Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated published an article on Tuesday in which he named the 25 most intriguing college football coaches for the 2022 season.
Here is what Forde had to say about each of the coaches, and what he will be looking for from them in 2022.
2. Brent Venables, Oklahoma
“Riley’s departure cleared the way for Venables’s arrival, setting the stage for what should be a stylistic reset of the Sooners. The 51-year-old former Bob Stoops assistant and longtime defensive coordinator at Clemson finally landed his first head-coaching gig and will be tasked with bringing a new/old mindset to a program that had tilted heavily toward offense under Riley. For years, Venables has been considered the best assistant coach in the sport; can he now make the transition to the big chair and lead an entire program?”
18. Steve Sarkisian, Texas
“Sark’s 5–7 first season was worse than anything Tom Herman did in four years, which raises the stakes for Year 2. Optimism is stubbornly high—nobody wins the offseason like Texas—thanks to the arrival of Ohio State transfer quarterback Quinn Ewers and the retention of most major contributors from last year. Regardless of what happens this season, Sark’s recruiting (hello, Arch Manning) should guarantee him a third season in 2023. But he needs to start building some momentum toward Texas’s future in the SEC, or someone else will be in charge by then.”
24. Dave Aranda, Baylor
“Not your stereotypical college coach. Aranda is thoughtful, intellectual, understated and at times seemingly devoid of emotion. But he can connect with players and he can scheme, as shown by the Bears’ improbable rise from 2–7 in his 2020 debut season to 12–2 and Big 12 champions in ’21. Now Baylor is favored to win the Big 12 for the first time ever, despite some significant personnel losses. If Aranda can repeat with this group, he might be a coaching superstar blossoming in front of us.“
It is interesting that Forde left out Texas Tech’s Joey McGuire and TCU’s Sonny Dykes given their new positions coming into the year, but with just the three Big 12 coaches that he did use it’s not hard to see why fans of the conference are so excited to see how things go in 2022.
Lincoln Riley headlines the list as the most intriguing coach of 2022, which will surprise no one as USC’s head coach has been a major storyline for the majority of the offseason.