Hot Seat Coach Rankings: The Top 20 After Week 3
Which coaches are on the hottest seat and under the most pressure after Week 3 of the college football season?
Hot Seat Rankings: After Week 3
Being on a hot seat isn’t just about potentially being fired, it’s about having to win to avoid a mountain of pressure.
Remember, it’s not that easy to simply fire a big-name head coach – there has to be a massive payout to get rid of the top stars. And, of course, a new head coach isn’t going to get fired right away, but after a big loss or two, he’s going to hear it.
With that in mind, the Hot Seat Rankings after Week 3 are …
20. Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech
Yeah, he’s 2-0, but his Red Raiders almost blew it against Arizona State. He’s on the fringe here – beat Houston, and all should be fine. Lose, and then there’s a problem with Oklahoma State up next.
19. David Bailiff, Rice
In the midst of another losing season – almost certainly a third in a row – the pressure is on to get hot in a hurry. Lose to FIU next week, and with Pitt and Army to follow, forget about getting to six wins.
18. Pat Narduzzi, Pitt
The team isn’t just bad, it’s not making the adjustments needed to hang with the big boys. The Narduzzi defense is getting his team killed, but next week, he doesn’t have to deal with a passing game – he’s facing Georgia Tech.
17. Paul Haynes, Kent State
Please, PLEASE forgive us for putting him on this list considering he’s currently battling prostate cancer and is on a leave of absence. But after going 12-35 in his first four years, this will be another big-loss season.
16. Lance Leipold, Buffalo
His Bulls rolled by Colgate last week, and they were more than competitive against Army and Minnesota, but the wins have to start coming with Florida Atlantic and Kent State up next.
15. Mike Jinks, Bowling Green
After a blowout loss to Northwestern, the Falcons are 0-3 losing by a combined score of 119 to 44. After a disastrous 4-8 start last year, and with a trip to Middle Tennessee up next, this is getting ugly.
14. Barry Odom, Missouri
It’s not like the cupboard was bare when Gary Pinkel left. After a lousy 2016, Odom’s team is a disaster to start 2017, getting rocked at home against South Carolina and Purdue by a combined score of 66-16. And now comes the meat of the SEC season.
13. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
Remember, Sumlin was an all-timer of a comeback away from being 3-0, but it also took way too much work to get by Nicholls State and Louisiana-Lafayette. He already coaches in one Hot Seat Bowl against Jim Mora Jr. and now comes another against Bret Bielema and Arkansas.
12. Matt Wells, Utah State
It was a minor miracle that he came back after a 3-9 season and two straight losing campaigns, and starting out 1-2 with losses to Wake Forest and Wisconsin by a combined score of 105 to 20 puts the head on. Fortunately, San Jose State is up next.
11. Terry Bowden, Akron
In his sixth year at the helm, the program hasn’t been able to capitalize on the 8-5 2015 run. He’s about to have his fifth losing campaign in six with four road games in the next five to deal with.
10. Steve Addazio, Boston College
The close-call win at Northern Illinois looks a whole lot better now, but getting blown out by Wake Forest and Notre Dame at home in back-to-back weeks isn’t exactly the way he wants to go into the date at Clemson. A losing season almost guarantees the end of the era.
9. Jim Mora Jr., UCLA
If Josh Rosen didn’t bail him out against Texas A&M, he’d be 1-2 right now and all but gone. After the loss at Memphis, now he has to start winning with a trip to Stanford up next as the Pac-12 run starts. USC being USC again isn’t helping the cause.
8. Butch Jones, Tennessee
A total coaching staff meltdown led to the miraculous Florida win, and now, after struggling to get by Georgia Tech, and after what happened in Gainesville, the home games against Georgia and South Carolina are must wins with a trip to Alabama to follow. But first, Jones goes against …
7. Mark Whipple, UMass
A legend when UMass was in the FCS world, he’s had problems after returning to the program 11 years later going 8-28 in his first three years. His Minutemen are competitive, but starting 0-4 with losses to Coastal Carolina, Hawaii, Old Dominion and Temple isn’t okay.
6. Scottie Montgomery, East Carolina
The era started out hot with a win over NC State last season, but he’s gone 1-12 since then. Losing to James Madison, West Virginia and Virginia Tech isn’t unforgivable, but losing by a combined score of 154-51 is.
5. David Beaty, Kansas
It’s just not working. Going 0-2 against the MAC is bad enough, but losing to Central Michigan and Ohio by double-digits makes it even uglier. And now comes the Big 12 season with the possible win over Baylor not coming until November.
4. Todd Graham, Arizona State
His team showed a sign of life in a wild 52-45 shootout with Texas Tech – and he lost. Again. Now, losing to San Diego State doesn’t seem so bad, but with Oregon, at Stanford, Washington, at Utah, and USC up next, it’ll be a shocker if ASU isn’t 1-7 before hosting Colorado.
3. Mike Riley, Nebraska
No, no, no, no, no. After two mediocre years, this is when the one-time superpower was supposed to start showing something impressive. While there’s plenty of time to get hot with the Big Ten season starting – thank you, schedule-makers for Rutgers and Illinois up next – the performances against Oregon and Northern Illinois aren’t okay.
Where are the playmakers? Where’s the next-level talent? Where are the stars? Where’s a positive offensive identity? The social media line after the loss to NIU? Fortunately for Riley, the Oregon State gig might be open again soon.
2. Sean Kugler, UTEP
Yuck. While Kugler has done wonders turning around the program in the classroom, it’s not translating to the field. The Miners got destroyed by Oklahoma and Arizona, but to lose to Rice at home 31-14 isn’t okay. In his fifth season, he’s 18-34 with a win over New Mexico State on the road a must.
1. Gary Andersen, Oregon State
There’s a problem when you’re No. 12 in a 12-team lead.
Oregon State doesn’t have any identity on offense, the defense is getting destroyed, and the losses are mounting after blowout loss after blowout loss. And now comes Washington and a trip to USC, meaning the Beavers will be 1-5 before hosting Colorado and Stanford. Andersen will almost certainly be 7-23 in two-plus years.