Which coaches are on the hottest seat and under the most pressure after Week 4 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.
The plus side? One win changes around the perceptions in a big, big hurry.
Coaches On The Hot Seat: Win, Or Else
5. Mike Jinks, Bowling Green
With a 7-21 record in just over two years under Jinks, it’s been a rough run for a program that was in the MAC championship hunt not all that long ago. The Falcons have been competitive, but there has to be a winning run soon. That’s going to be tough.
With the 39-23 home loss to Miami University, Bowling Green is now 1-3 on the season with only a victory over Eastern Kentucky.
To be fair, two of the losses came to Oregon and Maryland, but it’s not going to get any better with road games at Georgia Tech and Toledo up next, and five road dates in the next seven.
4. Pat Narduzzi, Pitt
This thing just won’t get going.
After two straight 8-5 seasons to start out the run, there was hope that Narduzzi would be able to make a few adjustments and the Panthers were going to turn into players in the ACC. There was even hope at the end of the rough 5-7 2017 season.
But now, after losing at North Carolina – and not all that long after a 51-6 loss to Penn State – it’s a 2-2 start with an important run to follow.
The defense is struggling, the offense isn’t consistent, and again, it’s been hard to string together a slew of wins. But there’s hope.
Narduzzi has the shot to make a huge splash with UCF, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Duke and Virginia up next. The problem? There’s just one loss among them, and that doesn’t including Virginia Tech and Miami in late November.
It’s possible the Panthers will be underdogs in every game the rest of the way.
3. Chris Ash, Rutgers
Buffalo is really, really, really good, but if you’re a Big Ten team in Year Three of a coaching run, you’re not supposed to lose to any MAC team at home 42-13.
And now, with a veteran team with some nice recruits sprinkled in here and there, the Scarlet Knights have lost their last three games by a combined score of 149-30. And now, Ash is 7-20 overall, but there’s a chance to turn this around.
Home games and Indiana and Illinois are up next before going to Maryland and hosting Northwestern. Rutgers has the potential to win a few of those.
Rutgers can’t be rebuilt in a few weeks, but again …
You can’t lose to Buffalo 42-13.
2. Mike Bobo, Colorado State
Illinois State is a strong FCS team with legitimate playoff dreams. But losing 35-19 at home to close out the big home portion of the schedule is a disaster.
It’s not just that Colorado State is 1-4; it’s 1-4 with all four losses by nine points or more. Losing to Colorado in Denver and Florida in Gainesville were fine – for the most part – but dropping the home opener to Hawaii hurts, and again … Illinois State is an FCS team.
With San Jose State and New Mexico up next, this is when it all has to get going. This is still the team that managed to shock Arkansas, and there are still winnable games down the stretch, but it all has to get going.
After failing to score 20 points in three of the last four games, the Rams need to find the offensive pop again.
1. Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech
There’s obviously no dogging a loss to Clemson no matter what, and there’s a chance to make this a season with a strong few weeks – Bowling Green, at Louisville and Duke are up next – but going back to last season, Georgia Tech is 1-7 in its last eight games against FBS teams.
There shouldn’t be any problems with Bowling Green next week, but with three of the next four games on the road, and with Virginia Tech, Miami, and Georgia still to face, it’s going to be tough to get bowl eligible.
That would make it three losing seasons in the last four. 11 years into an era, that’s not going to fly.