1. Matt Campbell, Iowa State head coach
I contemplated putting David Shaw in this spot but I'm not sure he would come back to coaching in year one of UCLA's move to a brand-new conference.
So that's why I chose Matt Campbell, the program builder.
The former MAC coach of the year (2015) and three-time Big 12 coach of the year (2017, 2018, 2020) would be a solid addition for the Bruins and he, too, has been mentioned as a candidate with other openings this offseason. Actually, Campbell has long been a popular name in head coaching searches because it feels like he could find success anywhere.
Campbell took over at Iowa State back in 2016 after going 35-15 at Toledo. When he took over at Iowa State, the Cyclones were one of the worst Power Five programs in the country. Outside of going 3-9 in year one with the Cyclones, Campbell has only missed a bowl game one time in his Iowa State career (2022) but he immediately bounced back in 2023 to go 7-6.
Would Campbell, who has turned down several jobs over the years, leave Iowa State for UCLA which will be heading into a new conference? I'm not sure if this is the best job he's been offered, but it's not a bad position with a UCLA team coming off an eight-win season.
This would be a fantastic hire for the Bruins.