But what if he doesn't want to leave Memphis? Or what if those programs opt for someone else?
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It's easy to assume all young Group of Five head coaches want to bail for big paychecks and gaudy resources at programs whose budgets dwarf that of their current program. However, college football history is peppered with coaches who stayed a year or two longer than expected before departing for supposedly greener pastures.
MORE: Norvell's Buyout is Tiny
Norvell will earn around $2 million at Memphis this season and given the school's increased financial commitment to retaining coaches (Norvell signed an extension in the spring after his first season), it's likely he'll make even more money at a very comfortable job in 2018.
If Norvell wants to stay at Memphis for a another year, here are five jobs he could take in late 2018 or early 2019.
Todd Graham is under contract through June 2021 but the sixth-year Arizona State head coach did not receive the annual one-year contract extension earlier this year that had become a formality. While Graham could be fired after this season — possibly their third straight with fewer than seven wins — he may get one more season to prove he can bring back the magic that created back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2013 and 2014.
Norvell earned the Memphis job thanks to his work as Graham's offensive coordinator from 2012-15, when his unit ranked among the nation's best in most categories, including top 20 in scoring average from 2012-14. The 36-year-old Norvell had been with Graham since 2007 at Tulsa, so it's fair to wonder if there could be hesitation to replace his mentor.
I don't buy it.
Bielema is just 29-32 in four-plus seasons, has only once won more than seven games in a season and has never had his program in real contention in the SEC West.
Might there be mutual interest with Norvell, a young up-and-comer with brilliant offensive gameplans and a refreshingly level-headed, optimistic and creative approach?
Gus Malzahn could win 10 games every year at Auburn and still be on the hot seat — or so it seems.
While the Tigers' fifth-year coach is a few wins away from reaching the College Football Playoff, he's also a few bad losses away from a dismissal. If he stumbles early in 2018 (they play Washington in Week 1 and LSU in Week 3) or loses to a couple inferior foes, a change is possible, which could lead Auburn to Malzahn's former colleague at Tulsa, Mike Norvell.
Malzahn was associate head coach and offensive coordinator for the Golden Hurricane from 2007-08 while Norvell was receivers coach.
Nineteen wins over two seasons (2015-16) earned Larry Fedora the right to prove himself after a dud season. Despite flirting with the program's second two-win season in the last three decades, Fedora's job is safe. However, it would be hard to look past two such seasons.
If North Carolina doesn't improve in 2018, his job security becomes dicey, at best. They haven't hired a head coach younger than 49 years old since 37-year-old Mack Brown took over in 1988, but might be willing to try something different to build a consistent winner in Chapel Hill.
It's incredible how one loss to a playoff contender changes everything for a team and coach. Brian Kelly is not — and should not — be on the hot seat following Notre Dame's blowout loss to Miami, but the 56-year-old eighth-year head coach is failing to hit extremely high expectations.
Kelly deserves a ton of credit for flipping over his coaching staff and changing a ton of on- and off-the-field items after last year's four-win dud. But still, a disappointing finish to 2017 (e.g. losses to Miami and Stanford) followed by a subpar 2018 and he's probably gone.
While the Irish can do better than Norvell, they might prefer a young head coach for the first time in decades.