We've already pointed out that incompetent lame athletic directors like Chianti Dan often fall victim to the Warren G. Harding effect, hiring a bad coach because he looks the part, or he wears a nice suit. While Bruins Nation is not officially endorsing any candidates at this time, some of our community members have come up with some good lists, like Seahawcla's list.
Let's look at some of the candidates and see how they stack up on the Coaches By the Numbers ratings (feel free to propose other ratings or criteria).
Mark Dantonio (Mich St), 3.5*, 53.88
James Franklin (Vandy) 3*
Larry Fedora (Southern Miss UNC) 3*, 46.55 Hugh Freeze (Ark. St Ole Miss) 3*
Mark Hudspeth (ULL) 2*
Butch Jones (Cincy) 3.5*, 49.57 Mike Leach (TTU WSU)
Dan Mullen (Miss St), 3.5*, 51.49
Chris Petersen (Boise St), 5*, 78.84
Charlie Strong (Louisville) 2.5*
Al Golden (Tha U) 2*
Paul Chryst (OC Wisc) 4.5*
Manny Diaz (DC Tex) 3.5*
Gus Malzahn (OC Auburn) 4.5*
Kirby Smart (DC Alabama) 5*, 93.36
Brent Venables (DC OU) 5*, 89.19
Gary Patterson (TCU) 5*, 71.25
Mike London (UVa) 2*
Kyle Whittingham (Utah) 4.5*, 63.57
Bronco Mendenhall (BYU) 4*, 61.97
Art Briles (Baylor) 2.5*
Troy Calhoun (AFA) 3.5*, 54.30
So, if we were to rank the remaining candidates based on these criteria, it would looks something like this:
Again, these rankings are not definitive, it's one website's attempt to insert objective measurements into the process. There is definitely room for subjective measurements as well, my personal rankings would not look exactly like this, but this is a good add to the discussion.