After Week 5, several coaches are feeling the heat and need a win now. Which five are on the hot seat?
The Les Miles firing now might be a cautionary tale – LSU played great against Missouri the week after its coach was canned. All it takes is one rough patch for a coach who was already under pressure, and there were plenty of tough losses this week to crank up the heat.
Remember, being on a hot seat doesn’t necessarily mean the guy’s going to be fired – but he might just need to come up with a big win as soon as humanly possible to take the pressure off. These coaches might not be canned if they don’t win big soon, but after what happened this weekend …
After Week 5 Coaches Hot Seat Top 5 Ranking
1. Charlie Strong, Texas
While he got the dreaded vote of confidence – or at least the assurance that the school wouldn’t talk about his status until the season is over, he’d better beat Oklahoma next week.
The Longhorns had two weeks to prepare for Oklahoma State, but after the Cal loss, the team didn’t look like it had any answers defensively, it couldn’t tackle, and it couldn’t keep the offense moving in the second half. It’s a very, very winnable Big 12 this year, and Texas isn’t going to win it. Beat OU, though, and everything changes.
2. Darrell Hazell, Purdue
You’re not supposed to be 50-7 vs. Maryland bad in a year when the team is supposed to be experienced and a whole lot better. As it turns out, that win over Nevada a few weeks ago stinks – the Wolf Pack just lost to Hawaii – and the team overall just isn’t improving. Now 8-32 in West Lafayette, it’s do-or-die time against Illinois.
3. Tim DeRuyter, Fresno State
UNLV lost to Idaho, didn’t have its starting quarterback, and didn’t look at all like a team able to come up with a win over a decent team. In walks Fresno State, and out comes a Rebel team with an easy victory. Now DeRuyter is 1-4 to start the year and 4-13 in his last 17 games. His team isn’t even on the map defensively.
4. Charlie Partridge, Florida Atlantic
FIU started out the season as poorly as possible, and Ron Turner couldn’t survive long enough to show what he could do against Florida Atlantic. Not only did the Golden Panthers win 33-31 over Partridge’s Owls, but now that’s on top of an FAU loss to a Ball State team that lost to a bad Northern Illinois. Got all that? Bottom line: Partridge is now 7-22 in his two-plus years in Boca Raton.
5. Mark Helfrich, Oregon
Uh oh. The defense is a nightmare, getting rolled up by Washington State in the Ducks’ third straight loss, and it’s not about to get easier. As if the 2-3 start wasn’t awful enough for the perennial Pac-12 powerhouse. Washington is up next. If the defense couldn’t stop Wazzu, it’s sure as shoot not slowing down Cal on the road, or Arizona State at home. And it only gets worse from there – if possible – with three of the final four games away from Autzen.
A big win would be really, really, really nice
Blake Anderson, Arkansas State; Brian Kelly, Notre Dame; Sean Kugler, UTEP; Gus Malzahn, Auburn; Brian Polian, Nevada