Dan Mullen didn’t do much to escape the Hot Seat Top 10, but new contenders stormed hard this week. The 2013 offseason still seems like it could be light in terms of coaching movement. Openings already exist at USC and UConn.
From there, it’s tough to tell. Virginia’s Mike London reclaims the hottest-seat position after his team lost miserably at North Carolina. The Cavaliers seem destined for a 10-loss season. If Nebraska administrators don’t forgive and forget transgressions from coach Bo Pelini, his days in Lincoln are likely finished. Others on this list are still early in their respective tenures.
Florida coach Will Muschamp is the fastest riser on this list. The Gators have become a total disaster in Muschamp’s third year. Florida fans aren’t known as the most understanding or forgiving group, either. Unless the offense-less Gators upset either South Carolina or Florida State, they will not make a bowl game just one year after making the Sugar Bowl.
Here is your Week 11 BCS Conference Coaches Hot Seat Top 10:
(Already fired: Lane Kiffin, USC (9/29), Paul Pasqualoni, UConn (9/30).)
1. Mike London, Virginia (Last Week: 2); Lost at North Carolina, 45-14
Just in case fans thought giving London another year would be a good idea, he followed up last week’s blowout to Clemson with another embarrassment, this time from a hobbled North Carolina team without its QB1. The wheels have completely fallen off at Virginia (2-8, 0-6). London’s buyout might save him. Then again, cash-flow into the football program will drop dramatically – including in ticket sales – if Virginia retains him. Only an upset of Miami or Virginia Tech can keep the Cavaliers from their first 10-loss season since 1981. Next up: at Miami.
2. Bo Pelini, Nebraska (Last Week: 1); Won at Michigan, 17-13
Just when Pelini seems to be out of chances to save his job, he goes out and scores a huge win at Michigan. Still, the win-loss record of Nebraska (7-2, 4-1) was never likely to determine Pelini’s fate after his oft-discussed off-field issues surfaced. Even if Nebraska doesn’t officially fire Pelini at season’s end, a split between the two seems plausible. Next up: Michigan State.
3. Will Muschamp, Florida (Last Week: 10); Lost to Vanderbilt, 34-17
It’s not just that Vanderbilt thumped the Gators at The Swamp on Saturday that is cause for concern for Muschamp. The lack of fans in attendance served as a damning indictment of how much heat is on the third-year coach. Injuries have absolutely decimated Florida this season. Still, comparisons to Ron Zook – a name still unmentionable in Gainesville – continue to surface. The Gators (4-5, 3-4) will be big underdogs in games at South Carolina and home against Florida. Losses in those two would prevent Muschamp’s team from reaching a bowl game. Such an ending could end the Muschamp era in Gainesville. Next up: at South Carolina.
4. Charlie Weis, Kansas (Last Week: 3); Lost at Oklahoma State, 42-6
Yet again, Weis’ team took the field physically but never played on the same level as a conference opponent. How long will Kansas, which passed on hot coaches Larry Fedora and Gus Malzahn for Weis, allow the horrendous play to continue? All seven of the Jayhawks’ losses are by at least two possessions. Kansas (2-7, 0-6) has lost its last three games by a combined 103 points. West Virginia, Iowa State and Kansas State give the Jayhawks their final three chances to win a conference game this season. Next up: West Virginia.
5. Paul Rhoads, Iowa State (Last Week: 7); Lost to TCU, 21-17
Iowa State has never been a glamour program, but this year’s fall could leave Rhoads in significant trouble. The Cyclones (1-8, 0-6) lost a heart-breaker to TCU on Saturday, with the Horned Frogs needing a final-minute touchdown to win. Games against Kansas and West Virginia remain, meaning Rhoads and the Cyclones have a fighting chance to avoid program-worst territory. Even in Iowa State’s largely woeful history, there are no 11-loss seasons. Rhoads, who by all accounts does things the right way and became a favorite everywhere with his postgame speeches, probably needs to win at least one to save himself. Five of the Cyclones’ losses are by one possession. Maybe the administration gives him another year, but the seat will be very hot to start 2014. Next up: at Oklahoma.
6. Tim Beckman, Illinois (Last Week: 4); Lost at Indiana, 52-35
Early in the fourth quarter, the Illini (3-6, 0-5) drew even with Indiana. The Hoosiers scored 10 seconds later and poured on 10 more points for a comfortable win. At least Illinois has grown a little more competitive in recent weeks. Still, Beckman inherited a bowl team and has yet to win a Big Ten game in nearly two full seasons. A game at Purdue appears to be Beckman’s best chance for a conference victory. Will that be enough to earn another chance? Next up: Ohio State.
7. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia (Last Week: 5); Lost to Texas, 47-40 (OT)
Blaming Holgorsen too much for his team’s loss to Texas is difficult because it was a close game determined in overtime against a hot team after WVU QB1 Clint Trickett got knocked out of the game early. The Mountaineers, however, are now 4-6 (2-5 in the Big 12). They should easily win out with only bad Kansas and Iowa State teams remaining on the schedule. Even a bad bowl game might buy Holgorsen another season. That starts with the Mountaineers winning out against lesser in-conference competition. Next up: at Kansas.
8. Randy Edsall, Maryland (Last Week: NR); Lost to Syracuse, 20-3
Nobody at all is saying injuries haven’t wreaked havoc on the Terrapins (5-4, 1-4) for a second consecutive season. It’s not just that Maryland lost, but how it got smoked at home by Syracuse. Edsall is likely to survive this season and lead Maryland into the Big Ten. However, at some point injuries stop serving as an excuse. Edsall will have his fourth National Signing Day in February, meaning blaming lack of depth is the same as issuing a mea culpa. Again, Edsall looks good to survive into 2014, but will be on a very hot seat early, much as he was this year. Next up: at Virginia Tech.
9. June Jones, SMU (Last Week: 8); Lost at Cincinnati, 28-25
A furious comeback attempt fell short when an SMU penalty gave the Bearcats a first down on what would have been a fourth-down conversion attempt. The Mustangs (3-5, 2-2) are likely to win their next two (against UConn and at South Florida) but end at Houston and home against conference-leading UCF. Jones gets paid too much by a program irrelevant in its own city to justify keeping him if SMU fails to reach a bowl game this season. Next up: UConn.
10. Mack Brown, Texas (Last Week: 6); Won at West Virginia, 47-40 (OT)
Look, the Longhorns have now won six consecutive games with the last coming at a tough road venue in Morgantown. It’s growing increasingly difficult to even leave Brown’s name on this list. New AD Steve Patterson is in place and he said he didn’t expect any significant changes. That could easily be a smoke screen, but the odds are increasing significantly that Brown could simply enjoy a nice end of the season, lead Texas (7-2, 6-0) to a nice bowl win and then choose to retire. He seems unlikely to “get fired” this season at this point. Next up: Oklahoma State.
Feeling heat: Dan Mullen (Mississippi State), Darrell Hazell (Purdue), Matt Rhule (Temple), Jim Grobe (Wake Forest), Larry Fedora (North Carolina), Kirk Ferentz (Iowa), Paul Johnson (Georgia Tech), Mark Richt (Georgia), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern), Gary Patterson (TCU), Willie Taggart (South Florida), Dave Doeren (North Carolina State), Bret Bielema (Arkansas), Mark Stoops (Kentucky), Kevin Wilson (Indiana), Brady Hoke (Michigan).
Topics: AAC, ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Florida Gators, Illinois Illini, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Maryland Terrapins, Nebraska Cornhuskers, PAC-12, SEC, Smu Mustangs, Texas Longhorns, Virginia Cavaliers, West Virginia Mountaineers