Grading the 15 new college football coaches

Matt Murschel
Orlando Sentinel
The well-traveled Lane Kiffin is introduced as Florida Atlantic coach.

Seventeen schools made coaching moves this season, with 15 of those positions having been filled already. Here is a grade for each of the hires:

Jeff Brohm, Purdue

The Buzz: Brohm quickly transformed Western Kentucky into one of the top offensive programs in college football. The Hilltoppers are one of more than a dozen schools to average more than 500 yards per game in total offense this season and just a handful of programs to average more than 500 yards during the past three seasons. He'll take over a Purdue program that has featured 10 different starting quarterbacks since 2010 and whose last quarterback to get drafted was Curtis Painter in 2009. Grade: A

Charlie Strong, USF

The Buzz: Hiring Strong is a home run for a South Florida program looking to continue its recent run of success under Willie Taggart. Strong needs to avoid the same pitfalls that tripped him up with the Longhorns and focus on building an outstanding coaching staff to compliment his abilities. Grade: A

Major Applewhite, Houston

The Buzz: Promoting Major Applewhite from offensive coordinator to head coach was a brilliant way provide a smooth transition. His challenge will be building a staff that can continue to recruit the Lone Star State as well as it did under Tom Herman. Grade: B

Shawn Elliott, Georgia State

The Buzz: The Panthers have just one winning season in the six years of existence, so the sky's the limit for Elliott, who spent several seasons at South Carolina and before that at Appalachian State. Recruiting will be crucial, especially in a state that features three other FBS programs: Georgia Southern, Georgia and Georgia Tech. Grade: B

Luke Fickell, Cincinnati

The Buzz: Fickell joins Tom Herman and Chris Ash as former assistant coaches from Ohio State's 2015 national championship team who have moved on into head coaching jobs. During the three seasons as the co-defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer, the Buckeyes have had more than a dozen players selected in the NFL draft, with six of those picked in 2016. Fickell has come close several times to landing big-time coaching jobs before settling for being an assistant coach. Grade: B

Tom Herman, Texas

The Buzz: Texas' decision to hire him injected renewed enthusiasm in a Texas program eager to draw fans back into the fold. The challenge will be to return the program back into the national landscape after an absence of close to a decade. Luckily for Herman, the cupboard isn't bare. Texas returns plenty of talent, including quarterback Shane Buechele. Grade: B

Lane Kiffin, FAU

The Buzz: Kiffin's second stop on his coaching redemption tour wasn't going to be a major Power 5 program — not with his reputation. But FAU is a young program with a relatively new stadium smack dab in the heart of South Florida recruiting country. Grade: B

Ed Orgeron, LSU

The Buzz: Orgeron is well-liked by his players and is a relentless recruiter. The job he did as interim coach after Les Miles was fired was nothing short of amazing and he's Baton Rouge to the core. If he finds the right offensive coordinator, there's no denying the Tigers could contend for an SEC title in 2017. Grade: B

Matt Rhule, Baylor

The Buzz: The program needs a major overhaul from top to bottom. So hiring Rhule seems like a no-brainer for the school. He has no ties to the university or to the state of Texas for that matter. He'll bring a fresh perspective to a job where public opinion of the program is at an all-time low. Grade: B-

Willie Taggart, Oregon

The Buzz: While at USF, he turned the program into a conference contender in four seasons. Imagine what he could do with the financial backing and the facilities of a school like Oregon? Taggart brings enthusiasm and energy, which he'll need to turn the Ducks back into Pac-12 contenders. Grade: B-

Tom Allen, Indiana

The Buzz: Allen fell into the Indiana job after Kevin Wilson was fired following an internal investigation into allegations of mistreating players. During one season as the Hoosiers' defensive coordinator, Allen turned a defense ranked last in the Big Ten in total defense in 2015 to ninth place in 2016. Athletics director Fred Glass hired Allen less than three hours after firing Wilson, citing his outstanding character. Grade: C

Brent Brennan, San Jose State

The Buzz: Brennan spent six seasons as an assistant coach at San Jose State while serving as the program's recruiting coordinator before moving on to Oregon State. Grade: C

Butch Davis, FIU

The Buzz: FIU athletics director Pete Garcia spent decades working with Davis in college and the NFL. Now they'll work together to rebuild an FIU program where fundraising and recruiting will be top priorities if the Panthers hope to put together their first winning season since 2011. Grade: C

Jay Norvell, Nevada

The Buzz: A lifelong assistant coach, Norvell developed into one of the better offensive coordinators in college football, including stops at Oklahoma and Texas. Grade: C

Jeff Tedford, Fresno State

The Buzz: Tedford, 55, is back after spending the past few seasons as an offensive consultant. His resume of developing quarterbacks is unprecedented, including the likes of Aaron Rodgers. Grade: C