The flurry of decisions that spin the coaching carousel is an annual reminder of inevitable change in college football.

During the last two offseasons, more than 50 Football Bowl Subdivision teams have hired (or promoted) a new boss. So far—because we can't be certain more disruption won't happen in this beautifully silly sport—two dozen programs have a new head coach for next season.

And plenty more will leave 2023 with a new one.

The following list is not a projection of which head coaches will ultimately be fired in the next spin of the carousel. It is, however, a preview of hot-seat narratives to expect leading into the fall.

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Butch Jones, Arkansas State

Dating back to Hugh Freeze's lone season with the team in 2011, the Red Wolves have a solid tradition of winning. They tallied seven-plus victories in nine straight years even as Freeze, Gus Malzahn, Bryan Harsin and Blake Anderson cycled through the program. Butch Jones, though, is just 5-19 overall with a 2-14 mark against Sun Belt competition. His security is waning.


Danny Gonzales, New Mexico

New Mexico hasn't been a perennial bowl contender since the Rocky Long era ended in 2008, so expectations are low. Nevertheless, the Lobos probably need to see improvement soon. Danny Gonzales has a 7-24 record in three seasons, including a rough 3-20 clip in the Mountain West after a winless 2022 campaign in league play.


Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern

The amount of self-convincing required to even mention Pat Fitzgerald cannot be overstated. The longtime coach has massive job security at his alma mater because this is an immensely difficult spot, and he guides the Wildcats to sporadic success. At the same time, NU has finished 1-8 in Big Ten play during three of the last four seasons—with a trip to the league championship game mixed in. Is a random rise good enough? I think so. But maybe not?


The Expensive New Guys

Patience is a virtue, but it certainly isn't always practiced in college football. Several new-ish coaches with expensive contracts, in theory, should be safe to return in 2024. But if 2023 gets worse than 2022, would a change actually be made? This group includes Florida's Billy Napier, Miami's Mario Cristobal, Michigan State's Mel Tucker, Oklahoma's Brent Venables and Texas' Steve Sarkisian. Unlikely. But keep an eye on them.


Jeff Hafley, Boston College

The best way to describe Boston College is aggressively mediocre.

Ever since Jeff Jagodzinski's tenure (strangely) ended before the 2009 season, Boston College has notched six-plus victories 10 times in 14 years. Dozens of programs would love to consistently reach bowl eligibility.