Larry Fedora’s North Carolina team beating North Carolina State allowed the second-year coach to work his way off the list. Fedora built a strong reputation for himself at Southern Miss and became something of an “it” coach before coming to Chapel Hill. This season has been a tremendous disappointment for the Tar Heels, who were expected to contend for a divisional title. However, Fedora inherited a mess and should have time to develop his roster.
Maryland coach Randy Edsall also comes off the list during his bye week mostly because of his team’s injury situation (for a second consecutive season). Edsall won’t be 100 percent in the clear, but his team showed improvement before getting ravaged by injuries.
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini moves up to No. 1 on the Hot Seat list, though Virginia’s Mike London remains on his heels.
Brace yourselves. This final month will be fluid.
Here is your Week 10 BCS Conference Coaches Hot Seat Top 10:
(Already fired: Lane Kiffin, USC (9/29), Paul Pasqualoni, Uconn (9/30).)
1. Bo Pelini, Nebraska (Last Week: 2); Beat Northwestern, 27-24
Don’t let the Hail Mary influence you too much. Nebraska (6-2, 3-1) barely escaped with a win over a Northwestern team that has now lost all five Big Ten games. The next two games – at Michigan and at home against Michigan State – will likely determine Pelini’s fate in Lincoln. That is, assuming Nebraska administrators haven’t already decided what will happen once the regular season ends. Next up: at Michigan.
2. Mike London, Virginia (Last Week: 1); Lost to Clemson, 59-10
Know what’s not helping London’s cause to get another chance? Virginia (2-7, 0-5) losing by seven touchdowns to assure itself of no bowl game this season. Clemson went for 610 yards of total offense while holding the Cavaliers to just 277. With no chance of a postseason appearance, Virginia administrators can zero in on their decision to retain or fire London. The Cavaliers should be underdogs in their last three games, meaning a 2-10 record is certainly possible. Next up: at North Carolina.
3. Charlie Weis, Kansas (Last Week: 4); Lost at Texas, 35-13
Another week, another opponent convincingly defeating Kansas. Weis will likely be able to continue at Kansas after this season, if only because predecessor Turner Gill got fired after two years and the Jayhawks can’t be “the program that fires coaches after two seasons.” Yes, Texas pounded Kansas (2-6, 0-5). Then again, Texas is supposed to pound Kansas. One conference win and Weis is likely safe for next year. Next up: at Oklahoma State.
4. Tim Beckman, Illinois (Last Week: 7); Lost at Penn State, 24-17 (OT)
This week’s near-miss at Penn State easily marked Beckman’s most competitive game at Illinois. How long Beckman can roll along with zero career Big Ten wins as the Illini coach remains to be seen. Perhaps Beckman’s saving grace comes in three weeks when he leads his team to Purdue. At least Illinois (3-5, 0-4) remained competitive at a Penn State team that has been far more respectable at home than on the road. Next up: at Indiana.
5. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia (Last Week: 3); Won at TCU, 30-27 (OT)
West Virginia (4-5, 2-4) managed to blow a 10-point lead with less than 4 minutes to play, but bounced back to score an overtime win at TCU. Holgorsen’s team has flopped since joining the Big 12, even with Geno Smith and Tavon Austin. RB Charles Sims finally lived up to his considerable ability, running for 154 yards and a TD. The defense, though, allowed a struggling TCU offense to rack up 394 passing yards. Next up: Texas.
6. Mack Brown, Texas (Last Week: 5); Beat Kansas, 35-13
The Longhorns (6-2, 5-0) just keep winning in the Big 12. Of course, the toughest stretch is yet to come. Texas closes the season with games against Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Baylor. Brown seemed to have no chance to keep his job when he fired defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. However, he turned around his season with a win against Kansas State and by surviving Iowa State. He then gave himself breathing room by crushing Oklahoma. Now Brown surviving the season doesn’t seem so improbable. Next up: at West Virginia.
7. Paul Rhoads, Iowa State (Last Week: 8); Lost at Kansas State, 41-7
It’s not just that but rather how Iowa State keeps losing that is causing problems for Rhoads, a beloved coach who has overachieved in Ames. Baylor beat the Cyclones 71-7, Oklahoma State beat them 58-27 and now Kansas State followed with a dominant 41-7 win. Things keep getting uglier for Rhoads and Iowa State (1-7, 0-5). Next up: TCU.
8. June Jones, SMU (Last Week: 6); Bye week
SMU (3-4, 2-1) enjoyed a week off before returning to action at Cincinnati. How the Mustangs fare over the final month – and especially in a Nov. 29 battle at Houston – could very well determine Jones’ future in Highland Park. Next up: at Cincinnati.
9. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State (Last Week: 9); Lost at South Carolina, 34-16
Unless the season goes completely sideways, Mullen has a good chance to return next year. This week wasn’t a strong follow-up to a win – especially with a road game at Texas A&M looming. Still, if the Bulldogs (4-4, 1-3) can win at a bad Arkansas team and upset rival Ole Miss, they can slip into a bowl game. That should ensure Mullen returns for another season. If State finishes 5-7, though, things could get awfully toasty in Starkville. Next up: at Texas A&M.
10. Will Muschamp, Florida (Last Week: NR); Lost to Georgia, 23-20
Thus starts the “safe until next year” list. Even if the Gators (4-4, 3-3) pull the unthinkable by losing to Vanderbilt and miss a bowl game, Muschamp led them to the Sugar Bowl just last year. Not even Florida would pull the plug that quickly. Still, the total lack of anything resembling an offense will make it difficult for Muschamp to continue along this road much longer unless his defense carries the Gators to more 11-win seasons. Next up: Vanderbilt.
Feeling heat: Darrell Hazell (Purdue), Randy Edsall (Maryland), Larry Fedora (North Carolina), Paul Johnson (Georgia Tech), Matt Rhule (Temple), Mark Richt (Georgia), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern), Jim Grobe (Wake Forest), Kirk Ferentz (Iowa), Gary Patterson (TCU), Willie Taggart (South Florida), Dave Doeren (North Carolina State), Bret Bielema (Wisconsin), Mark Stoops (Kentucky), Kevin Wilson (Indiana), Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech).
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