Grading college football's first-year coaches: Steve Sarkisian, Shane Beamer and more

The 2020 coaching cycle feels like it took place decades ago.

So much has happened in this year's carousel -- from Lincoln Riley to Brian Kelly to Mario Cristobal -- that it's easy to forget that 17 college programs hired coaches heading into the 2021 season. Despite the coronavirus pandemic and its financial impact on universities, a larger-than-expected number of schools made coaching changes.

Now it's time to evaluate them.

Here are my evaluations for every first-year coach in 2021. Not everyone is graded on the same criteria, as some coaches inherited turnkey situations, while others stepped into complete teardowns. This isn't about only first-year record but what each coach did overall to improve his program's trajectory or let it slip.

To add a layer of accountability, I'm including my grades of each coaching hire at the time they occurred.