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Deciding who to hire for any head coaching position is tough. And if you hire the wrong guy, you set your program back even further. Here are my choices for the riskiest hires at every open job.

Auburn — Bill O’Brien

— He’s had some success in college at Penn State and did a remarkable job there keeping the program alive but he was also a disaster in Houston in the NFL with his stubborn nature. That personality trait at Auburn dealing with boosters who run the show? Nah.

Sep 10, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien before the game against the Texas Longhorns during the first half at at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

Sep 10, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien before the game against the Texas Longhorns during the first half at at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

Nebraska — Jeff Monken

— Monken has been mentioned as a finalist for this job and it puzzles me. He’s done a good job at Army for sure but his lone Power Five experience was a couple of years at Georgia Tech as an assistant. Nebraska has tried it all from the NFL to Power Five to alums so maybe this would work, but I can’t see the path to success here from a recruiting standpoint.

Oct 22, 2022; West Point, New York, USA; Army Black Knights head coach Jeff Monken speaks to his team in the locker room after a win against the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks at Michie Stadium.

Oct 22, 2022; West Point, New York, USA; Army Black Knights head coach Jeff Monken speaks to his team in the locker room after a win against the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks at Michie Stadium.

Wisconsin — Jim Leonhard

— He’s not risky because he knows the program but he’s very risky because this is his only head coaching experience. It’s hit or miss on coaches who haven’t had that CEO experience and we’ve seen the struggles of Brent Venables at Oklahoma and Marcus Freeman at Notre Dame as defensive coordinators stepping into big roles. This would be very risky.

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Oct 22, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Jim Leonhard reacts to a call during the fourth quarter against the Purdue Boilermakers at Camp Randall Stadium.

Oct 22, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Jim Leonhard reacts to a call during the fourth quarter against the Purdue Boilermakers at Camp Randall Stadium.

Georgia Tech — Deion Sanders

— The recruiting boon would be great from his name and legend in the Southeast. And the job is in the recruiting hub of Atlanta but can he coach? It’s one thing to do it at the FCS level when your roster is elite but in the Power Five? Risky business.

Jackson State Tigers head coach Deion Sanders talks with his players from the sideline as Alabama State Hornets takes on Jackson State Tigers at ASU Stadium in Montgomery, Ala., on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022.

Jackson State Tigers head coach Deion Sanders talks with his players from the sideline as Alabama State Hornets takes on Jackson State Tigers at ASU Stadium in Montgomery, Ala., on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022.

Arizona State — Dirk Koetter

— I’ve heard his name mentioned a few times but he last coached ASU in 2006 and he almost retired from coaching a year ago. He’s the OC at Boise State now and a good offensive mind but youth is needed here on the recruiting trail and I worry this would be another Herm Edwards.

Sep 30, 2022; Boise, Idaho, USA; Former Boise State Broncos head coach and now new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter on the sidelines during first half action at Albertsons Stadium against the San Diego State Aztecs. Boise State defeats San Diego State 35-13.

Sep 30, 2022; Boise, Idaho, USA; Former Boise State Broncos head coach and now new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter on the sidelines during first half action at Albertsons Stadium against the San Diego State Aztecs. Boise State defeats San Diego State 35-13.

Colorado — Troy Calhoun

— The Air Force head coach is mentioned mainly because he’s in the same state and knows the lay of the land. But there is a stark difference between recruiting for Air Force and at a Power Five program and this would be risky from that perspective.

Nov 5, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Air Force Falcons head coach Troy Calhoun celebrates with the Commanders Classic trophy after a win against the Army Black Knights at Globe Life Field.

Nov 5, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Air Force Falcons head coach Troy Calhoun celebrates with the Commanders Classic trophy after a win against the Army Black Knights at Globe Life Field.