Hot Seat Coaching Rankings After Week 10
Which coaches are on the hottest seat and under the most pressure after Week 10 of the college football season?
Coach Hot Seat Rankings
Remember, the whole point of this list isn’t just about coming up with the guys about to be fired. It’s about who has to deal with the pressure, the grumpiness, the scrutiny, and the slings and arrows that come with the job.
Yes, most of the guys in this week’s top 15 have serious job security questions, but occasionally it’s also about having to live up to the outside expectations, starting with …
15. Urban Meyer, Ohio State
No, no, no, OBVIOUSLY there’s not even a whiff of Urban ever being on a true hot seat no matter what happens on the field. But again, sometimes being on this list means a coach has to deal with an outsized level of negativity and scrutiny from the fans and media.
And sometimes that goes on for a long, long time.
You can’t lose as the Ohio State head coach, but to lose like the Buckeyes did to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl meant a whole offseason of grouchiness about how an Urban-coached team could get destroyed like that.
And now, an Urban-coached team is out of the College Football Playoff hunt after getting hit for 55 points by a team with one of the worst offenses in college football.
That was bad, losing at home to Michigan State this week to get all but knocked out of the Big Ten title chase would be even worse. Meyer can’t lose this game or the next ten months will be very, very annoying.
Also in the Won’t Be Fired, But Needs A Win category …
14. P.J. Fleck, Minnesota
There might have been issues, and it might not have been scintillating, but Minnesota football under Jerry Kill, and then Tracy Claeys, was building.
It was just on the verge of being an annual baller in the West race – going 9-4 with a Holiday Bowl win over Washington State – and with a chance to take the division in 2014 going into the Wisconsin game before it all crashed down.
Fleck was the hot young head man with energy, spunk, and a whole lot of sayings. And now he has a 4-5 record losing five of the six Big Ten games, only beating Illinois.
With Nebraska, at Northwestern and Wisconsin left, there’s a chance to make a whole lot of noise. Otherwise, it’ll be the program’s worst season since 2011.
13. Brad Lambert, Charlotte
This really is his football program – he’s the one who started it from scratch in 2103 – but he has yet to have a winning season in his five seasons, and the 49ers are getting worse.
There was hope last year with three wins over the second half of the season and painfully close losses in three of the last four defeats. This year? Charlotte has a 25-24 win over UAB, and then it followed it up with a 6-0 loss to Old Dominion.
Now it’s 1-8 with Middle Tennessee, at Southern Miss and Florida Atlantic to close.
12. Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech
Everyone wants Coach King to succeed – he’s the likable fit for the program – but after losing at home to Kansas State in overtime, Texas Tech is almost certain to miss out on a bowl game for the third time in four years.
The team is playing better, but it just lost its fourth straight to be 1-5 in the Big 12 – with the one win over Kansas. Now the Red Raiders have to win two of their last three with at Baylor, TCU and at Texas to close.
11. Kalani Sitake, BYU
At least there’s a sign of life on the offensive side. It moved a little bit in the loss to Fresno State, but it only put up 13 points. This is supposed to be the easy part of the schedule, but the Cougars are now 2-8 after struggling in the loss to Fresno State. There’s no guarantee of getting another win with a suddenly-okay UNLV and UMass up next before closing out at Hawaii.
10. Mike Riley, Nebraska
But there’s still hope.
Nebraska keeps on fighting – losing to Northwestern in overtime is hardly anything to get upset about – but that makes it three losses in the last four for a program that’s supposed to be hitting its stride under this regime.
However, if the Huskers can beat Minnesota next week, and rise up to get by Iowa at home in the finale – assume a loss at Penn State – they’re going bowling.
9. Scottie Montgomery, East Carolina
Now 5-16 in just under two years, Montgomery and his Pirates have a good shot at wins with home games against Tulane and Cincinnati coming up before finishing at Memphis. Defense continues to be a rumor, getting hit for 52 by Houston for a fourth loss in five games.
8. Mike Jinks, Bowling Green
There we go, Bowling Green. The Falcons got a second win, whacking Kent State 44-16 to show a sign of life.
On the plus side, the offense is starting to work, scoring 30 or more in three of the last four games. On the negative, at Buffalo, Toledo, at Eastern Michigan – the Falcons are about to lose their last three games.
7. Jim Mora Jr., UCLA
Josh Rosen wasn’t able to go against Utah, so this was supposed to be the time to rely on the running game and defense to help out the developing quarterback situation.
Utah 48, UCLA 17.
It wasn’t just that UCLA got blown out on the road. It’s that the Utah offense finally started to work again like it’s supposed to. Playing the Bruin defense had something to do with that.
With Arizona State, at USC and Cal to close, UCLA has to win two of its last three games to go bowling.
6. Paul Haynes, Kent State
Ugh. Losing is bad. Being 2-7 is bad. Having an offense that has get to score more than 17 points against an FBS team is bad. Being ensured of a losing season in the first week of November is bad. But to lose at home to a miserable Bowling Green team 44-16 it really, really, really bad.
5. Butch Jones, Tennessee
It’s just assumed that he’s done and a high-profile head man will swoop in and take over, but that’s still not a lock.
This is a banged up team with nothing on the O line, a quarterback situation in trouble, and with a whole slew of issues for an offense that still can’t score. However, can the team somehow rise up and win two of its final three games against Missouri, LSU and Vanderbilt?
How Butch Jones would it be to close strong and get to a bowl?
4. Bret Bielema, Arkansas
You’d think everyone would be happy after winning two straight, but needing to rally to beat Coastal Carolina 39-38 – a team in its first year from the FCS ranks and coming into the game on a six-game losing streak – might as well have been a loss.
There’s still a shot at going bowling if the Hogs can win two of their last three against LSU on the road, and at home against Mississippi State and Missouri. But with the way the defense is playing, there’s no chance.
3. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
There was a chance for the entire Kevin Sumlin narrative to change.
The Aggies had two home games against Mississippi State and Auburn with New Mexico and a trip to Ole Miss to follow – it was supposed to be a time for the program to go on a run.
A&M should still get by New Mexico to become bowl eligible, and it should be good enough to beat Ole Miss before finishing at LSU, but losing to Miss State and Auburn by a combined score of 77-33 at home might have all but sealed Sumlin’s fate.
2. David Bailiff, Rice
UAB wasn’t playing football last year at this time. This year, the Blazers are going bowling after beating Rice 52-21 thanks to a nearly-perfect passing game.
The Owls still just have the one win over UTEP in the second week of the season, and that’s been it. Only the 13-7 loss to FIU wasn’t a blowout for a defense that’s now allowed 42 points or more in four of the last five games.
1. David Beaty, Kansas
It really did look like there might be hope for Kansas to close out the season with the offense perking up.
After a disaster against TCU, the Jayhawks bombed away on Kansas State, with Carter Stanley throwing for 418 yards in an interesting performance and a good fight.
And then came Baylor into Lawrence. It was a shot to beat a winless team and finally get a victory.
Baylor 38, Kansas 9.
Stanley threw for just 155 yards, and the Jayhawks managed just three field goals. And now the Jayhawks get to close against at Texas, Oklahoma and at Oklahoma State.