Outside of a guy like Luke, who has led a power program before and could draw interest from some programs, the most likely name to get a head coaching opportunity is Riley.
We’ll start with the obvious advantage: his last name. There are a lot of college football fans who like to put down his brother, Lincoln, for multiple reasons, but the resume speaks for itself. Lincoln has multiple Heisman Trophy winners and a winning percentage at two power programs that most college football fans would clamor for at their own program.
Riley found fast success at both SMU and TCU. His next challenge will be to bring Clemson’s offense back to life. If he can do that, he will be getting attention for a head coaching gig sooner than later. Not only would the hiring school be getting a young offensive-minded guy who has a proven track record, but the name Riley would also make it a big splash hire.
This is contingent, of course, on a successful season with the Tigers. If the offense continues to sputter after the hire of Luke (which in theory fixes the biggest problem from 2023), there will be questions about who was responsible for the offense’s success at SMU and TCU. Was it really Riley or was it actually Sonny Dykes? I think sometimes people forget Dykes is a good offensive mind too.
Next: Nick Eason