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Re-ranking the tenures of all FBS head coaches from 1-to-130: 2021 edition

There was a time, not all that long ago, when the 2020 season was a humongous question mark. If we had a season, it was anyone's guess on if the public viewed it as legitimate. And if it was legitimate, who knew if the buyout money that got the coaching carousel spinning would even be there.

It did, it was and it was.

We had a 2020 season, we had a 2020-21 carousel, but we hardly welcomed any new faces to the FBS head coaching fraternity.

Fifteen FBS jobs changed hands, but only seven went to first-time FBS head coaches. (Sadly, only one went to a Black head coach.) One of those seven first-timers happens to be the son of a Hall of Fame head coach.

Auburn, Tennessee and Utah State hired sitting head coaches. Arkansas State, Illinois, UCF, ULM and Texas hired guys who have been head coaches two, three and even five times before. Terry Bowden, "new" to this list, got his first head coaching job in 1983. Gus Malzahn, the "newest" hire among the 130, has been an FBS head coach continuously since 2012 -- a full 10 seasons now.

In college football, the post-Covid world looks a lot like the pre-Covid world: the best way to get a job is to already have a job.

Some notes:

-- The median tenure belongs to SMU's Sonny Dykes, officially promoted to replace Willie Taggart on Dec. 11, 2017. He has coached 36 games for the Mustangs.

-- Washington's Jimmy Lake has coached all of four Huskies games. He's also been on the job longer than 28 percent of his peers.

-- Another quirk: Bill Clark checks in at No. 25, on the job since Jan. 21, 2014. But since UAB took two seasons off, Clark has only coached 62 games for the Blazers (he's 40-22, and 34-16 post-revival). Kirby Smart, No. 38 on this list, has coached 66 games at Georgia.

-- When Patrick Stevens started this project back in 2013, before I shamelessly ripped it off, Mark Stoops was the leader of the new class of hires. His Nov. 27, 2012 hire date now makes him the 15th-longest tenured head coach in FBS.

-- Remember last summer when it looked like Kirk Ferentz might lose his grip on the No. 1 spot? The only active coach to lead a team in four decades and two millennia is still patrolling the sidelines in Iowa City.

-- Mack Brown, in his second tenure at North Carolina, has crept into the top 70. He could be in the top 50 by the time we do this again in 2022.

Without further ado, the full list:

1998
1. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa - Dec. 2

2000
2. Gary Patterson, TCU - Dec. 8

2004
3. Kyle Whittingham, Utah - Dec. 9
4. Frank Solich, Ohio - Dec. 17

2005
5. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State - Jan. 3
6. Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee - Dec. 12

2006
7. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern - July 7
8. Troy Calhoun, Air Force - Dec. 22

2007
9. Nick Saban, Alabama - Jan. 3
10. Ken Niumatalolo, Navy - Dec. 8
11. David Cutcliffe, Duke - Dec. 15

2008
12. Dabo Swinney, Clemson - Oct. 13

2009
13. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame - Dec. 11

2011
14. David Shaw, Stanford - Jan. 13

2012
15. Mark Stoops, Kentucky - Nov. 27
16. Dave Doeren, NC State - Dec. 1
17. Skip Holtz, Louisiana Tech - Dec. 14

2013
18. Doug Martin, New Mexico State - Feb. 1
19. Chuck Martin, Miami (Ohio) - Dec. 3
20. Craig Bohl, Wyoming - Dec. 8
21. Dave Clawson, Wake Forest - Dec. 10
22. Chris Creighton, Eastern Michigan - Dec. 11
23. Jeff Monken, Army - Dec. 24

2014
24. James Franklin, Penn State - Jan. 11
25. Bill Clark, UAB - Jan. 21
26. Lance Leipold, Buffalo - Dec. 1
27. Philip Montgomery, Tulsa - Dec. 11
28. Paul Chryst, Wisconsin - Dec. 17
29. Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh - Dec. 26
30. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan - Dec. 30

2015
31. Matt Campbell, Iowa State - Nov. 29
32. Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech - Nov. 29
33. Clay Helton, USC - Nov. 30
34. Jason Candle, Toledo - Dec. 2
35. Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia - Dec. 4
36(t). Dino Babers, Syracuse - Dec. 5
36(t). Seth Littrell, North Texas - Dec. 5
38. Kirby Smart, Georgia - Dec. 6
39. Willie Fritz, Tulane - Dec. 12
40. Kalani Sitake, BYU - Dec. 19

2016
41. Mike Neu, Ball State - Jan. 7
42. Butch Davis, Florida International - Nov. 15
43. Ed Orgeron, LSU - Nov. 26
44. Tom Allen, Indiana - Dec. 1
45. Jeff Brohm, Purdue - Dec. 5
46. Brent Brennan, San Jose State - Dec. 7
47. Shawn Elliott, Georgia State - Dec. 8
48. Jay Norvell, Nevada - Dec. 9
40. Luke Fickell, Cincinnati - Dec. 10
50. Randy Edsall, Connecticut - Dec. 28

2017
51. P.J. Fleck, Minnesota - Jan. 6
52. Tim Lester, Western Michigan - Jan. 13
53. Justin Wilcox, California - Jan. 14
54. Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma - June 7
55. Chip Kelly, UCLA - Nov. 25
56. Dan Mullen, Florida - Nov. 26
57. Chad Lunsford, Georgia Southern - Nov. 27
58. Jonathan Smith, Oregon State - Nov. 29
59. Scott Frost, Nebraska - Dec. 2
60. Herm Edwards, Arizona State - Dec. 3
61. Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M - Dec. 4
62(t). Mike Bloomgren, Rice - Dec. 6
62(t). Dana Dimel, UTEP - Dec. 6
64. Mario Cristobal, Oregon - Dec. 8
65. Sonny Dykes, SMU - Dec. 11
66. Billy Napier, Louisiana-Lafayette - Dec. 15
67. Sean Lewis, Kent State - Dec. 21

2018
68. Les Miles, Kansas - Nov. 18
69. Mack Brown, North Carolina - Nov. 26
70. Tyson Helton, Western Kentucky - Nov. 27
71(t). Scot Loeffler, Bowling Green - Nov. 28
71(t). Jake Spavital, Texas State - Nov. 28
73. Matt Wells, Texas Tech - Nov. 29
74. Jim McElwain, Central Michigan - Dec. 2
75(t). Walt Bell, Massachusetts - Dec. 3
75(t). Mike Houston, East Carolina - Dec. 3
77(t). Ryan Day, Ohio State - Dec. 4
77(t). Mike Locksley, Maryland - Dec. 4
77(t). Scott Satterfield, Louisville - Dec. 4
80. Will Healy, Charlotte - Dec. 5
81(t). Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech - Dec. 7
81(t). Hugh Freeze, Liberty - Dec. 7
83. Chris Klieman, Kansas State - Dec. 10
84. Tom Arth, Akron - Dec. 14
85. Manny Diaz, Miami - Dec. 30

2019
86. Dana Holgorsen, Houston - Jan. 2
87. Neal Brown, West Virginia - Jan. 5
88. Chip Lindsey, Troy - Jan. 10
89. Rod Carey, Temple - Jan. 11
90(t). Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina - Jan. 18
90(t). Thomas Hammock, Northern Illinois - Jan. 18
92. Jimmy Lake, Washington - Dec. 2
93. Greg Schiano, Rutgers - Dec. 3
94. Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss - Dec. 7
95(t). Mike Norvell, Florida State - Dec. 8
95(t). Sam Pittman, Arkansas - Dec. 8
97(t). Ricky Rahne, Old Dominion - Dec. 9
97(t). Jeff Scott, South Florida - Dec. 9
97(t). Jeff Traylor, UTSA - Dec. 9
100. Eliah Drinkwitz, Missouri - Dec. 10
101. Steve Addazio, Colorado State - Dec. 11
102(t). Marcus Arroyo, UNLV - Dec. 13
102(t). Shawn Clark, Appalachian State - Dec. 13
102(t). Ryan Silverfield, Memphis - Dec. 13
105. Jeff Hafley, Boston College - Dec. 14
106. Kalen DeBoer, Fresno State - Dec. 17
107. Danny Gonzales, New Mexico - Dec. 17
108. Willie Taggart, Florida Atlantic - Dec. 18

2020
109. Brady Hoke, San Diego State - Jan. 8
110. Mike Leach, Mississippi State - Jan. 9
111. Nick Rolovich, Washington State - Jan. 14
112. Dave Aranda, Baylor - Jan. 16
113. Todd Graham, Hawai'i - Jan. 22
114. Mel Tucker, Michigan State - Feb. 12
115. Karl Dorrell, Colorado - Feb. 23
116. Shane Beamer, South Carolina - Dec. 6
117. Will Hall, Southern Miss - Dec. 7
118(t). Blake Anderson, Utah State - Dec. 12
118(t). Butch Jones, Arkansas State - Dec. 12
118(t). Kane Wommack, South Alabama - Dec. 12
121. Clark Lea, Vanderbilt - Dec. 14
122. Bret Bielema, Illinois - Dec. 19
123. Bryan Harsin, Auburn - Dec. 22
124. Jedd Fisch, Arizona - Dec. 23
125. Terry Bowden, ULM - Dec. 23

2021
126. Steve Sarkisian, Texas - Jan. 2
127. Andy Avalos, Boise State - Jan. 9
128. Charles Huff, Marshall - Jan. 17
129. Josh Heupel, Tennessee - Jan. 27
130. Gus Malzahn, UCF - Feb. 15