Which coaches are on the hottest seat and under the most pressure after Week 3 of the college football season?
Being on the hot seat isn’t just about potentially being fired. It’s also about needing a really, really big win just to keep the pitchforks and torches away.
The hot seat rankings are done two ways. First, the five coaches who are in huge trouble and need a win for job security, and then the five coaches who won’t get canned, but could use something positive … fast.
Coaches On The Hot Seat: Win, Or Else
5. Mark Whipple, UMass
Fantastic in his first run with the program from 1998 to 2003, he led the program to an FCS national title and got to the playoffs two other times. Since taking back the reins in 2014, he has gone 13-39. This year’s team wasn’t exactly going to challenge Alabama, but it’s full of veterans and has good offensive talent … and it just got rocked by FIU 63-24.
Over the last three games, the Minutemen have been outscored 152 to 58, but three of the next four games are at home. This is where they have to go on a wee bit of a run.
4. Miami University vs. Bowling Green loser
The RedHawks and the Falcons play this week in Oxford. Bowling Green is coming off an offensive explosion in the 42-35 win over Eastern Kentucky, but with road games at Georgia Tech and Toledo up next, and with five road games in the next seven dates, this will be a rough run for Mike Jinks after a 7-20 start in just over two seasons.
Miami’s Chuck Martin has started off his era 16-36 with four straight losing seasons before this one. To be fair, going to Minnesota last week wasn’t easy, and Marshall and Cincinnati are solid, but his RedHawks have scored three points in the last two games. The first three losses are acceptable. Losing to Bowling Green wouldn’t be okay.
3. Doug Martin, New Mexico State
He’ll continue to get a wee bit of a free pass after taking the team to a bowl game – and winning it – last year, and for having to deal with the program’s move from the Sun Belt to independence. However, it’s not playing well, and this week it just lost to New Mexico by 17. So far the Aggies have gone 0-4 losing by a combined score of 179 to 55. Lose to lowly UTEP next week, and then it’ll really be uh-oh time.
2. Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech
With an ACC championship in 2009, and four Coastal titles, he’s had a great run over the last ten years going into this season, but his team went 5-6 last season and is now in danger of a third losing campaign in four years. The defense isn’t working, and the offense hasn’t been coming through in key moments.
With losses at USF and Pitt, the season is in danger of slipping away fast with Clemson up next, and with games with Virginia Tech, Georgia and Louisville – all on the road – still to come. There’s a home date against Miami to deal with, too. It’s going to be a battle to go bowling.
1. Larry Fedora, North Carolina
For good and bad, the UCF game was cancelled this week because of the Hurricane concerns.
It would’ve been a great chance for Fedora to try turning things around after a blowout loss to East Carolina, but another blowout loss might have been fatal.
With Pitt, at Miami, and Virginia Tech up next, and then with three road games in four weeks, it’s going to be a rough run unless the Tar Heel offense finds something special in a big hurry.