We're not even halfway through the college football season and we've already seen two programs make a change with their head coach. Following an embarrassing loss to Arizona State on Saturday night, USC didn't even wait for the sun to rise before dismissing Lane Kiffin. Connecticut's Paul Pasqualoni was let go on Monday following his fourth straight loss to open the 2013 season.
By the time the season ends, there will surely be several other programs looking to go in a different direction at head coach. There will be plenty of outstanding college coaches to consider for these vacancies, but you can be sure several NFL assistant coaches will be in the mix, as well. I reached out to five NFL personnel executives to get their take on this topic: Which current NFL assistant coach would make the best college football head coach? Here are the results:
Executive 1: Dan Quinn
"(Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator) Dan Quinn. He's a player's coach. He's a grinder, he's tough and he relates well to his guys. He knows how to utilize the strengths of his players, and he has the presence of a head coach."
Executive 2: Mel Tucker
Executive 3: Mel Tucker
"Mel Tucker. He has a lot of experience in both pro and college football. He's been around some very good coaching staffs at both levels. He's young enough to have the energy you need to rebuild a college program, and he has enough experience to know what to do. Everyone I know that has worked with him has nothing but great things to say about him."
Executive 4: Greg Roman
"Tough call, but I'd probably go with (San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator) Greg Roman. He has the Stanford model, and he knows how to work quarterbacks. He is a very bright offensive mind, and he's done a great job developing (Colin) Kaepernick. Dan Quinn would be my second choice."
Executive 5: Greg Roman
"I'd go with Greg Roman. He's a leader, he can recruit and he's an underrated play-caller. Another guy that intrigues me is Denver running backs coach Eric Studesville. I've always been impressed with him at pro-day workouts. He has a big-time presence."
Conclusion: I was a little surprised that Jack Del Rio's name didn't pop up in my discussions with these executives. He has head-coaching experience and his personality would be a huge asset in recruiting. I've worked with Greg Roman and Mel Tucker during my scouting career and I think both of them would be outstanding college head coaches.
Roman is a very bright offensive mind and his experience at Stanford will be very appealing to college programs in need of a "jump start." Tucker is one of the most likeable guys I've ever been around. His players love playing for him, and he's a great teacher. He was one of the top recruiters in the country when he was working under Jim Tressel at Ohio State. I've never been around Dan Quinn, but I've heard great things about his energy, passion and personality.