6 Most Likely Replacements for Former Florida State Football Coach Willie Taggart

TALLAHASSEE, FL - SEPTEMBER 8: Head Coach Willie Taggart talk with Cornerback Levonta Taylor #1 of the Florida State Seminoles after the game against the Samford Bulldogs at Doak Campbell Stadium on Bobby Bowden Field on September 8, 2018 in Tallahassee, Florida. The Seminoles defeated the Bulldogs 36 to 26. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The college football world learned that apparently nine wins and 12 losses, along with a 6-9 record in the ACC, were finally enough for Willie Taggart to be fired as the head coach of the Florida State Seminoles football team.

In-state rival Miami drove the final nail into Taggart's FSU coffin last Saturday after the Hurricanes' 27-10 win over the Seminoles sent Florida State back below .500 on the 2019 season at 4-5.

FSU is now on the market for a head coach and a storied college football program with high standards like Florida State isn't going to remain in flux for long. With that in mind, here are six potential replacements for Taggart as the Seminoles' next head coach.

Who Will Be FSU's Next Football Coach?

6. Jim Harbaugh – Head Coach, Michigan Wolverines

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - OCTOBER 19:  Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines reacts to game action during the fourth quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions on October 19, 2019 at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania. Penn State defeats Michigan 28-21.  (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Jim Harbaugh is arguably the biggest dark horse on this list, but both Harbaugh and Florida State's timelines could align perfectly before the end of 2019. Through his first four years in Ann Arbor, Harbaugh has failed to beat Ohio State, appear in the Big Ten championship nor the College Football Playoff, and the consensus belief is that Harbaugh might be on his way out the door, especially if Michigan can't accomplish any of those things again this season. And by the looks of No. 3 Ohio State so far in 2019, Harbaugh could be in trouble come Week 14. Harbaugh has proven that he has the recruiting prowess and charisma to continue landing big talents in Tallahassee, and making the move to a weaker overall conference in the ACC just might be what both parties need to bring FSU back into national contention.

5. Bryan Harsin – Head Coach, Boise State Broncos

The standard of excellency for the de facto Group of Five college football king in Boise State practically hasn't skipped a beat since Bryan Harsin took over as the Broncos head coach. Harsin has already won three Mountain West titles, with an incredible 59-16 record at Boise State, and the success of his predecessor (Christopher Petersen) at the Power 5 level (Washington Huskies) should only do him wonders at the negotiating table. Harsin obviously has what it takes to create a winning culture at a program with high expectations, however, his personal ties to Boise State as both an alumnus (QB from 1995-99) and a Boise native could make him harder to pry from the Gem State.

4. Mike Norvell – Head Coach, Memphis Tigers

Mike Norvell's stock is arguably at an all-time high in Memphis after his Tigers just knocked off previously undefeated SMU for control of the AAC conference in Week 11 on ESPN College GameDay's national stage last Saturday. Norvell has held only one head-coaching gig in his career, but his 34-15 record and three-year résumé with Memphis speaks for itself.

3. Lane Kiffin – Head Coach, Florida Atlantic (FAU) Owls

BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 26:  Head coach Lane Kiffin of the Florida Atlantic Owls looks on against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs during the first half at FAU Stadium on October 26, 2018 in Boca Raton, Florida.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Current FAU head coach and notorious college football coaching character Lane Kiffin has already reportedly expressed his interest in the opening in Tallahassee. While the same can't be said for his NFL tenure, Kiffin has been immersed in winning culture for almost the entirety of his college football coaching career. Since he joined the USC staff as a tight ends coach – his first gig with a Power 5 program – Kiffin has only been part of a losing program twice over the last 17 seasons. Kiffin is 57-34 as a college football head coach in his career, and he's already well positioned for in-state recruiting roads and familiarity through his current position at FAU.

2. Brent Venables – Defensive Coordinator, Clemson Tigers

Brent Venables has been the hottest name on college football's head-coaching carousal for the past two seasons. Yet, he clearly hasn't seen an opportunity enticing enough to leave what he has going on with Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers. Since 2017, Venables' defenses have been a part of two national championships and ranked in the top-3 in fewest points allowed in each of the last two seasons. The Tigers are also currently sitting No. 6 (11.7 PPG) in the country heading into Week 11 of the 2019 season. Given his familiarity with both ACC recruiting inroads and developing a top-notch winning culture at Clemson, Venables could finally make the transition from Swinney's right-hand man in Clemson to become Florida State's top guy in Tallahassee.

1. Mark Stoops – Head Coach, Kentucky Wildcats

COLUMBIA, SC - SEPTEMBER 28: Head coach Mark Stoops of the Kentucky Wildcats looks on during the first half of a game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium on September 28, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Current Kentucky Wildcats' head coach Mark Stoops is reportedly atop the early shortlist for Taggart's replacement. He also brings one thing to the table that no one else on this list can offer: Florida State coaching experience. Stoops certainly brings back positive memories for the FSU fanbase too, as he helped lead the Seminoles to a 31-10 overall record and 2012 BCS National Championship title during his three-year stint (2010-12) as Florida State's defensive coordinator. While his 4-4 Wildcats have taken a step back since he led Kentucky to its third 10-win season in program history and first since 1977 last year, Stoops fits the bill as both a qualified and potential fan-favorite to be FSU's next head football coach.

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David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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