Hot Seat Coaching Rankings After Week 8
Which coaches are on the hottest seat and under the most pressure after Week 8 of the college football season?
Coach Hot Seat Rankings
They keep on dropping. Sean Kugler at UTEP, Gary Andersen at Oregon State, and now – after getting destroyed by a winless UMass – Tyson Summers at Georgia Southern are gone.
Who needs a win right now? Who needs to do something to take the heat off?
It’s possible to get off a hot seat fast. Todd Graham was in massive trouble early on this year at Arizona State, and now his team might win the Pac-12 South.
Ed Orgeron was in massive trouble, and then his team turned it all around and LSU looks and plays like a factor again.
But for these 15 coaches, they need to win – or at least show a sign of life. They might not necessarily be fired right away if they lose this week – and they might not even be in dire straights in terms of job security – but just win, baby.
15. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State
No, of course Fisher isn’t going to be fired. Yes, of course the bad season has a whole lot to do with losing starting quarterback Deondre Francois early on to an injury. But that doesn’t excuse the poor play of the offensive line, or a defense that’s supposed to be good enough to pick up the slack.
You’re not supposed to be 2-4 at Florida State – not with the NFL-caliber talent amassed. And now, having to go deal with a rising Boston College on the road, away dates at Clemson and Florida, and a home game against Syracuse, a bowl game isn’t a sure thing.
That’s not okay for a team with enough talent to be in the preseason top three.
14. Lovie Smith, Illinois
Something positive has to happen in a big hurry. Smith won’t be canned after this year, but if this continues, 2018 will be a make-or-break season. There has to be some sign of life after losing five straight and being locked in as the 14th-best team in the Big Ten. Oh goodie – Wisconsin is up next.
13. Jim McElwain, Florida
Life in the SEC can change on a few drives – just ask Ed Orgeron. Florida lost two straight tight games against LSU and Texas A&M that could’ve gone either way – that’s how things go in the conference sometimes – but there can’t be an ugly performance against Georgia.
The Gators have to win three of their last five games just to get to a bowl game, but that’s not where the program is supposed to be. The two-time defending SEC East champs aren’t getting any better, but one win over the Dawgs, and everything is just fine.
12. Pat Narduzzi, Pitt
Did the win over Duke change anything or everything? The season was quickly going into the tank, the Panthers were winless against teams that were any good, and then … boom. The defense showed up against the Blue Devils.
However, the Panthers need to close strong. They have to win three of their last four games to go bowling, but they still have to face Virginia Tech and Miami.
11. Jim Mora Jr., UCLA
Beating up a dead Oregon team might have been great, but that can’t be it.
How’s this for a next four games? At Washington, at Utah, Arizona State, at USC. At 4-3, Mora needs to win at least one of those before closing out against Cal. The pressure is on, though, to not get steamrolled and go 0-4 during the stretch.
10. Barry Odom, Missouri
The 68 points put up in the blowout win over Idaho were great, and the offense really is improving, but the team has to roll in November.
It’ll beat UConn on the road next week with ease – at least it had better – and then comes the finishing kick with Florida, Tennessee, at Vanderbilt and at Arkansas. All four teams range from okay to awful, and Mizzou has to win at least two of those.
The other big problem? The fans have to start showing up again. Empty seats are a bad, bad thing for a big-time program.
9. Scottie Montgomery, East Carolina
The win over BYU at home eased things up a bit with two weeks off to enjoy, but now the Pirates have to come back roaring with trips to Houston and Memphis still to deal with and home games against Tulane and Cincinnati. The D was great against a miserable Cougar O, but it’ll be tested again in a hurry.
8. Mike Jinks, Bowling Green
The fun didn’t last. Two weeks after beating Miami University, the Falcons gave up 48 in back-to-back losses to Ohio and NIU. With a losing season now ensured, the Falcons can’t just ease up with three of the last four games on the road. Jinks really, really can’t lose to …
7. Paul Haynes, Kent State
With the 48-3 loss to Ohio, Kent State has now scored three points or fewer in five games this season. Think about that – in five college football games, an FBS team scored a total of 12 points. All six of the losses were double-digit blowouts – there has to be a sign of offensive life.
6. David Bailiff, Rice
Ugh. With the 20-7 loss to UTSA, the Owls have managed to score 12 points or fewer in all six losses. And now the program is 5-19 going back to a two-game winning streak in the middle of 2015. The last win over a team that finished a season with a winning record? November 21st, 2014.
5. Kalani Sitake, BYU
He’ll be cut a little bit of slack after starting out his BYU coaching career with a 9-4 season and a bowl win, but 2017 is a completed and total disaster.
Not only did the Cougars suffer the indignity of losing to a horrendous East Carolina team, but they were blown out. Everyone is scoring on the Pirate defense – EVERYONE. And yet BYU could only manage 17 points, and now it’s ensured of a losing season.
The Cougars have yet to beat an FBS team, getting blown out by double-digits in every loss but the 19-13 fight with Utah. And now, with road games at Fresno State, UNLV and Hawaii to deal with, along with San Jose State and UMass at home, this isn’t going to be better.
4. Mike Riley, Nebraska
Mike Leach, Mike Leach, Mike Leach.
Whether or not he’s the right fit for Lincoln, and whether or not he’s done enough high-level winning to be what Nebraska wants, he’d make the football team interesting again. Now that his Washington State athletic director has taken up the Nebraska AD gig …
But Riley sill has a chance to turn this around.
Three of the next four games are on the road – including at Penn State – but if Nebraska can somehow win three of its last five games to go bowling, that might be enough for Riley to survive.
3. Bret Bielema, Arkansas
It’s not just that Arkansas is having a bad year, and it’s not just that the Hogs are two losses away from not going bowling, and it’s not just that they’re losing to some great teams. It’s that they’re not even close.
Yeah, a lot of teams would have problems against TCU, Texas A&M, at South Carolina, at Alabama, and Auburn, but outside of the overtime date with the Aggies, Arkansas was blown out in the other four losses.
This is Bielema’s fifth straight season with five losses or more – the program just isn’t getting any better.
2. Butch Jones, Tennessee
As hopeless as this might seem, there’s still a chance for Butch to turn things around – at least a little bit.
Being embarrassed in the last three games by a combined score of 101 to 16 to Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama – with no touchdowns in any of the three – isn’t okay. And all of that is coming off a 17-13 battle with UMass.
1. David Beaty, Kansas
21 yards. The University of Kansas college football program generated 21 more yards of total offense than you did on Saturday against TCU.
The team is getting worse at a time when it’s supposed to be taking a wee step forward.
Not helping the cause is Iowa State showing that a tough situation can be turned into a positive. Instead, Kansas has lost its last two games – including to the Cyclones – by a combined score of 88 to 0.