After Week 4, several coaches are feeling the heat and need a win now. Which five are on the hot seat?
It’s already starting. Last week’s coach on the hottest seat – Ron Turner – didn’t last the weekend, while Les Miles lost the hot seat battle at Auburn. On the flip side, Kentucky’s Mark Stoops got a huge win over South Carolina.
But who might be next open job up? Who needs a win very, very badly?
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 4 Coaches Hot Seat Top 5 Ranking
1. Clay Helton, USC
USC might have a brutal schedule to start the season, and it came within a stop against Utah to get out with a big win, but you don’t go 1-3 at this program no matter who’s on the slate. Lose at home to Arizona State, and the noise will be deafening. However, four of the next five games are at home wrapped around a not-bad date against Arizona – there’s a chance to turn this around in a hurry.
2. Tim DeRuyter, Fresno State
There was a time when Fresno State ruled the Mountain West/WAC world, and it looked ready to become an even bigger powerhouse after DeRuyter came in from Texas A&M and went 20-6 in his first two years with two Mountain West titles. Even when the Bulldogs slipped the following year, it still managed to get to the MW title game.
And then the wheels came up with a disastrous 3-9 season last year, being followed up by a 1-3 start this season. The win over Sacramento State doesn’t make up for a defense that hasn’t shown up, allowing 43 in the opener to Nebraska, 52 to Toledo, and at home this weekend, collapsing in a 48-41 loss to Tulsa.
3. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
Kelly is going through the embattled coach playbook: 1) blame the players, 2) sort of say it’s your fault, 3) blame the players again, 4) fire a coordinator. The Fighting Irish are 1-3 despite playing three of those first four games at home, bottoming out defensively with a rough loss to a mediocre Duke team.
Notre Dame isn’t going to the College Football Playoff, and it’s nothing more than the spoiler now against Stanford, Miami, and Virginia Tech. Even with the success of last year, losing as many games as the team lost in 2015 – and going 29-16 starting with the BCS Championship loss to Alabama – is never going to be okay.
4. Steve Addazio, Boston College
There’s no questioning his brilliance as a defensive coach, but considering the Eagles didn’t win an ACC game last season and is 0-for-2 so far this year, it would be nice to start being on the right side of a few battles. Losing to Georgia Tech 17-14 is one thing, but for a defensive team to lose 49-0 to Virginia Tech is another. Lose to Buffalo this week before diving back into conference play, and it’s uh-oh time.
5. Jim Mora Jr., UCLA
No, no, no, he’s not getting fired without a total disaster, but he needs to start winning some of the big games.
The Mora era has been okay, but not great. Shockingly, the window is still open with the Pac-12 South very, very average and USC not anything special. Granted, UCLA is two plays away from being 4-0, but so was Les Miles this year.
At some point, Mora has to start producing with all the talent he’s been able to bring in. The Stanford game is out of the way – now it’s time to go on a run with Arizona, at Arizona State, and at Washington State up next. It’s not going to be easy.
A big win would be really, really, really nice
Blake Anderson, Arkansas State; Craig Bohl, Wyoming; Ron Caragher, San Jose State; Rod Carey, Northern Illinois; Gus Malzahn, Auburn; Charlie Partridge, Florida Atlantic