Coaching changes often make for awkward first seasons. For one thing, there’s a pretty good chance the new man was hired to turn around a fallen program. And even if he wasn’t, there are still some inherent challenges that come with installing a new system and enticing a group of players to embrace an often entirely new staff by whom they weren’t themselves recruited.
Below, I take a look at the 2008 prospects for 18 schools that underwent coaching changes last offseason, with special emphasis on such high-profile hires as Michigan’s Rich Rodriguez, Nebraska’s Bo Pelini and UCLA’s Rick Neuheisel. Some walk into situations ripe for ready-made winners. Others are in for a rough transition year.
’07 record: 3-9 (0-8 SEC).
New coach: Houston Nutt, formerly Arkansas’ head coach.
What he inherits: