Which coaches are on the hottest seat and under the most pressure after Week 7 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.
However, now we’re in the portion of the season when changes are starting to be made. We have our first casualty of the year, with Bowling Green firing Mike Jinks – last week’s No. 1 on the Hot Seat list – after starting 1-6. Defensive coordinator Carl Pelini will take over.
Who else needs a win really, really soon?
Coaches On The Hot Seat: Win, Or Else
5. Bobby Wilder, Old Dominion
The 49-35 win over Virginia Tech was one of the most interesting-weird upsets of the season, but there hasn’t been anything else to get excited about. After losing to Marshall 42-20, the Monarchs are now 1-6 with a defense that can’t top anything lately. There’s young talent in place, and Wilder has been wonderful for the program, but ODU has lost 13 of its last 17 games.
4. Philip Montgomery, Tulsa
The Golden Hurricane ripped through the American Athletic Conference in 2016 with a 10-3 season and one of the nation’s most interesting offenses. Since taking down Central Michigan 55-10 in the 2016 Miami Beach Bowl, Tulsa is 3-15.
The tough part is that Tulsa hasn’t been all that bad. It fought hard in a seven-point loss to Texas, and it battled well in a brutally-harsh last second 25-24 loss to USF, but the team has yet to beat an FBS team and now it has to go to Arkansas.
3. Larry Fedora, North Carolina
It’s so maddening. North Carolina did everything right but beat Virginia Tech. Check that – it screwed up over and over and over again to lose 22-19, even though the passing game went off, the defense came up with a solid game, and the ground attack ripped off 235 yards.
And now Fedora is now 1-4 and lost 15 of his last 19 games. With road dates at Syracuse and Virginia up next, and Georgia Tech and a road trip to Duke to follow, there’s a shot this gets a whole lot worse. In Year Seven, this is when the program is supposed to be hitting its stride, and it’s not.
2. Everett Withers, Texas State
The Bobcats played well defensively in the 15-13 loss to Georgia Southern, but they lost. They still haven’t beaten an FBS team this season, and now they have to go to ULM and deal with the high-powered Warhawk offense.
5-25 now in his tenure, and with Appalachian State, Troy, and Arkansas State yet to face, it’s going to be tough to get to four wins this year, much less make any sort of big late push.
1. Chris Ash, Rutgers
2-for-17, eight yards, five interceptions.
That was the Rutgers passing game in the 34-7 loss to Maryland on Saturday, getting down 34-0 before getting a late garbage time touchdown run.
Oregon State is in the running, and Nebraska has yet to win a game, but Rutgers is the worst of the Power Five programs at the moment, failing to score more than 17 points in any of the last six games.
7-24 in his three years, it’s going to be another losing season, and even with three home games in the next four, if there isn’t a win over Northwestern next week, forget it. The Scarlet Knights will be 20+ point underdogs the rest of the way.