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Is "He's too young" really valid?

In the coming weeks and months a new crop of assistant coaches should have the opportunity to become first-time head coaches. A group of successful assistant coaches that could graduate to head coaching positions in the not-too-distant future includes Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart (36), Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier (41), Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell (39), Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman (37), Ohio State defensive line coach Mike Vrabel (37), Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris (43), Oregon offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich (39), Texas offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin (35), Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury (33) and Texas Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown (31). Jason Gesser (33), the interim head coach at Idaho, is also in close proximity to a full-time head coaching job.

The problem with those names, according to some, is that they're too young. As in "not old enough to run for president" young in some cases. 

But the question we have at FootballScoop is, is age really a valid concern?

Over the weekend we took a look at the youngest FBS head coaches, and our results indicate that the 40-and-under crowd is winning in a big way.

Head coach

Age

School

Record

Matt Campbell

32

Toledo

8-1

Willie Taggart

36

Western Kentucky

6-3

Justin Fuente

36

Memphis

1-8

Lane Kiffin

37

USC

6-3

Pat Fitzgerald

37

Northwestern

7-2

Steve Sarkisian

38

Washington

5-4

Garrick McGee

39

UAB

2-7

David Shaw

40

Stanford

7-2

Dave Doeren

40

Northern Illinois

9-1

James Franklin

40

Vanderbilt

5-4

Dan Mullen

40

Mississippi State

7-2

Tony Levine

40

Houston

4-5

Overall, that group is 67-42 (.615) this season. If you consider that Fuente and McGee are in their first seasons in situations where Vince Lombardi would struggle to win, the record improves to a stellar 64-27 (.703). 

Expand the criteria to coaches in their early-40's and the youth movement looks even stronger.

Head coach

Age

School

Record

Will Muschamp

41

Florida

8-1

Kyle Flood

41

Rutgers

7-1

Dana Holgorsen

41

West Virginia

5-3

Pete Lembo

42

Ball State

6-3

Mario Cristobal

42

Florida International

1-8

Sonny Dykes

42

Louisiana Tech

8-1

Dabo Swinney

42

Clemson

8-1

Bill O'Brien

43

Penn State

6-3

As a whole, this group is 49-21 (.700). Coupled with the group above and young head coaches enjoy a composite 116-63 (.648) record. 

In college football, winning begins with recruiting better players than your opponent. With that in mind, imagine you are a 16-year-old recruit. Who are you more likely to relate to, a 35-year-old coach or a 65-year-old coach?

The success of young head coaches are having so early in their careers has to be making athletic directors across the country asking themselves if youth is really a bad thing.