This offseason saw many huge college football coaching changes in just about every conference. Some were pretty good while others will change college football for years to come. Which ones will make the difference in 2018? Justin Heisey takes a look into all 21 head college football coaching changes and gives you the best ones going into 2018.
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2018 College Football Coaching Changes That Impact Fantasy
Scott Frost, Nebraska
So we will go ahead and get the two obvious ones out of the way with the first being Scott Frost. Frost returned to his Alma Mater of Nebraska after leading the Central Florida Knights to a 13-0 season and a Peach Bowl win over Auburn. Frost is undoubtedly making Nebraska a threat to Wisconsin sooner rather than later and the largest beneficiary of this is Quarterback Adrian Martinez. The Cornhusker schedule is a nightmare this season but Martinez showed flashes of potential in a Spring Game that saw him score four times on the ground. Expect the Nebraska quarterback to finally be Fantasy relevant for the first time since Taylor Martinez in 2013.
Chip Kelly, UCLA
And the other college football coaching change you knew we’d be talking about is Chip Kelly. After departing for the NFL in 2013 it seemed that we’d never see the return of the great Chip Kelly but here we are. Kelly’s offensive system is based entirely around the run which has been a lacking component for the Bruins offense in the past multiple seasons. It almost doesn’t matter whether Soso Jamabo or Bolu Olorunfunmi wins the starting running back job, because the winner is going to see 20-plus carries per game. Also, If Dorian Thompson-Robinson can win the quarterback job in Fall camp he will have monster upside in an offense that has produced fantasy gold in Jeremiah Masoli and Marcus Mariota.
Chad Morris, Arkansas
Chad Morris was a hot name in 2014 when he shockingly left the Clemson Tigers for SMU. Morris didn’t disappoint as he took the miserable 1-11 Mustangs to a Bowl Game and finished with a Top-15 offense in his final season. We likely won’t see Arkansas compete for an SEC championship this year, but the Razorback offense will vastly improve. Although Morris’ offenses are successful with mobile quarterbacks, the offense can thrive with a gunslinger at the helm as we’ve seen with Ben Hicks. Cole Kelley certainly has a gunslinger mentality to fit the offense and open up the run for either Devwah Whaley or JUCO-transfer Rakeem Boyd. Morris’ success’ are usually seen early on and I have no doubt that this year will be any different.
Willie Taggart, Florida State
If you can get Cam Akers in your league then get him because Willie Taggart running backs have never disappointed and Akers is probably the most talented one Taggart has ever had. Willie Taggart made a name for himself with several great seasons with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. Since then, he’s had multiple fantasy legend running backs in Bobby Rainey, Antonio Andrews, Marlon Mack, and Royce Freeman. Florida State should be right back on track in upcoming seasons and Cam Akers is the key component for the Seminole undertaking.
Willie Taggart wasn’t afraid to put true freshmen in starting roles at Oregon.
— Noles247.com (@Noles247) July 25, 2018
Kevin Sumlin, Arizona
So full disclosure, this is one of the college football coaching changes I was a bit disappointed in. I would’ve rather had Arizona hire Ken Niumatalolo going forward but I’m fine with Kevin Sumlin for the upcoming season. Sumlin’s offensive system is heavily favorable for a mobile quarterback as we’ve seen in the past with Johnny Manziel and that half a season Kyler Murray went to Texas A&M. Tate was already going to be a huge piece in the Wildcat offense but now he might just be the entire offense. Arizona is likely an 8-4 team this season, but Sumlin will assure that Tate gets his due each and every game.
Sonny Dykes, SMU
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about Sonny Dykes in the upcoming seasons, but I’m on board as long as Ben Hicks is around. Dykes runs an Air Raid system which produces fantasy quarterbacks left and right and Hicks is in the best possible position to succeed. The SMU schedule in 2018 is favorable later on in the season, especially around Fantasy Championship Week. like I said before, I’m uncertain as to how I feel about the Dykes hire going forward but for 2018 I’m a huge fan.
Sean Lewis, Kent State
This one may come as a surprise but the more I look into Sean Lewis, the more excited I get. Lewis is a Dino Babers disciple and produced an offense that averaged 87.8 plays per game in 2017, which was the fastest in all of college football. Kent State’s offense may not be where they want it to be just yet, but the Golden Flashes offense is already reported to be fast. The reason Lewis really makes this list is that he hops on the ship right as former Auburn quarterback Woody Barrett becomes eligible. Lewis’ team may not win a lot but the idea that Kent State brings in a Babers guy with a D1 quarterback just reaks of a Fantasy boom.
Joe Moorhead, Mississippi State
Mississippi State won the coaching carousel this offseason as they replaced a great offensive mind in Dan Mullen with another great offensive mind in Joe Moorhead. Moorhead’s offense will run admirably with mobile quarterback Nick Fitzgerald and an assortment of backs in Aeris Williams and Kylin Hill. The Bulldogs also add JUCO transfer Stephen Guidry who has a similar build and skill set to Moorhead’s Penn State Receivers Juwan Johnson and Chris Godwin. Don’t expect the Bulldogs to take a step back with Moorhead taking over a wealth of talent left behind by Dan Mullen.
More Great College Fantasy Football Content
Curious about what the experts think about your favorite players? Chech out the FootballDiehards.com 5th Annual Suma Cum Laude Mock Draft for the 2018 season.
Be sure to check out previous articles by Justin Heisey