Hot Seat Top 10: Holgorsen, Wilson Under Fire

Nov 16, 2013; Lawrence, KS, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen reacts after a penalty called against his team against the Kansas Jayhawks in the first half at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Congrats to Randy Edsall and Maryland for going into Blacksburg and scoring a big overtime victory over Virginia Tech. The Hokies aren’t at the same level they’ve been on in years past, but winning at Lane Stadium has never been easy. Maryland, in Edsall’s third year, is finally getting back to a bowl game despite a second consecutive season of debilitating injuries. The win moves Edsall off the hot-seat list, basically ensuring that he will get his chance when the Terrapins move to the Big Ten next year.

Mike London’s bye week means little for Virginia. The Cavaliers must beat either Miami or Virginia Tech to avoid a 10-loss season. His buyout is ridiculous, which might create a stay of execution, but it’s only prolonging the inevitable at this point.

The biggest moves come from Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia and Kevin Wilson at Indiana. Both endured humiliating defeats over the weekend and could find themselves out of work at season’s end.

Here is your Week 12 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: 1); Bye week

As mentioned in the preamble, London’s team needs to beat Miami or Virginia Tech simply to avoid the first 10-loss season in program history. Virginia (2-8, 0-6) has largely been uncompetitive this season, save for a narrow defeat at Maryland. Good for London that the Cavaliers inexplicably beat BYU in the opener. Otherwise their only win would have been over VMI. London’s buyout could save him, but it’s getting tougher to justify it as a football decision. Next up: at Miami.

2.      Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia (Last Week: 2); Lost at Kansas, 31-19

Defending Holgorsen keeping his job became much tougher Saturday when West Virginia (4-7, 2-6) allowed Kansas to pick up its first Big 12 win since 2010. Like London, Holgorsen has a significant buyout from his contract. That buyout, combined with the fact that AD Oliver Luck hired him, could give Holgorsen more time. However, Holgorsen has nobody but himself to blame for the mess in which the Mountaineers find themselves. They didn’t win big in the final season of Geno Smith and Tavon Austin. They are missing a bowl game in 2013. At some point, the fact that West Virginia hasn’t measured up in the Big 12 has to become important. Next up: Bye week.

3.      Kevin Wilson, Indiana (Last Week: NR); Lost at Wisconsin, 51-3

Remember about a month ago when Indiana’s dominant win over Penn State made some believe the Hoosiers had turned a corner under Wilson? Well, that now simply looks like an aberration. Wisconsin had its way with Indiana (4-6, 2-4), which now must win at Ohio State to successfully qualify for a bowl game. Perhaps a rivalry win over Purdue can convince Indiana administrators to give Wilson another year to turn things around. That might be his only chance. Next up: at Ohio State.

4.      Paul Rhoads, Iowa State (Last Week: 6); Lost at Oklahoma, 48-10

It’s easy to forget that Iowa State actually led 10-3 nearing halftime. Of course, it’s easy to forget because Oklahoma poured on the last 45 points to deliver another devastating beating. The Sooners scored on three second-half runs of 50 yards or more in rolling to the blowout win. Iowa State (1-9, 0-7) has been a disaster for the majority of the season. Rhoads has always done a great job in leading the Cyclones to respectability, but he has missed that mark badly in 2013. The importance of Year 4 might mean the poorly-timed disaster season could cost Rhoads his job. Next up: Kansas.

5.      Bo Pelini, Nebraska (Last Week: 3); Lost to Michigan State, 41-28

Yet again, the Nebraska defense played culprit in defeat. Michigan State RB Jeremy Langford ran for 151 yards and 3 TDs in leading the Spartans to a key divisional road victory. The Cornhuskers (7-3, 4-2) never led and turned the ball over five times. Still, Nebraska will go to a nice bowl game and could well finish with nine wins again this season. Firing Pelini for on-field results seems like a stretch, but neither side seems happy in the current setup and it would surprise nobody for them to part ways at season’s end. Next up: at Penn State.

6.      Will Muschamp, Florida (Last Week: 4); Lost at South Carolina, 19-14

Saturday’s game marked the best defense for Muschamp to see another season. The injury-riddled Gators (4-6, 3-5) led 14-6 at halftime but couldn’t hold the lead. Florida remains offensively challenged. At least this time it was down to QB3 Skyler Mornhinweg. RB Kelvin Taylor continues to impress during his true freshman season. South Carolina was fortunate to job off its home turf with a hard-fought win over Muschamp’s Gators. Attacking the fan base – Muschamp said afterward “some of our fans need to get a grip…” – is rarely a good idea, but it seems likely he will get another season. Next up: Georgia Southern.

7.      Tim Beckman, Illinois (Last Week: 7); Lost to Ohio State, 60-35

Illinois managed to score with Ohio State for most of the game Saturday, but the Illini never seriously challenged the Buckeyes’ undefeated season hopes. The bad news for Beckman is that he has still yet to win a Big Ten game despite inheriting an Illinois team that went to a bowl game in the final season under Ron Zook. Beckman probably doesn’t need to do much to get another season. Next week might be the best chance for Illinois (3-7, 0-6) to secure a Big Ten victory. Next up: at Purdue.

8.      Charlie Weis, Kansas (Last Week: 4); Beat West Virginia, 31-19

Weis finally landed his first conference win since taking over as Jayhawks coach. Kansas (3-7, 1-6) probably didn’t want to fire a second consecutive coach after just two seasons anyway. Now the administration has reason to keep Weis into Year 3. Problems still exist. RB James Sims, nearing the end of his career, ran for 211 yards and 3 TDs in the win. Weis loses Sims (who signed with Kansas well before Weis took the reins) next season and must replace his most valuable offensive weapon. Still, Kansas has no business cycling through coaches every two years. Weis should be back in 2014. Next up: at Iowa State.

9.      Mack Brown, Texas (Last Week: 10); Lost to Oklahoma State, 38-13

The six-game win streak came to a screeching halt, ending Brown’s hopes for a remarkable run through the Big 12. That the Longhorns corrected course – including a win over Oklahoma – on what could have been a disastrous season likely ensures Brown will get to choose whether this season is the end. Don’t rule out Texas (7-3, 6-1) winning a bowl game and Brown deciding it’s time to call it a career, retiring into a nice position in the University of Texas athletic department. Next up: Bye week.

10.  June Jones, SMU (Last Week: 9); Beat UConn, 38-21

The Mustangs managed to keep winless UConn in the game into the fourth quarter, but finally pulled away by scoring the final 10 points. QB Garrett Gilbert continues to shine brightly in Jones’ system, but it isn’t translating into winning big. That has to be a concern for both Jones and SMU (4-5, 3-2). If the Mustangs can’t win big with a numbers-posting senior quarterback, what hopes does it have next year? SMU needs two wins to become bowl-eligible with South Florida, Houston and UCF still remaining. Next up: at South Florida.

 

Feeling heat: Dave Doeren (North Carolina State), Paul Johnson (Georgia Tech), Randy Edsall (Maryland), Darrell Hazell (Purdue), Brady Hoke (Michigan), Mark Richt (Georgia), Dan Mullen (Mississippi State), Matt Rhule (Temple), Jim Grobe (Wake Forest), Gary Patterson (TCU), Larry Fedora (North Carolina), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern), Willie Taggart (South Florida), Bret Bielema (Arkansas), Mark Stoops (Kentucky).

Topics: AAC, ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Florida Gators, Illinois Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Nebraska Cornhuskers, PAC-12, SEC, Smu Mustangs, Texas Longhorns, Virginia Cavaliers, West Virginia Mountaineers

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