With jobs like LSU, USC, Washington, TCU, and Virginia Tech coming open after head coaches Ed Orgeron, Clay Helton, Jimmy Lake, Gary Patterson, and Justin Fuente were fired midseason, let’s consider the factors that make these openings attractive… or less than attractive.

How big of a factor is the local recruiting upside of USC and LSU? Is it smart to consider the more reasonable expectations of a place like TCU or Virginia Tech or Washington? How important is path to a division, conference, big bowl, College Football Playoff, and national championship? Is a place like Washington State, which became a good program under Mike Leach, attractive because of its upside as a place to experiment and be very specific with scheme and recruiting intentions? Is there something attractive about being a coach who can replicate or improve upon what Chris Petersen did for Washington in a conference with only one current power?

And we didn’t get too far into it, but which coaches – to you – make the most sense for some of these openings? Can USC lure a guy like Penn State’s James Franklin or Oregon’s Mario Cristobal to LA? Should Virginia Tech be zeroing in on Louisiana’s Billy Napier? Is TCU and SMU’s Sonny Dykes a marriage that makes almost *too much* sense? Can LSU really back up the Brinks truck for Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley? Does Washington dare go the coordinator route again or do they lock in on guys like Fresno State’s Kalen DeBoer or Cal’s Justin Wilcox?

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