Pac-12 Spring Coach Hot Seat Rankings
12. David Shaw, Stanford
It’s just a question of time before Shaw is breaking the bank as an NFL head man. There are expectations, but Stanford is still Stanford – one bad year could easily be explained away.
11. Jonathan Smith, Oregon State
Win a few games, or don’t. Whatever. No one’s going to pick the Beavers for anything other than dead last in the North.
10. Chris Petersen, Washington
The only possible knock is that his teams haven’t been able to beat the really, really big boys. As long as UW is in the Pac-12 title chase, all is okay.
9. Chip Kelly, UCLA
The expectations will be through the roof right away, but he’ll be given a year to work. At the very least, though, he has to get the Bruins bowling.
8. Mike Leach, Washington State
There’s no firing Leach no matter what his record is this year, but this is Year Seven in his era. The program can’t go back to losing seasons.
7. Kyle Whittingham, Utah
A rock of a head man, he’s kept Utah strong and is amazing in bowl games. Going into his ninth year with the program, and he took a big chance adjusting the offensive style last year. Now, it needs to work.
6. Justin Wilcox, Cal
A rising superstar, he did a decent job in his first season, but this year he has to come up with a bowl appearance. He can survive a dud of a campaign, but that would make for a testy third year.
5. Kevin Sumlin, Arizona
This is a free pass season, but the Arizona team in place is good enough to at least come close to winning the South. He’s got Khalil Tate and a running game – don’t ruin it.
4. Clay Helton, USC
It’s the USC head coaching job. Helton is an 8-4 season away from calls for the return of Lane Kiffin. Maybe not Kiffin, but USC is supposed to do more than just win the Pac-12 Championship.
3. Mike McIntyre, Colorado
With four losing seasons in his five years, McIntyre needs to prove that the 2016 10-4, South-winning run wasn’t a quirky blip. It’s time to get the fan base into Buff football again.
2. Mario Cristobal, Oregon
Oregon has on its third head coach in three years, but considering Chip Kelly is down in Los Angeles, Willie Taggart is off in Tallahassee, and the program that was in the national championship a few years ago couldn’t win the Las Vegas Bowl last year, Cristobal has to prove he’s the right man to make the Ducks special again.
1. Herm Edwards, Arizona State
It’s a rough, rough situation. Arizona State won enough last year to go to a bowl, and it beat Arizona to do it. Considering Edwards was an out-of-leftfield hire, this has to work right out of the box. A losing season would look disastrous.