Bowl at Duke. Now Beamer Spencer Rattler has added former five-star quarterback and has made some buzz on the recruiting track to generate a real buzz among the fan base. You could argue that Beamer has somewhat of a long streak in Year 2 thanks to this early success, but the competitive nature of the SEC makes any steps back look devastating.

With fans expecting the trajectory to go in the right direction, pressure is on Beamer to bring South Carolina back to the Bowl in 2022. Realistically speaking, that would include three or four SEC wins, which could be as challenging as the Gamecocks trade off a home game against Auburn takes a road trip to Arkansas as SEC West’s rolling opponent. Failure to make a pot game won’t wipe out Beamer’s tenure thanks to first-year success, but continued hype will likely require another post-season appearance.

Joss Malzan, University of California

2022 CBS Sports Coach rating: 2 in AAC (+1)

Given the success the UCF has had in recent years at AAC, last year’s 8-4 show in the regular season actually came with a sense of disappointment. But the context of close losses, bad luck with injury and a strong finish for the year prevented UCF fans from doubting Malzahn’s ability to bring the Knights back into contention for the Conference title. Starting quarterback Dillon Gabriel with an injury at the end of the season earlier, the campaign involved losing a handful of other major contributors, however, Bounce House owners bounced back to win six of their last seven games, including the program’s first-ever win against him. In Florida the enemy is in a bowl game.

Being successful in Year Two presents a two-pronged challenge for Malzan in his tenure as UCF head coach, because there is an eye on how the Knights will face AAC, but more specifically, the other teams who will eventually join them. Transfer to the Big 12. There is a lot of excitement about this move to the Power Five, and Malzahn’s own experience indicates that he could be the right coach to lead this attack. But if the second year sees the UCF fall back behind Cincinnati and Houston, it could really put more pressure on him to step up the field as the school prepares to enter the Big 12 era in 2023.

2022 CBS Sports Coach Ranking: N / A

There are two reasons to highlight the second-year coach Marshall here, the first being the former Alabama assistant’s strong debut in 2021. Thundering Herd finished second in the USA Conference Division with a 5-3 record in league play and a 7-6 record overall , and until the end of the regular season against Western Kentucky, there was no game all season where Marshall had no chance of winning late in the game. Loss margins for the ECU (42-38), Appalachian State (31-30), Central Tennessee (34-28) and UAB (21-14) demonstrated a level of competitiveness that should inspire confidence among this Pride’s fanbase. a program.

But just as Hof quickly addressed his ability to lead Marshall to bowl games and compete for the conference title, the school made a conference jump to the Sun Belt. The Thunder Flock descended on the loaded Sun Belt East Division that includes Appalachian, coastal Carolina and Georgia while drawing the Louisiana GC Champion from the Western Division in his first year as a member of the convention. Hof needed a solid 1 year to turn the page from Doc Holliday’s decade-long tenure to the New Age, and now he’s earned another Type 1 year as a rookie in the Sun Belt.

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