Toledo has been one of the most talented Group of Five programs the past couple years.
The Rockets were 9-5 overall last year after winning the MAC. In 2023, they are 11-1 overall, are on an 11-game winning streak after only losing at Illinois by two points, and have secured a berth in the MAC Championship game.
That type of success might garner Toledo head coach Jason Candle some interest from Power Five programs for their head coaching positions.
Candle was 54-32 at Toledo heading into 2023. Toledo hasn’t suffered a losing season since he became the head coach in 2015.
Toledo is the only FBS program Candle has worked at. But if Candle is interested in going to a Power Five school, and if those programs do believe he’s capable of making a move up, here are teams he might land with.
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Dino Babers has been fired at Syracuse. He had led the Orange to just two winning seasons since 2016. They were also 1-1 in bowl games with Babers as their head coach.
The Orange are 6-6 overall and are bowl-eligible this season, so the program isn’t in a terrible spot. Candle would be poised to take over the program and lead Syracuse to more wins in the ACC.
Dana Holgorsen was fired last weekend as the head coach at Houston, where he went 31-28 overall with a 2-1 record in bowl games. He was 61-41 at West Virginia the previous eight years.
Though he’s not widely considered by many to be a strong candidate for the job, Candle has proven he’s a good coach. There’s little reason to believe he couldn’t win a few games there.
People had wondered if Duke head coach Mike Elko would replace Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M, and it finally happened this week. Now that Duke needs a new coach, Candle would be a great candidate.
Elko has only been the Blue Devils’ head coach for two years, but they went 9-4 last year after a victory in the Military Bowl and are 7-5 in 2023. The football program is in a good spot, which might make the job appealing for a coach like Candle.
Tom Allen’s time at Indiana wasn’t without some achievements, but the Hoosiers were ultimately 33-49 during his time as their head coach including a 9-27 mark the past three seasons. That led to him being fired.
Candle obviously isn’t unfamiliar with that region of the country. His hire at Indiana would make sense.
Former Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith has taken over at Michigan State. He was 34-35 overall at OSU, but he helped build the program up as the Ducks are No. 21 in the AP Top 25 after the regular season this year.
Candle was actually considered to be in the running for the Michigan State job. That didn’t materialize, but maybe he could replace Smith at OSU.