After Week 13, who’s feeling the heat and need a win now. Which five are on the hot seat?
Now comes the carousel season with coaches being dropped left and right.
Chuck Strong is Chuck Gone at Texas, Charlie Partridge is gone at Florida Atlantic, and Brian Polian at Nevada? Zapped. Now it’ll get really, really interesting at some very big places.
Usually, these Hot Seat Rankings are about who’s feeling the most pressure. Now, it’s about job status for some of the big names at the big schools.
After Week 13 Coaches Hot Seat Top 5 Ranking
1. Mark Helfrich, Oregon
He’s having one of those, “have a seat, close the door” meetings this week, and it’s being reported that his fate is already sealed. If that’s true, Helfrich goes from being the darling of college football just two years ago to gone. Going 4-8 with a team good enough to have contended for the Pac-12 North – and losing to the archrival by ten in the final game – will do that.
2. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
You don’t go 4-8 at Notre Dame. Of course, Charlie Weis had a 3-9 2009 season and still hung around for two more years, but he was only in Year Three of the era. The mere fact that a Notre Dame season is one win better than the Weis clunker points to the problem. Now Kelly is taking the initiative saying he plans to return and really isn’t looking around for other options, but there’s a chance the plans will be made for him. He’s just 59-31 in his seven years and has just one season without three losses. That’s not good.
3. Butch Jones, Tennessee
This was supposed to be the year, and the team started out weird, finished up poorly, and it blew chance after chance to come up with something big. It could’ve all but taken the East with a win over South Carolina, and blew it. It could’ve likely gone off to the Sugar Bowl if it could’ve beaten Vanderbilt, and blew it. 29-21 in his four years in Knoxville, it’s not working.
4. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
54-39. The team that was so hot to start the season and got into the No. 4 spot in the first College Football Playoff rankings totally fell off the map, closing out with a horrific blowout loss to LSU in the Thanksgiving spotlight game. Now the Aggies have lost four games or more in each of Sumlin’s last four years, and if they lose their bowl game, that’ll make it three straight five-loss seasons since his breakthrough 11-2 rookie year. Add in the shiny new toy Texas just bought, and it could be a testy next month.
5. Jim Mora Jr. UCLA
There’s really no talk about firing him, and he just signed an extension this summer that pays him through 2021, but the team slipped last year and fell off the map this season. Injuries played a part in the problem, but there wasn’t a total rash of disasters like, say, Arizona had to deal with. After going 4-8, now Mora is an okay 41-24 in Westwood, but there’s a bigger problem – USC is getting great again. UCLA had its chance to be the hot program in LA, and now that’s gone.
A big win would be really, really, really nice
David Bailiff, Rice; Ron Caragher, San Jose State; Paul Haynes, Kent State; Doc Holliday, Marshall; Sean Kugler, UTEP; Lance Leipold, Buffalo; Brian Polian, Nevada; Matt Wells, Utah State