Two of the biggest jobs in college football have vacancies right now with LSU and USC openly looking for new head coaches. But while both schools are likely to cast a wide net, there’s an NFL head coach getting some attention for the job.
In a recent interview, former NFL general manager Doug Whaley said that Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin would be ideal for the job. He argued that Tomlin could leave the Steelers after this year and become “CEO” of a college football program.
Whaley further argued that with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger “on the way out,” there might not be a better time than now for Tomlin to leave.
It might be a difficult transition for Tomlin to go into college coaching. His last college job came with the Cincinnati Bearcats over 20 years ago.
Then again, a long layoff from coaching in college hasn’t stopped Herm Edwards from bringing Arizona State back to some respectability.
Doug Whaley just said on our show he could see Mike Tomlin leaving the Steelers for LSU or USC.
Laid out how Tomlin would be the CEO of those programs, how his message resonates better and how transition now makes sense because of Roethlisberger on way out.
— Colin Dunlap (@colin_dunlap) October 20, 2021
Mike Tomlin has one of the best resumes in all of football. He’s never had a losing season in 14 years as the Steelers head coach. He’s led Pittsburgh to nine playoff appearances, seven AFC North titles, three AFC Championship Games, two Super Bowl appearances and won a ring in Super Bowl XLII.
But with Roethlisberger struggling this year, the Steelers are just 3-3 and staring at the very real possibility that his 17-year run as their starter is over. If that happens, it’ll be time for a rebuild – and it’s hard to tell if Tomlin is right for a rebuild.
USC or LSU could easily make Tomlin a contract offer that would match whatever the Steelers offer.
But even so, the idea still sounds far fetched to most people who follow the NFL and college football.