Hot Seat Coach Rankings: After Week 5
Which coaches are on the hottest seat and under the most pressure after Week 5 of the college football season?
Hot Seat Rankings: After Week 5
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.
This is as much about pressure as anything else. Lose a big game in a bad way, and there’s a problem.
20. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
It’s been a strong follow-up from the team after the UCLA disaster, and A&M would be 5-0 if it couldn’t just hung on against Josh Rosen. But this is Alabama week. No one will predict an Aggie win, but the game’s at home. A good showing should take the heat off, but a wipeout loss would get the base grumbling again.
19. Matt Luke, Ole Miss
Okay, okay, he’s supposedly an interim head man, but if he wants to have any hope of keeping the gig for more than year, his team needs to bounce back in a big way after losing at Cal and collapsing early against Alabama.
18. Todd Graham, Arizona State
At 2-3 with Washington, at Utah and USC up next, this is a critical time for the ASU head man. The Sun Devils are competitive, and they’ve been surprisingly okay in certain ways, but the wins have to start coming.
17. Mike Riley, Nebraska
Everything calmed down a little bit with two straight wins, but Riley had better come up with a big win soon – or at least hope the team plays well vs. Wisconsin and Ohio State.
16. Lovie Smith, Illinois
Getting blown out by USF and Nebraska isn’t okay. The Illini defense needs to be better in a big hurry against Iowa. Lose to Rutgers after that, and the fan base will get really, really grouchy.
15. Kalani Sitake, BYU
Yeah, the 9-4 first season was great, but with four straight losses, blowout disasters against Wisconsin and Utah State, and with almost no steady offense whatsoever, the production had better come with the schedule about to lighten up.
14. Jim Mora Jr., UCLA
Yeah, beating Colorado took the heat off for a moment, but with three road games in the next four, and with nothing easy the rest of the way, it’s going to be hard to keep the pressure off.
13. Bret Bielema, Arkansas
This could get ugly in a hurry. The Hogs have three road games in the next four, including the Alabama problem on October 14th. November gets a whole lot easier, but Bielema can’t 3-5 before getting Coastal Carolina.
12. Terry Bowden, Akron
Yeah, beating Bowling Green takes a little bit of the pressure off, and there just enough winnable games to get to around four wins, maybe five, but it’s been a struggle for a program that should at least be bowl eligible at this point in the Bowden era.
11. Scottie Montgomery, East Carolina
After getting hammered by South Florida 61-31, the Pirates have to somehow slip by a mediocre Temple team at home. Lose, and then with road games at UCF, Houston and Memphis still to deal with, the numbers could get astronomically bad.
10. Pat Narduzzi, Pitt
Ooooooooh, a blowout win over Rice. Oooooooh. There are just enough winnable games to go bowling. Win at Syracuse, beat Virginia and North Carolina at home, and that’s five wins on the year. Would 6-6 be where Pitt really wants to be, though?
9. Mike Jinks, Bowling Green
It’s just not working. 0-5 so far, the Falcons just lost by 11 to a miserable Akron team. Thy’ll be underdogs the rest of the way to everyone but Kent State.
8. David Bailiff, Rice
Outside of a 31-14 win at UTEP, the Owls aren’t even competitive. They’ve managed a grand total of 27 points in the other four games. With Army, at UTSA and Louisiana Tech up next, winning just one of those is a desperate must.
7. Steve Addazio, Boston College
Will the win over Central Michigan be the spark to get the season going? With Virginia Tech, at Louisville, at Virginia, Florida State and NC State up next, the season could be over by early November – Addazio can’t afford that.
6. Mark Whipple, UMass
Even at 0-6, the Minutemen are competitive, and they’re able to play up or down to their competition, but they’re not winning. If they can’t beat Georgia Southern with a few weeks off to rest – there’s a quirky scheduling break – and if they go winless on the homestead of four road games in five, uh oh.
5. David Beaty, Kansas
The Jayhawks have had two weeks off after losing to West Virginia, and now it’s time to come back much, much better – or else. This can’t just be a two-win season – there has to be real hope and change. There have to be wins over Texas Tech this week, and Baylor, and maybe an Iowa State or so. Kansas can not longer be the Big 12’s stat-padding game.
4. Ed Oregon, LSU
Ohhhhhh, noooooo. When people are openly trying to figure out how to pay off the $12 million buyout just five games into the season, there’s a big, big problem. Losing to an SEC team here and there is part of the game – Mississippi State is going to rise up and drop a hammer once in a while – but at home to Troy? Nope – not okay.
But here’s the thing – Orgeron can turn this around fast. Beat Florida in Gainesville, and everything calms down. The talent is there to go on a run, and outside of Alabama, there’s no one else on the schedule LSU can’t and shouldn’t beat.
3. Barry Odom, Missouri
Buyout clauses are a big deal for just about every big name on this list.
It would only cost around $2 million to get rid of the coach of the worst team in the SEC – the Tigers have been rocked so far by a combined score of 117 to 30 in the three league games.
However, with two weeks off to rest, beating Kentucky on the road is a must. Do that, lose to Georgia – forgivable – and beat Idaho and UConn, and all of a sudden, Mizzou is 4-4 with Florida and Tennessee at home.
2. Butch Jones, Tennessee
41-0? On a day when Peyton Manning is in the house for the Georgia showdown?
Now with losses to the Dawgs and Florida, the SEC title hopes are all but done. On the coaching era is half full side, beat South Carolina in two weeks, shock the world and take down Alabama, and everything changes around.
Yeah, and Jones might apologize to the media for the “fake news” and the “drama” surrounding his program.
The buyout is in the comparably-not-that-bad $6 million range, and with Kentucky, Southern Miss and Missouri coming up after UK and Bama, it’ll be possible to be 7-3 going into home games with LSU and Vanderbilt.
But there won’t be an SEC title this year. Again.
1. Gary Andersen, Oregon State
It’s not just that Oregon State is 1-4 with the lone win coming against Portland State in a 35-32 fight. It’s not just that the Beavers were destroyed at home by Washington 42-7, or blown out in all four losses. It’s not just that it’s and underdog at USC by more than 30 points. It’s that Oregon State isn’t even competitive. There’s no identity. There’s nothing for other Pac-12 teams to worry about. All of a sudden, Oregon State has turned into …. Kansas.