Ranking the Best Offensive Coordinators In College Football In 2024

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Central Florida quarterback John Rhys Plumlee, center, celebrates his 8-yard rushing touchdown with wide receiver Kobe Hudson (2), left, during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Houston, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023, in Orlando, Fla.
(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Jul 01, 2024, 7:50 PM

College football is a sport generally defined by strong coaching staffs and effective quarterback play. 

To correctly bet in the college football odds market – especially before the season starts – bettors must first read the tea leaves on which programs have assembled competent coach-quarterback batteries. 

One deeply overlooked piece of that formula is the offensive coordinator. As of 2024, here are some of the top names in the sport:

Best Offensive Coordinators In College Football (2024)

RankOffensive CoordinatorTeam
1Mike DenbrockNotre Dame
2Chip KellyOhio State
3Kyle FloodTexas
4Will SteinOregon
5Andy KotelnickiPenn State
6Alex AtkinsFlorida State
7Darin HinshawUCF
8Bobby PetrinoArkansas
9Mike BoboGeorgia

Mike Bobo – Georgia

In terms of perception vs. reality, the 2024 Georgia Bulldogs look a bit like the late 2010s Alabama teams. Georgia won back-to-back national championships thanks to its incredible defense, and it’s the defense that leads the program identity in 2024. 

Under the hood, though, it’s quarterback Carson Beck and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo that are most likely to power Georgia toward the playoff in 2024. 

Beck is the preseason favorite in the Heisman Trophy odds market after a strong-but-quiet 2023 campaign. Bobo’s mentorship and playbook are big reasons why. 

Bobby Petrino – Arkansas

It’d be easy to criticize everyone on last year’s Texas A&M coaching staff based on the results they achieved with the talent they had. But some restraint is probably warranted in the case of assistant coaches – one year of Bobby Petrino’s offense wasn’t going to float Jimbo’s sinking ship.

In 2024, the 63-year-old Petrino begins his second stint in Fayetteville, coming 12 years after the infamous motorcycle incident resulted in his dismissal as head coach. This time, Petrino will serve as Sam Pittman’s OC. 

Petrino is often used as a punchline in college football circles, but he’s quietly racked up a lot of success over the last decade. He successfully recruited and developed Lamar Jackson at Louisville, and he delivered an eight-win season at perennial FCS doormat Missouri State. He should not be overlooked as a high-level coordinator. 

Darin Hinshaw – UCF

Hinshaw is far more anonymous than many of the other names on this list, but the 52-year-old has done a quality job building UCF’s offense under Gus Malzahn. 

The Knights averaged 487 yards per game last season (eighth in FBS) despite the fact that John Rhys Plumlee missed significant time in the first half of the season.

Hinshaw will play co-OC this season alongside Tim Harris Jr. With another year of Big 12 recruiting under UCF’s belt, the Knights’ offense may continue to surge. 

Alex Atkins – Florida State

Perhaps more than any other major player in 2023, Florida State was a product of a veteran, battle-hardened senior class and a very good college quarterback. Alex Atkins helped squeeze every bit of production out of Jordan Travis before he got hurt at the end of the season.

This year, Atkins will turn his focus to DJ Uiagalelei, now in Tallahassee after stints with Clemson and Oregon State. Atkins and the remainder of the FSU coaching staff can prove their mettle by keeping Florida State operating at a playoff-caliber level, even with the departure of a large core of players. 

Andy Kotelnicki – Penn State

Penn State fielded a formidable defense in 2023, but freshman quarterback Drew Allar and the offense never quite held up their end of the bargain in big games.

To remedy this, head coach James Franklin brought a new offensive coordinator: Andy Kotelnicki, who served as OC at Kansas for the last three seasons. 

If you can make the college football world stand up and respect the Kansas offense, you can certainly help get Penn State close to the College Football Playoff. 

Will Stein – Oregon

Will Stein is one of the brightest young minds in college football, and he’s already getting treated like it. Stein’s salary is reportedly well over $1 million this year, a season in which he will turn 35. 

The money is in response to the 2023 season in which Oregon fielded the highest-scoring offense in college football with 619 total points on the season. 

He also helped turn Bo Nix into a first-round NFL quarterback, which is something I truly never thought I’d see.

Kyle Flood – Texas

Coordinators can flip from job to job quite frequently, but Kyle Flood has been posted in Austin with head coach Steve Sarkisian since 2021. 

As the former offensive line coach under Saban at Alabama and the current OL coach at Texas, Flood has had a big impact on maintaining the explosiveness of the Texas run game over the past few years. 

However, Flood’s real treat in 2024 is continuing to work with Quinn Ewers, who, if he stays healthy, should contend for the Heisman and another playoff berth. 

Chip Kelly – Ohio State

I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to put Chip Kelly at No. 1 on this list by default. And while Kelly’s return to the OC role is rightfully heralded as a huge boon for Ohio State’s championship odds in 2024, there are also reasons to be concerned ahead of the season if you’re willing to nitpick. 

So, yes, let’s go full talk radio here for just a moment.

Kelly hasn’t been anything other than a head coach in more than 15 years. How will that status change go over? How will he work with a guy like Ryan Day, who is already (quite stupidly) on the hot seat with many Buckeyes fans? If Ohio State drops the Oregon game, will they be clamoring for Chip to take over in Columbus?

There’s also the matter of transfer quarterback Will Howard, who is the presumed starter for Ohio State this year. Personally, I think Howard is a great addition to the Buckeyes, but what if he isn’t ready for the Horseshoe? Or what if he gets hurt? What if the offensive line remains problematic?

Even the greatest chef still needs quality ingredients, and Ohio State’s lack of effective offense in 2023 exposed a critical hole at the most important position on the team. If Ohio State doesn’t have that right, Kelly’s talent as a playcaller won’t be able to materialize. 

Mike Denbrock – Notre Dame

Denbrock was the offensive coordinator at LSU for the last two seasons, which means he is one of the chief builders behind Jayden Daniels’ rise. 

With Daniels now spending his seasons at FedEx Field and his summers at the Heisman House, Denbrock moved on to a new challenge at Notre Dame. The expectation is that former Duke quarterback Riley Leonard will be the man under center in 2024. Like Sam Hartman before him, Leonard is an experienced ACC quarterback who should give Notre Dame an immediate adult in the quarterback room. 

Notre Dame’s penchant for great offensive linemen delivers a great starting point for Denbrock, even if the ceiling at Notre Dame has been a half-step lower than Ohio State during most of this century. 

For me, that’s the key difference between Denbrock and Kelly – before the season begins, we can be pretty sure that Denbrock has all the tools he needs for a playoff-caliber season.

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.