Coaches On The Hot Seat: Won’t Get Fired, But … WIN NOW IN A BLOWOUT
5. Jonathan Smith, Oregon State
The program needed a redo after spiraling down for a few seasons before taking over, but Smith could use a win or three just to probe that he’s got a few idea to make the rest of the Pac-12 worry.
Hawaii is dangerous at home, and it managed to beat Arizona in the opener, but losing to the Rainbow Warriors 31-28 hurt. Beating Cal Poly next week is a must, and UCLA looks extremely beatable, but it’s going to be a fight to be better than the 2-10 record of last year.
4. Butch Davis, FIU
After starting out 17-9 in his first two seasons with two bowl appearances, Davis apparently had the team in place to make a big run in the Conference USA race.
And then it started out with a loss to a Western Kentucky team that was the only FBS program in Week 1 to lose to an FCS team.
The Golden Panthers have suffered a bad power outage to kick things off, with just 14 points in the first two games in an 0-2 start. With New Hampshire, UMass, Charlotte, UTEP, and Old Dominion among the very, very winnable games ahead, things should turn around …
But not if the team plays like it did against the Hilltoppers.
3. Chip Kelly, UCLA
And now Oklahoma comes to town.
The Bruins still don’t have any sort of offensive advantage 14 games into the Chip Kelly era, doing next to nothing in the 24-14 opener against Cincinnati, and then losing at home 23-14 to a San Diego State team that won its opener against Weber State 6-0.
That was it. That was the easy part of the schedule.
On the plus side, the defense is keeping the team in games so far. Now there needs to be SOMETHING from the offense to give the Bruins a shot to be more competitive. But now comes the date with the Sooners, and then the Pac-12 season starts out with three road games in the first four.
Overall, the home game against Oregon State looks possible for a win … and that’s where the bar is set right now.
UCLA will win a few games, and a switch will be flipped at some point, but merely being better than the 3-9 record of last year isn’t okay.
2. Willie Taggart, Florida State
It took double overtime and a missed extra point to beat … ULM.
Not LSU, or even Louisiana Tech, but Louisiana-Monroe.
The defense struggled late for the second straight week, and the team that apparently was dehydrated in the collapse to Boise State bonked again coming out of the locker room after halftime.
But there’s hope.
The Seminoles looked amazing in the first half of both games, and overall it seems like there needs to be a tweak instead of a total overhaul, but after going 5-7 last year, and without a 100% sure-thing win coming up until the date with Alabama State in mid-November, this is going to be a weekly fight.
1. Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee
With UT Chattanooga coming up, Tennessee was supposed to be 3-0 with America caring about the showdown at Florida to kick off the SEC season.
There was hope for the Vols to at least make a push to battle with the big boys on the schedule, and …
They’re 0-2 with losses to Georgia State and BYU at home, and now they have road games against Florida and Alabama coming up over the next month, and a home game against Georgia to deal with, too.
Now, not even the home game against UAB in early November looks like a week off from the world.
There’s enough talent to do something crazy along the way – the Vols did beat Auburn and stunned Kentucky last season – this isn’t the step-forward season for a program that’s supposed to be sitting at the adult table.