Hot Seat Coaching Rankings After Week 9
Which coaches are on the hottest seat and under the most pressure after Week 9 of the college football season?
Coach Hot Seat Rankings
Four are gone before November.
UTEP’s Sean Kugler, Oregon State’s Gary Andersen, Georgia Southern’s Tyson Summers, and now, Jim McElwain launched by Florida – and there will soon be more to come.
On the positive side, win, start looking strong – like Pat Narduzzi at Pitt and Steve Addazio at Boston College – and everything can change around in a big hurry.
These 15 coaches are next up on the Need To Win scale.
15. Lovie Smith, Illinois
Freshmen, freshmen, freshmen. The Illini started 14 true freshmen against Wisconsin, and they hung around without getting obliterated.
Of course Smith isn’t going to be fired – it’s a big rebuilding process – but with six straight losses, no one showing up to watch the Illini play a top five team on Homecoming, a win would be nice.
14. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
There’s a contingent of Aggie fans who really, really want a new head coach, and some who really, really want to make an honest run at James Franklin.
Losing 35-14 at home to Mississippi State doesn’t help Sumlin’s cause.
However, beat Auburn next week, and everything starts to shift around. Lose, and with road games at Ole Miss and LSU still to play, a once promising season could end up being another bucket of mediocrity.
13. Matt Wells, Utah State
It was sort of a surprise when Wells survived last year after going 3-9, but he got another chance to turn things back around. Everything will be fine with a good finishing kick, but the Aggies lost three of their last four and have two of their last three on the road.
To go bowling, they need two victories with a run of at New Mexico, Hawaii, and at Air Force still to go. Lose twice, and all of a sudden there’s a problem.
12. Barry Odom, Missouri
Yeah, you’re off the hot seat when you win your last two games by a combined score of 120-33, but that came against Idaho and UConn. Lose to Florida and Tennessee at home over the next two weeks, and all the positives of the last two games go away in a big hurry.
11. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State
Fisher falls into the Of Course, Won’t Get Fired category, but this is really, really bad.
It’s one thing to have a disappointing season, it’s another to be in the midst of an epic clunker with the talent across the board to be winning in blowouts. The O line problems are legitimate, but 35-3 at Boston College? That’s not okay for Florida State University football.
The Noles aren’t bowling if they lose one more game, and they have Syracuse up next, and then road games at Clemson and Florida to deal with.
10. Kalani Sitake, BYU
Yeah, a 41-20 home win over an awful San Jose Stat team was a nice respite, but now the Cougars have to go on the road for three of the final four games.
This is already a losing season, but lose more than two games against a slate of at Fresno State, at UNLV, UMass and at Hawaii, and the pressure will be on to have a huge 2018 if a change isn’t made.
9. Mike Riley, Nebraska
Nebraska is still probably going to go bowling. the win over Purdue on the road once again showed that Riley hasn’t lost his team – his players always, always play hard for him. But is merely going bowling good enough?
Considering Bo Pelini was canned despite being a regular on the nine-win circuit, would being 6-6 be good enough? Maybe … if the Huskers beat Penn State.
8. Scottie Montgomery, East Carolina
The win over BYU a few weeks ago brought some hope, and now with time off to rest up, the trip to Houston becomes a measuring stick.
With the Cougars, Tulane, Cincinnati and at Memphis to go, Montgomery needs to win at least two of those, or just keep the team competitive. It’s not going to be easy – the Pirates will likely be dogs in all four games.
7. Mike Jinks, Bowling Green
This is a huge, giant week. Bowling Green has to go to Kent State to start a run of three road games in the final four. Against a desperate – and solid – Buffalo team the following Tuesday, and then with certain losses against Toledo and at Eastern Michigan to close, this might be it. Lose to the Golden Flashes, and the Falcons are almost certainly going to be 1-11.
6. Jim Mora Jr., UCLA
Oh, that’s just GREAT. And now Josh Rosen is hurt? The Bruins have to got the road to deal with a Utah team in desperate need of something positive, and then it’s Arizona State and at USC to follow. Lose those three, and it’s a losing season – and that’s not okay at this point in the Mora era.
5. Paul Haynes, Kent State
Bowling Green’s Mike Jinks is on a major hot seat, but at least his team has to play on the road Tuesday night – there’s the tiniest margin of an excuse there. But for Haynes, his offense needs to show it can score more than two touchdowns at home against a miserable team. Lose, and with at Western Michigan, Central Michigan, and at Akron to close out, the Golden Flashes will be 2-10.
4. Bret Bielema, Arkansas
Is it possible to quickly get off the hot seat after the comeback win over Ole Miss? With Coastal Carolina up next, yeah.
If the Hogs get to 4-5, then come the make-or-break dates. Win at LSU, and then take down Mississippi State at home, and this whole thing changes. But that would require the team to be far better defensively in a big hurry.
Even if it does happen, would going 7-5 make Hog fans happy? Yeah, maybe, if thee’s a five-game winning streak to close things out.
3. David Bailiff, Rice
The team played better, and it still lost by 14 because it couldn’t close against Louisiana Tech.
And now the Owls are on a six-game losing streak with important dates coming against UAB, Southern Miss and Old Dominion. All three are relatively manageable – even though the games with the Blazers and Monarchs are on the road – but the Owls can’t keep getting roasted. There has to be a good November finishing kick.
2. Butch Jones, Tennessee
The crazy part about is that the Vols are still more than alive for a winning season.
The wheels are coming off, though, with the John Kelly incident not helping the cause, and the last-second loss to Kentucky yet another gut punch in an 0-5 SEC season. But at least the offense scored a touchdown.
Here’s the bright side. Southern Miss has to be a layup, as does the date at Missouri. Win those two, and then with home dates against LSU and Vanderbilt, the Vols just need to win one more to make chicken salad out of all of this.
1. David Beaty, Kansas
Okay, it was another loss, and it was by double-digits, but the offense worked. The passing game kicked it in against Kansas State, and the defense wasn’t even all that bad.
And Kansas lost.
Now comes the real moment that could and should be the difference in the era. Beat a winless Baylor at home, and then there’s some hope that something might be changing. Lose, and there’s no hope the rest of the season with at Texas, Oklahoma and at Oklahoma State to close.