- You can wager on who will be Florida State’s head coach in 2020
- Willie Taggart is on hot seat after FSU recently hit 36-year low in attendance
- Syracuse’s Dino Babers is the favorite to be Taggart’s replacement
Willie Taggart is only in year two of his tenure, but he owns a lackluster 7-9 record in that span. FSU hit a 36-year low in attendance against Louisville this weekend, and there is continued apathy around the program as Taggart has severely underwhelmed in his first two seasons on the job in Tallahassee.
With Taggart not a sure thing to make it through this season odds have been released on who could be leading the ‘Noles next season with Syracuse’s Dino Babers favored to be Florida State’s head coach in Week 1 of 2020, while Urban Meyer has been given +700 odds.
Who is the best bet to be the Seminoles head coach in 2020?
Who Will Be FSU’s Head Coach in Week 1 of 2020
*Odds taken 09/23/19
Willie Taggart on Hot Seat
Coach Willie Taggart is on the hot seat with FSU off to a disappointing 2-2 start. The Seminoles were 5-7 in Taggart’s debut season in 2018 and saw their 36-year bowl streak come to an end.
The Seminoles have let late leads slip away this season in losses to Boise State and Virginia. They squandered a 21-0 lead to Louisville in Week 4, but managed to finish off the win. Many Florida State fans and media members have only continued calling for Taggart’s firing.
How is it possible for FSU to blow every lead? Taggart has to go.
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) September 21, 2019
Despite some fans calling for Taggart to get the boot, I still think he’ll be coaching FSU to begin the 2020 season. He’s only in year two of his tenure and his buyout is ridiculous.
Taggart would reportedly be owed $17 million if he were to be fired in 2020. Those number drops to $12.75 million, $8.5 million and $4.25 million in the following three years.
Who would be the best replacement if Taggart does gets fired?
Dino Babers Favored to Replace Taggart
Syracuse’s Dino Babers is the small favorite over Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy to be FSU’s head coach in Week 1 of 2020. Babers led the Orange to an impressive 10-3 season in 2018, but his overall record with Syracuse is 20-21.
Dino Babers after a 41-6 loss to Clemson, SU's second straight blowout loss: "Even though as bad as it may look I feel like that we’re gonna be when it’s all said and done, that we’re gonna be one of the teams that people are gonna talk about in 2019." pic.twitter.com/atUQG1sZgG
— Syracuse Football (@syrfootball) September 15, 2019
Babers is a decent bet to takeover for Taggart, but he’s also been rumored to be a target for Michigan, USC and South Carolina. The Wolverines, Trojans and Gamecocks may decide to move on from their respective coaches in Jim Harbaugh, Clay Helton and Will Muschamp. There isn’t any reason to believe Babers would take on the FSU job if Taggart was let go.
Gundy is also a favorite at +300 odds, but I’m not confident in Oklahoma State giving him the boot. The Cowboys are 3-1 on the season and put up a strong fight in a 36-30 loss to Texas in Week 4. Gundy isn’t a good bet to get fired in general at this point, let alone take over for Taggart.
Urban Meyer Has +700 odds
Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has been given +700 odds to take over for Taggart. Meyer has been doing TV work for FOX this season, but there’s rumors he may be back on the sidelines in 2020.
Meyer led the Buckeyes to their first Big Ten Conference Title in 2014 and has won a National Championship with both Ohio State and the Florida Gators. He retired from coaching in December of 2018 due to health reasons.
I could see Meyer coming back to coach in 2020, but I think USC would be the better bet in terms of a landing spot. Meyer is going to demand a ridiculously expensive contract and I don’t see FSU giving him that money if they already have to pay Taggart his expensive buyout.
FSU fans may want Taggart gone, but they certainly don’t want Meyer as his replacement. Meyer was handed a three-game suspension in 2018 after it was determined the coach knew about spousal abuse allegations against assistant coach Zach Smith prior to Smith’s firing.
UCF’s Josh Heupel Provides Best Value
There isn’t a shoe-in to be Taggart’s potential replacement, but I think UCF head coach Josh Heupel provides the best value at +800 odds.
Heupel led the Knights to an 12-0 record in 2018 and had the offense blowing out opponents this season before suffering an upset loss to Pittsburgh in Week 4. If FSU does in fact fire Taggart, I could see a scenario where they approach Heupel with an offer to be the next Seminoles coach.
— Brian Murphy (@Spokes_Murphy) September 23, 2019
Given Heupel’s success with UCF, it would likely take a tempting offer for him to leave. I’m not confident FSU will have that money after they buyout Taggart, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
Verdict on FSU’s 2020 Head Coach
I think Willie Taggart is still coaching this team to begin the 2020 season. The team has looked better than they did in 2018, and given his expensive buyout, any small improvements should save his job.
If you’re intent on believing Taggart gets canned, Heupel has value at +800 odds to be his replacement.
Taggart hasn’t been at FSU long enough for a real evaluation. I expect him to get another shot in 2020, and if he doesn’t deliver, he could get the gate when the buyout is cheaper.