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What’s the Best G5 Job in Florida?

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We start our summer series in the Sunshine State where all four schools have a case for why it’s a great job. But which one’s best?

NCAA Football: Maryland at Central Florida Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Every offseason we see the traditional lists of the best jobs in the country. Instead of just ranking every G5 job we figured it’d be more fun to isolate G5 jobs by their state and breakdown how attractive it is in comparison to their in-state peers. We will offer cases as to why one job is better than the other and let you determine the best G5 job in the state.

Florida is home to the best football players in America which is why each coaching job in this state is highly sought after when available.

But which job is best? What is the hierarchy for G5 jobs in the Sunshine State? Our staff members and our friends at The Daily Stampede make the case for which job is best.


Central Florida v South Florida
I-4 Trophy is right where it belongs. Tampa.
Photo by Jason Behnken / Getty Images

Making the case for USF: Nick Simon, Staff Writer for The Daily Stampede

I think where USF is as a program right now with last year's 11-2 season and what we're anticipating this year with Charlie Strong is an accurate indicator of this program not only being the best G5 job in the state, but arguably one of the best jobs in the entire country.

USF's 2016 season was the culmination of four years of Willie Taggart establishing a blueprint for how to win at USF, a blueprint that every USF coach will utilize moving forward. Combining a Tampa Bay area recruiting strategy along with developing a system on both sides of the ball that suits the athletes coming in, Taggart was able to establish an identity for the program that took them from being one of the bonafide worst FBS programs in 2013 (thanks Skip Holtz) to being the favorites for the G5 New Year's Six spot in 2017 with the universally respected Charlie Strong now at the helm.

In just twenty years of its existence, this is a program that has already accomplished a lot and yet it's best days are still ahead of it. We've already spent roughly a decade in a power conference (pour one out for the old Big East) while picking up iconic wins over the like's of Auburn, FSU, Miami, and Rich Rod's West Virginia teams.

Now in the AAC, as long as we continue the basic foundation that's been established, we can be perennial contenders in AAC East and further the program's growth by finally grabbing that elusive conference championship. (This is where some jabroni egg avi C. person on Twitter will point out their conference titles where my response is DOOOOOONNNNNTTTT CAAAARRRRREEEEEEE.)

Also, when talking about the viability of USF as a program, the city of Tampa itself is a huuuuge asset. Not to go all Big 12 expansion here, but it helps to be in a top media market in a talent rich state with a million things to do.

There's certainly more valid reasons to make the case for USF but these were just some of the aspects that immediately came to my mind. Like I said before, the program is in as healthy of a place it's ever been in and I think you're going to see Charlie Strong and company rise to the occasion with the spotlight on them heading into the fall and take USF to the next level.

I couldn't think of a proper way to end this, so here's current Indianapolis Colt Marlon Mack burning down C.'s entire defense.


Making the case for UCF: Chas Short, Staff Writer

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Central Florida v Baylor
Knightro representing in the Fiesta Bowl. A prestigious bowl the others haven’t come close to sniffing.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Feels like I’ve got the easy job here, arguing why UCF is the best G5 head coaching gig in Florida.

A coach at UCF can be secure in knowing he has the infrastructure and culture to potentially win big. UCF is the only G5 program in the state to win anything of serious note. The Knights went 12-1 in 2013, winning the Fiesta Bowl over Big 12 Champion Baylor and ending the season ranked #10. UCF has won four conference titles (2 in Conference USA, 1 outright AAC, 1 AAC Co-Champions). I don’t want to poke at FIU or FAU unnecessarily, but what are you picking as the pinnacle of your program so far? A 7-6 Sun Belt Conference Championship season with a bowl win over Toledo (FIU, 2010)? Or an 8-5 Sun Belt Conference Championship season with a bowl win over Memphis (FAU, 2007)? As for USF, talk to me about program achievements when the Bulls win a conference championship (or hey, win their division) for the first time.

Then there’s the matter of loyalty from your employer. It’s crucial to any evaluation of how good a job is. UCF has stood behind the head coach at times when other administrations would be distancing themselves (a separate argument is whether this has always been wise or appropriate). George O’Leary got hired when lies on his resume scuttled his acceptance of the Notre Dame job. In 2008, a player with sickle cell trait – Ereck Plancher – collapsed and died following workouts that O’Leary and his staff supervised. Contentious civil litigation resulted. And former DC Paul Ferraro sued the Board of Trustees in a breach of contract case where he alleged O’Leary made racist remarks (UCF called the claim merit-less and ultimately a settlement after mediation was reached).

You’ll be rewarded for your on-field successes. O’Leary got to be both Athletic Director and head coach in his last year (this was not smart, it turns out). And the expectations for what success is, are not unreasonable. Head Coach Scott Frost’s first season ended with a losing record. But given the improvement from 2015’s winless season, he’s been rewarded with an extension and a raise that makes him one of the highest paid coaches in the AAC. And George O’Leary – for all the controversies – has a statue on campus.

Making the case for FAU & FIU: Cyrus Smith, Managing Editor

Marshall v Florida Atlantic
The odds of these glorious FAU fans belonging to a frat or sorority are 100%.
Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

I’m not going to pretend that FAU and FIU are better jobs than UCF and USF because they’re not (at least right now). They’re going to get lost in this debate and pretty much get pegged as the same school. They aren’t.

Here’s why.

FAU has better facilities, - FAU Stadium is much nicer than the stadium formerly known as FIU Stadium - better fan support, and an administration who has been hungry for a winner much longer than FIU, who found a way not to bundle the search for a new head coach because Pete Garcia’s best friend Butch Davis decided to take the job. The only advantage FIU has over FAU is that Miami beats Boca Raton. THAT’S IT.

However you decide to rank the G5 jobs in Florida, just know FIU should be ranked last. Not FAU.

Poll

What’s the best G5 job in Florida?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    USF
    (242 votes)
  • 50%
    UCF
    (283 votes)
  • 3%
    FAU
    (21 votes)
  • 1%
    FIU
    (11 votes)
557 votes total Vote Now