After Week 12, who’s feeling the heat and need a win now. Which five are on the hot seat?
As always, being on a “hot seat” doesn’t always mean the coach is in a win-or-get-fired mode. Most of the ones in the top five simply need a very, very big win in a very, very big rivalry game. As everyone knows, beat the hated rival, and the pressure comes off in a hurry – especially if it means a bowl appearance. With that in mind …
After Week 12 Coaches Hot Seat Top 5 Ranking
1. Charlie Strong, Texas
Beat TCU, and Texas is going bowling – in theory, the Kansas loss actually doesn’t matter. But, of course, the Kansas loss really does matter. It was as embarrassing as it gets – it was the first loss to the Jayhawks since 1938 – with the offense needing to get the ball to D’Onta Foreman over 50 times just to stay in the game. Making matters worse, Tom Herman’s Houston team just destroyed Louisville and is a red hot candidate again.
2. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
The two-time national Coach of the Year is now just 59-30 in seven years at Notre Dame. A win over USC would do wonders. Not only would it show that there is hope for the future, but it would be a terrific win over one of the nation’s IT team right now. Also, there’s a chance the Irish could end up bowl eligible on APR, but that’s a stretch. After the way the Irish collapsed against Virginia Tech, this is getting ugly.
3. Dave Doeren, NC State
The Syracuse win two weeks ago helped, but the Pack have fallen back with five losses in the last six games and needing a win over rival North Carolina to go bowling. Do that on the road, and all should be fine with the world. Lose, and State will be 5-7 and Doeren 23-27 in four years.
4. Matt Wells, Utah State
The Aggies are hurt on a four-game losing streak, struggling to come up with a big break. The team’s been close in losses to New Mexico and Nevada by a total of four points, but it’s now 3-8 and the team is going in the wrong direction. Wells had a strong first three years and likely won’t get canned, but a win over BYU would be massive going into the offseason.
5. Charlie Partridge, Florida Atlantic
The Owls haven’t actually been all that bad winning two of their last three games, but they’re still 3-8, and Partridge has an even bigger issue – Butch Davis. With FIU going big-time, the temptation will be there for FAU to try making a change to keep up the pace in the coaching arms race.
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; Jim Mora Jr., Ed Orgeron, LSU; UCLA; Brian Polian, Nevada; Rich Rodriguez, Arizona