This column has taken on several iterations over the course of the season, largely because the college football coaching carousel has been in full swing since Week 3 when Nebraska fired Scott Frost. The following coaches will be back on the sidelines with their respective programs but the question is whether patience will wear thin among the fan base and administration after some underwhelming results in 2022.
Ryan Day, Ohio State
It’s been a successful season for Day on paper, with Ohio State going 11-1 and set to play in a major bowl game. However, the Buckeyes got smoked by the Michigan Wolverines in “The Game” again with this loss coming at home. It’s the first time since 2000 Ohio State has lost this contest twice in a row. That’s also the last time the Buckeyes lost to Michigan at home. Ohio State can look to the other sidelines for patience, as Jim Harbaugh got routinely blown out in this rivalry before eventually turning things around. Day doesn’t have the contract security of some other coaches at big-time programs and another missed CFP might get some rumors swirling. The Buckeyes might still make the playoff this season if results go their way but they don’t control their own destiny. That will raise some questions about Day’s upside.
Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
Gundy has routinely leveraged openings outside of Stillwater for raises, although it’s not like he really needs to do that anymore. He’s an Oklahoma State lifer and while the results so far have been good, Cowboys boosters are seeing what Texas A&M is dealing with right now. You give a coach too much and the results don’t matter because you’re stuck. The OAN fiasco didn’t do Gundy in, but routinely going 7-5 might be enough for Oklahoma State to start thinking about a succession plan.
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
I don’t think any coach has more job security in the country than Ferentz. He’s had total control over this program, and that might change after this campaign. The Hawkeyes set new marks for offensive futility and let Purdue win the Big Ten West division. The Boilermakers have been a rising program but this Iowa team is used to routinely churning out 8-10 wins and is considered the standard in this division. Ferentz isn’t getting fired but he might be pushed to make some staff changes and improve the offense.