Matt Rhule Will Have Plenty of College Coaching Opportunities
Matt Rhule is currently updating his resume after being fired by the Carolina Panthers. Rhule is clearly not a great NFL coach, and it was evident he would be fired before the end of the 2022 season.
Thankfully, at the college level, Rhule was a great coach. At Baylor, he worked magic. He took over the program in 2017 after the Art Briles scandal. At the time, that was at rock bottom. In his first season as head coach, he won one game. In his second season, he won seven games. Finally, in his third and final season, he won 11 games.
As of right now, there are several college programs that will be calling for Rhule’s services. We are only six weeks into the college season so a lot can change, but here are four teams that should give Rhule a call right now.
It was surprising to see Wisconsin let go of head coach Paul Chryst. He was a solid coach, but Wisconsin struggled mightly under Chryst in 2022. After his firing, defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard has been promoted to interim head coach. The remainder of the 2022 season will serve as his job interview and as a former Wisconsin player, the job will be his to lose.
If Leonhard does not secure the Wisconsin job, Rhule should be the first name that the school calls. The 47-year-old should be able to find success in Madison. Despite taking a step back in 2022, the Badgers are one of the most established programs in the Big Ten West. Plus, sophomore running back Braelon Allen will return in 2023 which will help Rhule find immediate success. If Rhule ends up at Wisconsin, he should be able to quickly turn the Badgers program around.
Scott Frost had something to prove heading into the 2022 season. In just three games, Frost proved that he was not fit to be the Nebraska head coach and he was fired. For the Cornhuskers, Rhule is the ideal candidate. Frankly, Nebraska is currently in a terrible situation. They need someone who can work magic to pull them out of the hole they have dug themselves into. As we mentioned, Rhule is capable of that.
The question here is if the interest is mutual. Nebraska has a lot of history, good facilities, and dedicated fans. On the other hand, they do not have a lot of talent or a solid foundation. Rhule will have his work cut out for him in Lincoln. If the Cornhuskers want Rhule, they will have to get out the checkbook to get him to Nebraska.
Arizona State got rid of head coach Herm Edwards just three games into the 2022 season. The move came as no surprise after a 0-3 start and a home loss to Eastern Michigan. Arizona State should be interested in Rhule for the same reason as Nebraska. The program is rock bottom, and they need help.
The Sun Devils are an interesting position. They do not have a large history of program success, but Rhule could change that. The Pac-12 will be considerably weaker in the upcoming years as USC and UCLA leave for the Big Ten. That leaves Arizona State room to squeak into the top of the conference. In addition, Rhule’s ability to develop and Tempe’s relation to California should bring solid talent to the program.
Auburn is the only team on this list that has yet to fire their head coach. With that being said, Bryan Harsin should be fired. If he is fired, Rhule would make a good replacement. This job may be the most appealing out of the bunch, simply because of the SEC. At the moment, the SEC is the toughest conference to build sustained success in. With Texas and Oklahoma joining the conference that will only make things tougher.
However, with risk comes reward. If Rhule can return Auburn to national championship status, he would be viewed as one of the best college coaches in the country. Plus, the access to five-star talent in the SEC is something that Rhule could not ignore.