Hot Seat Coach Rankings At The Midseason
Which coaches are on the hottest seat and under the most pressure after at the midway point of the college football season?
Midseason Hot Seat Rankings
It’s do-or-die time for coaches over the second half of the season. Lose one big game, and you’re in trouble. Lose a couple of games you’re not supposed to, and there’s a major issue.
The 2017 college football season already suffered its first casualty with the resignation of Sean Kugler from the UTEP job, and then Gary Andersen and Oregon State chose to mutually part ways.
Kugler was the No. 1 guy on this list two weeks ago, and then it was Andersen. Who’s the heat on now?
Going into the second half, here are the 20 who need to come out roaring.
20. Rich Rodriguez, Arizona
This is a hot seat of a different nature. Now, after a solid 3-2 start and with the reasonable schedule ahead, it might be bowl-or-bust. Khalil Tate is looking like a devastating new weapon, the offense is working, and this should be a strong year. But if RichRod can’t get to six wins and a bowl, and/or loses to Arizona State, there’s a big problem.
19. Matt Luke, Ole Miss
He’s only supposed to be an interim head man, but at 2-3 with a whole slew of nasty games left to get through, his Rebels have to be more than a speed bump if he wants to be considered for the full-time gig. Ole Miss gave up 110 points in the last two games to Alabama and Auburn on the road.
18. Todd Graham, Arizona State
The Sun Devils have been just good enough to set the bar at a bowl level again. All three losses – San Diego State at Texas Tech, and at Stanford – were fights, and they were all reasonable. However, with Washington, at Utah, USC up next, and with Arizona looking dangerous, losing four of the final seven could be disastrous.
17. Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma
You … don’t … lose … to … Iowa State … at home. Especially against a backup QB.
No, Riley isn’t going to be fired any time soon, but with a team good enough to rip through Ohio State in Columbus, there will be some grumbling if OU loses to Texas and/or at Oklahoma State and/or TCU and/or West Virginia. Get to the Big 12 title game or bust.
16. Jim McElwain, Florida
Yes, McElwain led the way to two straight SEC East titles, but the team isn’t national title-good, and worse yet it’s … boring. And sort of lucky. The Gators could very, very easily be 1-4 right now, but you are what your record is.
Looking ahead, outside of Missouri and UAB, this could get ugly. Lose to Texas A&M, Georgia, at South Carolina and Florida State – not unreasonable – and it’s a 5-6 campaign thanks to the cancellation of the Northern Colorado game.
15. Lovie Smith, Illinois
Everyone knew it was going to take some rebuilding, but in Year Two of the Lovie era, Illinois hasn’t shown a thing. It’s getting ripped up week after week now, with plenty of tough games to go. Lose to Rutgers next week at home and ohhhh nooooo.
14. Kalani Sitake, BYU
1-5 and hopeless-looking in the process, BYU isn’t just bad, it’s boring-bad. There’s no offense, the defense has gone bye-bye, and the team is two losses away from missing out on a bowl game. The schedule eases up in a big way, but 6-6 after this start – it’s cupcake central after the game at Mississippi State – would still seem hollow.
13. Jim Mora Jr., UCLA
At 3-2 with an NFL franchise quarterback to guide the way for seven more games – at least – Mora needs to come up with a big run. Three of the next four games are on the road, and that’s not even including the date at USC looming late in the year. Does 6-6 get it done and keep him around? 7-5? At this point, 8-4 would look great.
12. Mike Riley, Nebraska
Bo Pelini was launched for a slew of reasons, but mostly, it was because his teams got run over by Wisconsin. Riley’s team just got run over by Wisconsin. It wasn’t just the loss, it was the brutal way the Badgers did what the Huskers used to do to do on a regular basis. With the possible exception of Northwestern the final six games are against teams that’ll go bowling.
11. Scottie Montgomery, East Carolina
The Pirates are almost certainly going to be double-digit underdogs against everyone the rest of the way. Other than the win over a miserable UConn team win no defense, every game has been a blowout so far, and now, at beat, the Pirates will claw their way to 3-9.
10. Pat Narduzzi, Pitt
Pitt hired the guy to be a strong defensive coach. The defense has been mediocre, and the offense hasn’t been good enough. Now. at 2-4, and with NC State, Virginia Tech and Miami still to deal with, the Panthers will need to step it up in a big way just to go bowling.
9. Mike Jinks, Bowling Green
Could the win over Miami University be the start of something solid? After a horrible, horrible first half of the season – after a horrible, horrible 2016 – there’s still hope for a few wins with Kent State as one likely possibility. More than likely, though, this will be a horrible, horrible 2-10 campaign.
8. David Bailiff, Rice
The one win this year was over the team with the guy who left. UTEP was and is a bad team, and that might be all the fun Rice has this season. The offense has scored more than 12 points just once – against UTEP – and it’ll be a major upset if this doesn’t end up as a 1-11 run.
7. Steve Addazio, Boston College
The offense still isn’t any good, the defense that’s been okay isn’t quite good enough to make up for the problems, and now, with a brutal next four games ahead – at Louisville, at Virginia, Florida State and NC State – there’s no sign of things getting any better.
6. Mark Whipple, UMass
It’s a weird season for a weird team. It’s been good enough to hang with everyone, but it’s still 0-6. There’s a strange lull in the middle, with no games from September 30th to October 21st, but the rest might do some good. Winning three games for a team with this O – and a not-that-bad slate the rest of the way – isn’t asking a lot.
5. Barry Odom, Missouri
There will be a few wins left with Idaho and UConn left on the slate, but going 0-8 in the SEC would be a problem. The defense can’t stop anyone, and considering Odom was supposed to be the the defensive coach who’d keep it all going after the Gary Pinkel era, this hasn’t worked out well so far.
4. Bret Bielema, Arkansas
2-4 with a blowout loss at South Carolina? Fortunately, the Hogs should be able to turn their season around with a trip to face a grouchy Alabama, and follow that up with Auburn. It’s going to be a fight just to go bowling at this point.
3. Butch Jones, Tennessee
It’s a good and bad thing for Jones. On the good side, the second half of the season isn’t all that bad – the Vols should be able to turn around the season as long as it gets by South Carolina at home next week.
The bad: lose to the Gamecocks, and with a trip to Alabama up next, and with a road game at Kentucky and a date with LSU still to go, 7-5 might be possible. That’s not okay.
2. Paul Haynes, Kent State
Back from missing time battling prostate cancer, everyone wants Haynes to succeed. But the Golden Flashes have managed just 22 points in five FBS games this year. The three points scored against NIU made it four times the O couldn’t get more than a field goal. It’ll take something special to not go 1-11, with the lone win coming against Howard.
1. David Beaty, Kansas
65-19. Kansas just lost at home in yet another blowout loss. The O is starting to work better this year but after winning the opener against SE Missouri State, the Jayhawks have been blasted by everyone in double-digit losses.
There’s a chance against Baylor at home in a few weeks, but that’s it. Someone else will have to totally choke to lose to KU.