Ranking college football's 10 best jobs in 2024 and beyond (2024)

These programs have everything needed to win the national championship.

Brad Crawford

Ranking college football's best jobs in 2024 and beyond is a study on perception entering the expanded playoff era. The linebetween amateurism and paying players continues to blur. These positions have all the factors to be successful.

How were "best jobs" defined for this exercise?Simply put,if these 10 programs had vacanciesduring the last offseason, these would be the likely order of preference. This includes, but is not limited to projected recruiting success, expansive resources, fan support, administrative relationships, facilities,NIL efforts, lifestyle and all other ingredients that are tossed into the pot when top-end coaches hop from one position to another.

For the record, the top-six jobs in the country were near unanimous choices on everyone's list, but the final four spots in the top 10 were up for serious debate.

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Here's a look at college football's best jobs this season and beyond:

1. Georgia Bulldogs

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Limitless resources. Atalent pool with massive dividends. Top to bottom synergy throughout the program. No. 1 in this ranking of best jobs is up for debate, but the road to a national championship in the expanded College Football Playoff era will go through Georgia and that's a product of Kirby Smart tossing gasoline on a program that's always been capable of hitting nuclear levels. He proved that after his first national title in 2021 resulted in 15 NFL Draft picks, including five first-rounders on defense. And what happened next? A 15-0 encore and second ring. Absurd. Always rated as one of the top college towns in the country, Athens is a beautiful setting to plant roots and reside while winning. Smart's on a great start to perhaps leave a Saban-like mark on a program that's always been successful before hitting this supernova-like heat wave over the last seven years.

2. Texas Longhorns

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When one generates more revenue than any college football program, one has staying power. The Longhorns have many of the same elite-level luxuries Georgia possesses, but doesn't have the recent titles, yet. Under Steve Sarkisian, the Longhorns are recruiting at an impressive level and do not have to spare any expense. They have been selective in the transfer portal. Texas is not going to lose a player to another program if it comes down to a bidding war and the Longhornsdeem the athlete essential toward their success. That's a luxury few programs possess and one of the reasons Sarkisian is among the coaches without a national championship who should win his first very soon.

3. Ohio State Buckeyes

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When leading a program expected to win national championships, that speaks to the penchant for success established by a tradition-rich history. Ohio State flexed its bully-on-the-block strength this offseason after drawing blood in NIL wars with others. Ryan Day assembled an Avengers-like roster through the transfer portaland No. 1 overall recruitJeremiah Smith. Rememberthe speculation concerning Ohio State's lack of NIL resources in recent years? There's a contingent of boosters and former players who stepped up to the plate through the Buckeyes' THE Foundation and made this 2024 roster one to remember. Player retention is another leading storyline in an ever-changing landscape and this program was able to convince several early-rounders to return. Everything is first-rate in Columbus and the Buckeyes have only been a couple plays away the last few seasons of getting back to themedal stage.

4. LSU Tigers

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The last three head coaches in Baton Rouge all won national championship, proving you can certainly get it done here and do it quickly. That's the goal for Brian Kelly, who left Notre Dame for a better job in the SEC. From resources to pull top-end coaches from other jobs, Tiger Stadium to a rabid fanbase in the middle of a hot recruiting area, LSU just about has it all. One former personnel director at a top 25 program who routinely recruited against the Tigers in recent years told 247Sports for this story that LSU is "still developing" its plan of attack in the NIL realm, an area that will be vital for Kelly and his success moving forward.

5. Alabama Crimson Tide

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Imagine following Elon Musk at Tesla or Tim Cook at Apple. The Alabama situation for Kalen DeBoer isn't quite at that level of stress, but might as well be when you consider the legend he's following at one of the top talent factories in the country. The Crimson Tide's unprecedented run of success under Nick Saban will not be replicated and Alabama's not in a position — despite being in the A1 tier of jobs — where this program can out-spend annually for talent. There's going to be five-stars that get away and star players who leave. That's the game. But unless things go awry quickly under the new regime, Alabama will always be in the first handful of jobs when reaching into the college football lottery bin to pick outa program in the mix to win it all. We'll see if this job has lost any of its mystique post-Saban relatively quickly in 2024 and beyond.

6. Oregon Ducks

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Dan Lanning had his shot at other major opportunities prior to leaving his role under Smart, and sincehelped the Ducks' brand soar. Ahead of this Big Ten move, Oregon managed nine top-15 finishes since it first hired Chip Kelly in 2009, which spans four additional coaching tenures. Resources are in place to win at Oregon. The Nike backing under Phil Knight. State of the art facilities. A unique setting in Eugene that's unlike any other backdrop in the Big Ten. There's a reason Lanning was quick to remove his name from any connection with the Alabama opening in January. He knows he already has a top-tier job in the sport.

7. Oklahoma Sooners

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Does Oklahoma's move to the SEC increase the likelihood of a national title coming to Norman, say, over the next decade? Not necessarily. The playing field for the Sooners is considerably more even in its new league wherethere's abouta half-dozen programs capable of competing with or exceeding Oklahoma's recruiting prowess as opposed to just one, Texas, previously in the Big 12. That means hopping into the playoff conversationwill be challenging and a week to week grindduring the regular season. Oklahoma can still strong-arm Arkansas, Missouri and others in the Midwest for talent, but averaging double-digit wins every year like Bob Stoops and Lincoln Riley did previously will be tough for Brent Venables. One note to Oklahoma as a top job — athletic directorJoe Castiglione, who's been leading the Sooners since 1998, is consistently mentioned amongst coaching types as one of the top in his profession to work for and under.

8. Florida State Seminoles

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The expectation here is that Florida State departs from the ACC and join the SEC or Big Ten in the next few years, strengthening its financials and national impact across the board. Now, if that doesn't happen, this is not a top 10 job. There's two other ACC gigs that border on the top 10, Clemson and Miami, but neither feels like it has the staying power that Florida State will when it's able get into a new media rights deal in another league and continue its upward trajectory under Mike Norvell. He turned this thing around quickly, too, going from consecutive losing seasons to a 10-3 finish in 2022 leading to last year's perfect regular season and ACC Championship.

Norvell mastered transfer portal recruiting and a hastened approach at development of those signees. The same can't be said at Clemson, whose focus on the portal under Dabo Swinney is minuscule, and at Miami, where big-time spending in NIL hasn't yet resulted ina difference-making — or program-altering —season. Florida State is currently the best job in Florida and the only way that changes beyond 2024 is if Billy Napier starts moving the Gators in the right direction with his top 10 class.

9. Michigan Wolverines

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Michigan was not highly-ranked for most surveyed for this story considering the expectation level for Sherrone Moore that was left in the wake of a 15-0 season, national title and Jim Harbaugh's exit to the NFL. That's as good as it gets for one of the winningest programs in college football history and surprisingly, the Wolverines managed to accomplish a great feat without branching too far into college football's new norm — elite signing classes juiced by additional transfer portal acquisitions and NIL spending. Harbaugh's average recruiting haul over the last five seasons was 14th nationally. That's well behind Ohio State by comparison and in the SEC, would put Michigan in the middle of the pack for talent acquisition.

Michigan faces three years probation for recruiting violations, butcasesagainst Harbaugh for allegedly misleading investigators and another involving the widely-publicized sign-stealing saga are still pending. If those cases do not go in the Wolverines' favor with the NCAA, the program could be tagged with the repeat violator designation, which would likely trigger more punishment and considerably more harsh. That's not what Moore or the program needs in these future rankings.

10. Texas A&M Aggies

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Resources, resources and more resources. Did we mention resources?A football program backed by donorswhocan pay$76 million to ask a coach to leave, then fork out another handsome lump to bring in their guy with extra funds earmarked for transfer portal help deserves mention. The money around College Station is begging for a winner and program in the annual hunt. Perhaps Mike Elko is the guy who's going to do it for the Aggies. The "sleeping giant" term is lazy and overused. Texas A&M should be one of the starring attractions at the state fair, but for whatever reason, has brought home the top prize in the modern era. Kyle Field is a cathedral on gamedays and this program is rich on pageantry. Major success is overdue, though as Texas A&M supports have realized, it's not a birthright, either.

Just missed the cut

Notre Dame will often factor into expanded playoff scenarios because the Fighting Irish have remained independent and as a result, do not have to play an extra game every December in the form of a conference title matchup against another elite team. Notre Dame played in the BCS National Championship and made a pair of playoff appearances over a nine-year stretch during Kelly's tenure pre-Marcus Freeman.... Various schools mentioned in conversations with others, but not often enough for inclusion included Tennessee, Florida, Penn State, USC,Clemson and Auburn.

Ranking college football's 10 best jobs in 2024 and beyond (2024)


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