FSU Football: Where Willie Taggart ranks among first year coaches

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(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

FSU Football coach Willie Taggart’s team struggled in his first year, but how does Taggart’s 2019 look compared to 2018’s other first-year coaches?

There were 13 Power Five schools that hired new coaches before in 2018 football season – of those 13 coaches, only four had winning records which is not a very good start. Some entered very good situations, some inherited terrible situations (like FSU football‘s Willie Taggart), but now they all head into their second years with their second recruiting classes.

So how do things look going forward? Which of these coaches will have the best 2019 and beyond (for the ones who don’t get fired)? Here is a ranking of which coaches are set up for a successful 2019.

No. 13 – Jonathan Smith, Oregon State (2-10 in 2018)

Smith joined Oregon State when the school was in a tough spot. The team simply didn’t have a lot of talent. In 2018, the Beavers had the 129th ranked offense (out of 130) and the 92nd ranked defense. Smith’s recruiting classes ranked 69th in 2018 and 68th so far in 2019 according to 247 Sports.

The only positives are returning running back Jermar Jefferson, who ran for 1380 yards and 12 touchdowns as a freshman and quarterback Tristan Gebbia, who transferred from Nebraska and sat out 2018. It’s hard to see the Beavers winning more than 3 games in 2019.

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