With the end of the college football regular season upon us, the time has come for championships to be decided.
On Friday and Saturday, conference championships are to be played with the four spots in the College Football Playoff on the line.
It’s the best time of the year, but with the end of the regular season also comes change.
Football programs around the country have made moves at the head coaching position, most after disappointing seasons.
As the coaching carousel continues to spin in college football, let's take a look at the new faces running programs and the jobs that are up for grabs.
The Aggies may have taken a winding path, but Texas A&M has landed its man.
Former Duke head coach Mike Elko was announced Monday as the next head coach in College Station, two weeks after the firing of Jimbo Fisher.
Elko spent four years as the defensive coordinator at Texas A&M before taking his first head coaching position at Duke.
"I’m back in Aggieland," Elko said Monday. "I’m back where I belong."
Elko turned around a Duke program that won a combined five games in 2020 and 2021. In his first season in Durham, Elko led the Blue Devils to a 9-4 record and the program's first bowl game since 2018.
This year, Duke went 7-5, beating then-No. 9 Clemson in Week 1 before losing four of its last six games to end the season.
Texas A&M has not won a national championship since 1939.
"When you look at what this program is capable of, what we’ve got to do is we’ve got to fulfill that potential," Elko said. "That happens with work, and I think that was the message I sent to the players. That was the message I tried to deliver to the crowd. We can’t just say we want to be something. We can’t just say we want to arrive somewhere. We’ve got to be committed to all the work that it’s going to take from today until we kick off next September, and there’s a lot that goes into that."
With Oregon State in no-man's-land as it searches for its next conference, the man who turned around the program is off to greener pastures.
The Spartans named Smith as their next head coach on Saturday, one day after Oregon State lost to Oregon to end its regular season.
The former Beavers quarterback leaves Corvallis with a record of 34-35 in six seasons, but he led Oregon State to an 18-7 mark in the past two years.
The hire ends a tumultuous two months for Michigan State, which fired head coach Mel Tucker in September after investigating a sexual misconduct claim brought against him.
Michigan State has had back-to-back losing seasons since going 11-2 in 2021.
The Bulldogs are looking for an offensive spark.
Mississippi State hired former Oklahoma offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby on Sunday to be its next head coach.
"Being the head coach at Mississippi State is the opportunity of a lifetime," Lebby said. "My family and I are fired up to engrain ourselves in this community, build relationships with our players and hit the recruiting trail. This is a special place with special people and a football program with a storied tradition."
Lebby has led all active offensive coordinators in 50-plus-point games (14) since 2019. His Oklahoma offense in 2023 was fourth in the country in yards per game (502.4) and fifth in points (43.2).
The Bulldogs were last in the SEC in points per game under first-year head coach Zach Arnett, averaging 21.8 points per game.
Mississippi State is to miss a bowl game for the first time since 2009.
The Orange officially hired Georgia defensive backs coach Fran Brown on Tuesday after firing Dino Babers after eight seasons.
"I am incredibly proud to be leading Syracuse Football at a university with a rich and storied tradition of academic and athletic excellence," Brown said in a statement. "Syracuse Football has outstanding talent, great facilities and passionate alumni. The success of the players is my No. 1 priority – on and off the field. I want my guys to succeed in life, because they played football at Syracuse. My immediate area of focus is building relationships with my current players and putting together an elite staff, while also having fun on the recruiting trail. I'm ready to get to work and look forward to building something special for our fans."
Brown has coached defensive backs in Georgia for the past two seasons, helping coach the Bulldogs to the 2022 national championship.
Syracuse has had just two 10-win seasons over the past 23 years.
Power Five jobs still open:
The Cougars' move to the Big 12 did not go as planned.
Houston went 4-8 overall and 2-7 in conference play in 2023 after making the jump from the AAC to the Big 12. The result was the firing of Dana Holgorsen after five seasons.
Tulane’s Willie Fritz and UTSA’s Jeff Traylor are two of the head coaching targets for Houston, according to ESPN.
After seven seasons in Bloomington, Tom Allen will not return next year as the two sides have parted ways.
"It has been my greatest professional honor to serve as Indiana’s head football coach for the past seven years," Allen said in a statement released by his agent. "Representing this university and this state has meant more to me than you can imagine. Our entire journey here has been based on a simple concept – Love. Each. Other. It’s what we’ve done, it’s what we’ll always do. I continue to believe it’s a recipe to change the world."
The Hoosiers looked to be on the rise under Allen after going to back-to-back bowl games in 2019 and 2020, but Indiana went 9-27 over the last three seasons, leading to Allen’s departure.
Duke Blue Devils
With the departure of Elko to Texas A&M, Duke is searching for a head coach for the second time in two years.
"Our national search for our next Duke football coach is well underway," Duke athletics director Nina King said Monday, according to the Fayetteville Observer.
"As with our last search, our goal is to find an exceptional head coach to come in and lead this group of elite student-athletes. We will be thorough in our process and will certainly work swiftly, as we have done before."
The program has gained national recognition over the past few years, with ESPN’s "College GameDay" making its first trip to Durham in Week 5 when Duke took on Notre Dame.
Running backs coach Trooper Taylor will coach the Blue Devils during their bowl game.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.