For now, the FBS coaching carousel is done spinning for the 2021-22 offseason. But these days, there’s no telling when it might start moving again.

In the previous cycle, the Kansas job unexpectedly opened in March when Les Miles was tossed out amid multiple charges of inappropriate behavior. Matt Rhule left Baylor for the NFL in Jan. 2020, which would be the same timeline if any college coach is hired in the league this season. (Thanks to Urban Meyer’s spectacular flame-out in Jacksonville, I wouldn’t expect to see any such movement this season.)

Whenever the hiring cycle starts up again, there will be multiple Big Ten assistant coaches deserving consideration to lead programs of their own.

In our estimation, these are the top-5 Big Ten assistants ready to run a program of their own.

1. Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis

Gattis interviewed for the opening at Virginia, which ultimately went to Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott.

Gattis is a hot commodity right now after winning the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant this year. At this point, his resume is damn-near impeccable — 1 year under PJ Fleck, 6 years under James Franklin at Vanderbilt and Penn State, 1 year under Nick Saban at Alabama, and the past 3 seasons with Jim Harbaugh at Michigan.

Gattis could surely be running a program in the MAC right now if he so desired. But at 37 years old, he’s got time to hold out for whatever fits him best.

2. Penn State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz

Is it cheating to include a guy who was just a head coach this season on the list?

Probably. But I don’t care. This is my list. My rules. And it’s pretty clear Manny Diaz is going to be a head coach again.

The circumstances of his Miami dismissal, which only happened after the Canes shivved Diaz and hired Mario Cristobal, begs of a guy deserving a second chance. He also finds himself landing in an ideal situation with a chance to improve an already very good Penn State defense.

If Diaz wants to coach a Group of 5 program, he probably lands a job next offseason. Or, given Penn State’s potential trajectory with the recent signing class, he waits 3 years and lands a very big fish.

3. Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard

The Wisconsin defense hasn’t skipped a beat since Leonhard replaced Dave Aranda as the Badgers’ defensive coordinator after just 1 season as a college coach.

It feels like Leonhard’s decision will have more to do with whether he feels like leaving Madison rather than whether he’s qualified to take a step up.

Wisconsin is Leonhard’s alma mater and the only place he’s ever coached. He could be comfortable riding it out until whenever it is Paul Chryst retires and simply switch offices.

Leonhard also spent 10 seasons playing in the NFL. Perhaps a more likely outcome is that his next move is to be a defensive coordinator at that level should the right opportunity come along. And again, his situation is ideal — he can afford to turn down the Texans or Jaguars, but if an actual decent franchise and head coach want him, perhaps he leaves.

Either way, Leonhard has the rare coaching comfort of being in the driver’s seat of which direction his career trajectory takes.

4. Iowa special teams coach LeVar Woods

Woods is in similar territory as Leonhard — coaching at his alma mater and seemingly capable of calling his shot on where to go from here.

It could well be that he’s biding his time in Iowa City until Kirk Ferentz decides it is time to hang it up. Continuity is as important to Iowa as it is to the franchise whose uniforms Hayden Fry copied when he first landed the job. Indeed, the Hawkeyes even 1-upped the Pittsburgh Steelers in that regard with only 2 coaches since 1979 compared to the Steelers’ 3.

At any rate, Woods is a truly great assistant coach for the Hawkeyes with experience in all 3 phases.

After a 7-year career as an NFL linebacker, he returned to Iowa in an administrative role before being named linebackers coach. Ferentz moved him to tight ends coach in 2015, and Woods helped turn George Kittle into a beast.

Since 2018, Woods has coached Iowa’s impeccable special teams units.

This guy is going to be a head coach. It’s just a matter of when and where.

5. Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford

Alford interviewed for the Colorado State opening back in 2019, but was passed over in favor of Steve Addazio.

Addazio’s guys being dudes went 4-12 in 2 seasons before he was fired. But once again, Alford wasn’t hired by his alma mater — this time he wasn’t even considered.

But Alford’s resume shows that he deserves a shot somewhere. He’s cut his teeth under Brian Kelly, Urban Meyer and now Ryan Day.

There’s certainly no question about Alford’s ability to recruit — he was Kelly’s chief recruiter at Notre Dame from 2012-14, and Kelly tried to hire him at LSU earlier this month.

Alford is probably hurt by the fact he hasn’t worked as a coordinator even though he’s been at it since 1995. If he does finally get a head coaching opportunity, it seems like 1 of Ohio’s MAC programs would make the proper fit.