The 2013 head coach hiring class faces a tough act to follow
The 2012 FBS head coaching hiring class had a collective record of 144-190. That ledger isn't impressive on the surface, but step inside the numbers and you'll see athletic directors had a slugging percentage like Barry Bonds on at the peak of his steroids days.
- Of the 27 new head coaches, only eight decreased their schools' win totals from the year before. Twelve teams saw their win totals increase, while seven stayed the same. In all, 70.4 percent of schools saw their records maintained or improved by their first-year coaches.
- Nearly 40 percent of new head coaches lead their teams to at least two more victories than the year before they arrived on campus.
- Two of those eight coaches did not survive the 2012 season (Ellis Johnson at Southern Miss and John L. Smith at Arkansas). Of the remaining six, Tony Levine inherited a situation where, without future Hall of Famer Case Keenum and a host of other playmakers, Houston was all but guaranteed to see its win total drop. Penn State saw its regular-season record dip from 9-3 to 8-4 with Bill O'Brien but, considering the unprecedented situation he walked into, he was a hot pick for national coach of the year honors. At Kansas, Charlie Weis saw the his team's record drop by one win but, with five losses coming by a touchdown or less, the Jayhawks were actually more competitive in 2012 than 2011.
- Five coaches led their teams to the top of their respective conference or division standings (Ohio State and North Carolina were ineligible for postseason play due to no fault of Urban Meyer or Larry Fedora). O'Brien's Penn State team also finished second to Meyer's Buckeyes in the Big Ten Leaders Division.
- Tim DeRuyter at Fresno State, Hugh Freeze at Ole Miss and Rich Rodriguez at Arizona took their teams to bowl games after missing the postseason in 2011. Kevin Sumlin inherited a 2011 bowl team, but jumped the Aggies from the Meineke Car Care Bowl to the Cotton Bowl, an 11-2 record and the school's first Top 5 finish since 1956.
- They didn't make bowl games, but Bob Davie (New Mexico), Carl Pelini (Florida Atlantic) and Justin Fuente (Memphis) each boosted their respective clubs ledgers by at least two victories.
- Charley Molnar saw his team's record drop from 5-6 to 1-11 at Massachusetts, but his team was not included in the total versus 2011 since the Minutemen were transitioning from FCS to FBS play.
Good luck to FBS head coaching class of 2013, because you're going to need it to match the collective success of this group.