Coaches On The Hot Seat: Won’t Get Fired, But … WIN NOW IN A BLOWOUT
5. Tom Allen, Indiana
Two years, two 5-7 seasons, two losses to Purdue with a bowl on the line. He’s got a good team in place with a nice starting 22 and plenty of good options at the skill spots, but after likely starting 2-0 against Ball State and Eastern Illinois – and at worst 3-1 with a date with UConn coming – Allen needs something splashy.
He needs a win over Ohio State at home, or Michigan State. Six of the first eight games are against teams that didn’t go bowling – he has to get six wins, and beating Purdue would be nice.
– Indiana vs. Ball State Game Preview, Prediction
4. Kalani Sitake, BYU
He’s not on a job hot seat like he was last year at this time coming off a 4-9 season, but things could turn sour in a big, big hurry.
In his fourth season, he’s got a 20-19 record with two bowl wins – but that’s not enough. The opener against Utah will set the tone for the season and his tenure, getting the rival in Provo to make a big statement. That’s followed up by a trip to Tennessee and dates against USC and Washington at home.
On the plus side, 3-1 should lead to a monster year with things easing up in a big, big way, but 2-2 hurts, and 1-3 would be a disaster – especially if one of those three is against Utah.
– BYU vs. Utah Game Preview, Prediction
3. Ryan Day, Ohio State
Again with this part … being on a hot seat sometimes has nothing to do with potentially getting fired.
What coach has more pressure on his shoulders?
Win the Big Ten title, beat Michigan, go to the College Football Playoff. Anything less won’t play in Columbus.
Going 10-2 would be fantastic anywhere else, but not at Ohio State.
Going 11-1 would be fantastic anywhere else, but if one of those losses is to Michigan …
Day has some massive shoes to fill after the Urban Meyer era, and there’s no grace period. He’s taking over one of the most talented teams in college football, and the expectations going to remain at an almost unfair level.
Of course he’s not on any will-get-fired hot seat, and of course he’ll get off to a great start with Florida Atlantic, Cincinnati, at Indiana and Miami University about as soft as can reasonably asked for, but then comes the run of at Nebraska, Michigan State, at Northwestern, Wisconsin. With the season finishing up against Penn State and at Michigan, there’s no room for error.
– Ohio State vs. Florida Atlantic Game Preview, Prediction
2. Kevin Sumlin, Arizona
After starting out his era at Arizona with a clunker of a start – losing to BYU and Houston – the loss to Hawaii in 2019 Week 0 means no Power Five head coach has more losses to teams outside of the Power Five since 2017 than Sumlin.
Others are about to give that a run once the season kicks in, but it’s still not a plus.
The Wildcats were supposed to start out the season hot – with four straight games against teams that didn’t go bowling after the trip to Honolulu – and now the pressure is on to bounce back fast. With a brutal Pac-12 kick to come – including five road games in the final eight – that loss to Hawaii makes going bowling an uphill climb.
– 10 Quick Thoughts on Hawaii’s win over Arizona
1. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan
The guy has three ten-win seasons in his four years, and no one cares.
It’s no longer just about not beating Ohio State. After his statements in John U. Bacon’s book, Overtime, where he mentioned how frustrated he is with “cheaters” he has to go against – without coming out and naming anyone specifically – the glare of the spotlight is even brighter now.
Ohio State has a new head coach, a new starting quarterback, and the showdown at the end of the regular season is in Ann Arbor.
The Wisconsin and Penn State games are on the road, but Michigan State is a home date, as is the non-conference showdown against Notre Dame.
The bar is set higher this season. Michigan can be fantastic and win ten games, but this is supposed to be the year. The offense is in place, the defense is going to be great again, and …
Beat Ohio State.
– Michigan vs. Middle Tennessee Game Preview, Prediction