10. Tony Sanchez, UNLV
It’s hard when you’re in Vegas and you don’t have a whole lot of luck. QB Armani Rogers went down for a stretch this year, but that wasn’t why the defense was so awful so far in a 3-8 campaign. The Las Vegas high school coaching legend has four straight losing seasons.
9. Mike Neu, Ball State
The former Ball State star quarterback had no luck two years ago with key offensive injuries, but the success wasn’t there even with the main men back. Beating Miami University would do wonders – and a five-win season might not be that bad – but lose, and it’s a 10-26 start to the era.
8. Scottie Montgomery, East Carolina
East Carolina is supposed to be a powerhouse in the American Athletic Conference. Ready for the fun stat? It was the highest-ranked Group of Five program in the first ever College Football Playoff rankings. But with three wins in each of his first three seasons – and with road game sat Cincinnati and NC State to close – this hasn’t been easy for Montgomery.
7. Randy Edsall, UConn
Could he come back and recreate the magic? He took UConn to the Fiesta Bowl in 2010 as he built the program up into a Big East power, but the return hasn’t been easy. He was left nothing in the cupboard, but he hasn’t been able to do much. After going 3-9 in his first season, his 2018 team is among the nation’s worst with a 1-10 run, no wins over FBS teams, and a defense that can’t stop a thing.
6. Chris Ash, Rutgers
It’s not fair trying to rebuild a program in the Big Ten East, but that’s been the task, and there hasn’t been anything fun happening over his three seasons. The Scarlet Knights have gone 7-28 with two ten-loss campaigns, but the bigger issue is a lack of positive identity. The offense has yet to score more than 17 points in any game since the 35-7 win over Texas State in the season-opener.
5. Bob Davie, New Mexico
Two straight three-win seasons, five seasons with four wins or fewer in the seven years, and a big offseason controversy all add up to a slew of issues. He was supposed to turn New Mexico around after the program’s disastrous run under Mike Locksley, but he’s just 33-53.
4. Mike Bobo, Colorado State
After three straight 7-6 seasons, the Rams couldn’t get the season going. Bobo’s defense has been a rumor, the offense hasn’t been good enough, and a 3-8 season might be too much to overcome.
3. Brad Lambert, Charlotte
Yeah, it doesn’t get much hotter than being fired. The 49ers have been competitive and interesting at times, but they’ve also lost four of their last five games thanks to a wildly inconsistent offense. He’s had to create the program from scratch, and he’s had a little success, but the program has yet to come up with a winning season and is 11-36 since joining Conference USA. He was let go this weekend, but will coach out the season.
2. Larry Fedora, North Carolina
He got the team to the 2015 ACC Championship, spring Mitchell Trubisky onto the world in 2016, and then went 3-9 in a rebuilding season. That’s fine, it was an aberration for a coach with just one losing season over his first nine yards – and he went bowling in that year. But to go 2-8 the following year? The team has fought hard, but the results aren’t there.
1. Clay Helton, USC
A year ago right about now, he was about to take USC to its first Pac-12 Championship Game win. But it wasn’t the College Football Playoff. If you’re the USC head coach, you have to be in the national title mix. the Pac-12 championships are almost a given, there are no rebuilding years, and you can never, ever, ever lose to UCLA, especially when UCLA is bad. And now the Trojans aren’t going bowling unless they shock Notre Dame.