As the coaching carousel spins up and the 2021 season draws toward the postseason, underperforming teams are questioning whether their coaches should return. With changes to the recruiting calendar and the advent of the transfer portal, among other things, coaches lose their jobs quicker in the calendar year than they used to.

But they’re also losing them quicker into tenures than they used to. Florida offers the perfect case study: Dan Mullen was hired in December 2017. The Gators won a Peach Bowl and an Orange Bowl in his first 2 seasons. But Florida has looked woeful in 2021 and Mullen’s status is very much up in the air.

Count Mississippi State coach Mike Leach among those who feel coaches aren’t being given enough time:

“It’s like if you’re a farmer and you go out and say, ‘Well, I want to grow corn,’ and you plant some corn and it grows 6 inches and you say, ‘Well it didn’t grow fast enough,’ and you yank it out of the ground,” Leach told SEC Network’s Chris Doering recently. “There’s coach after coach in the NFL Hall of Fame (from) back in the day that if you held them to that standard they wouldn’t be there. They’d just be gone.”

Leach, of course, has reason to advocate for more runway for college football coaches. He is one, and he’s just 10-11 through his first 21 games as the Bulldogs’ head coach. But Doering agreed with him.

“How many of these folks that are really good coaches are just going to throw their hands up and say, ‘I don’t want to deal with all the stuff that’s required of a head coach in college football,’ and go to the NFL where the schedule’s not nearly as demanding in the offseason, you have personnel guys to put together the team, you have some more time off, the hours are certainly better,” he said. “I’m worried about that becoming a real reality for the top coaches in college football.”

We’ll see.