Big Ten Spring Coach Hot Seat Rankings
14. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
Remembering that Bill Snyder took a little while off, Ferentz is on the longest run of any head coach in college football in one spot. He’s an institution at Iowa.
13. Scott Frost, Nebraska
He can go 0-12 and get a raise. He’s the guy, and the expectation is for this all to kick in and work at some point over the next few seasons. Anything that happens in Year One is gravy.
12. Paul Chryst, Wisconsin
The bar is set higher now at Wisconsin, but the West is getting better. Chryst, though, might just be the most underappreciated coach in the game.
11. Jeff Brohm, Purdue
It’s going to take everything in the bag to keep this guy around, but he also loses a lot of key parts. Purdue fans are going to want bowls on a regular basis now.
10. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
He’ll never get fired, but now the expectations – set by Fitzgerald himself – are to go to bowl games every year and win them. The pressure is more internal than from the smallish fan base.
9. James Franklin, Penn State
One really bad year could change the perception of the Franklin era just a wee bit. The hot seat here is all about pressure and expectations, and in the Big Ten East, it’s possible to be great and finish fourth.
8. Urban Meyer, Ohio State
Of course he’ll never, ever, ever get fired. However, when the bar is set at winning the national championship or not, there’s always ridiculous pressure. It’s time to win a national title again.
7. D.J. Durkin, Maryland
There’s no real hot seat considering the recruiting classes he’s brought in. The guy hasn’t had even a little bit of luck when it comes to quarterback healthy, but he’ll get one more year of leeway.
6. P.J. Fleck, Minnesota
Yeah, he’ll get a little more time, but come up with a second straight losing season, and the grumbling will start to kick in.
5. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
While he might be a made man, considering the off-the-field controversy and the expectations coming into the season, a second losing season in three years would be a big issue.
4. Chris Ash, Rutgers
He’s in an impossible situation, but 6-18 overall and 3-15 in the Big Ten isn’t good. There has to be a sign that things are going in the right direction.
3. Tom Allen, Indiana
Indiana expects bowl games now after the Kevin Wilson era showed so much promise. Going 5-7 and losing to Purdue with a bowl on the line? You can do that once.
2. Lovie Smith, Illinois
It’s really, really not working so far. Granted, Smith is taking the program through a youth movement, and it’s going to take at least another year to build this thing up, but the results have to start coming.
1. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan
No, he’s not going to be fired no matter what, but in terms of pressure and must wins, he can’t lose to Michigan State again, he can’t lose to Ohio State again, and he has to at least be really, really close to winning a Big Ten title.