On Monday morning, the first NFL head coach firing of this season took place as the Carolina Panthers let Matt Rhule go after less than three seasons.

Rhule’s firing continues a long trend of successful college head coaches struggling as head coaches in the NFL. Prior to being hired by the Panthers, Rhule had turned two college programs from doormats to highly successful teams.

First, he took a Temple team that went 2-10 in his first season in 2013 to back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2015 and 2016.

Rhule then went to a Baylor program that was embroiled in scandal, where he won just one game in 2017 before eventually winning 11 in 2019 and earning a trip to the Sugar Bowl.

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Rhule won just five games in each of his first two seasons with Carolina, however, and the Panthers are off to just a 1-4 start this season.

Even before Monday, there has been talk that if Rhule were to be fired by the Panthers this season, he could be a potential candidate to return to the college ranks.

For example, after Nebraska became the first school to fire its coach this season when it let Scott Frost go on Sept. 11 (there are now five openings), The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman wrote, “If he does get fired, Rhule should be high on every AD’s list for any job vacancies.”

On Monday, The Athletic published a roundtable in which a group of writers tried to identify which current opening might fit Rhule best, with Wisconsin getting two votes and Nebraska and Georgia Tech getting one apiece.