Muschamp On Nation’s Hottest Seat


Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp reacts during the second quarter against the Georgia Southern Eagles at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The lone member to leave the Hot Seat Top 10 this week is SMU coach June Jones, who finds his way out more because of program indifference than accomplishment. The Mustangs are going nowhere. They will be lucky to reach a bowl game, needing wins over Houston or UCF to reach a low-level postseason game. With that said, SMU fans aren’t as rabid as, say, Michigan fans.

That the Wolverines lost their fourth game of the season yesterday teamed with several unimpressive efforts in wins leave coach Brady Hoke with some mild pressure.

What Hoke faces in Ann Arbor can’t compare to what Will Muschamp is feeling in Gainesville today after Florida lost to Georgia Southern. Florida AD Jeremy Foley just this week gave Muschamp an unmistakable vote of confidence, but said confidence must be shaken now.

Hefty buyouts could prevent Virginia and West Virginia from pulling the trigger on their underachieving coaches. Money will be no factor, though, in Nebraska’s rumored quest to part ways with Bo Pelini.

Here is your Week 13 BCS Conference Coaches Hot Seat Top 10:

(Already fired: Lane Kiffin, USC (9/29), Paul Pasqualoni, UConn (9/30).)

1.      Will Muschamp, Florida (Last Week: 6); Lost to Georgia Southern, 26-20

Former Florida coach Ron Zook got fired for losing to Mississippi State. Muschamp has now lost, over the course of three weeks, at home to Vanderbilt and Georgia Southern. The Gators (4-7, 3-5) have no chance of reaching a bowl game and need to upset a far superior Florida State team just to avoid a 4-8 season. Yes, Muschamp’s team has dealt with myriad injuries – including to its top two quarterbacks and its best defensive player. Still, losses like the one to Georgia Southern this week will always be inexcusable in Gainesville. Florida sources indicate Muschamp will return, but next week could well be Muschamp’s final game on the Gators sideline. Next up: Florida State.

2.      Bo Pelini, Nebraska (Last Week: 5); Won at Penn State, 23-20 (OT)

Whether or not Pelini likes it, style points matter this year for his team. Nebraska fans fully expected to walk into the Big Ten and dominate. That the league is approaching its least-competitive level in at least two decades doesn’t help Big Red fans when watching their team flounder down to competition level. The Cornhuskers (8-3, 5-2) were fortunate to win Saturday at Penn State, needing overtime to beat an inferior opponent. Injuries have taken their toll. Coaches who shoot themselves in the foot the way Pelini did earlier this season don’t get that excuse. It seems likely the two sides will part ways. It’s just a matter of how. Next up: Iowa.

3.      Kevin Wilson, Indiana (Last Week: 3); Lost at Ohio State, 42-14

Nobody outside the Bloomington coaching offices expected the Hoosiers to so much as split with Wisconsin and Ohio State. Giving one of them a game, at least, would have been nice. Instead, Indiana lost by a collective score of 93-17 to the two best teams in the Big Ten. All of a sudden, the win the Hoosiers (4-7, 2-5) scored over Penn State seems far less impressive. Wilson will fall short of his goal to lead the program to a bowl appearance, but can end the year in style against a wasteland of a Purdue team. Next up: Purdue.

4.      Mike London, Virginia (Last Week: 1); Lost at Miami, 45-26

The Virginia administration continues with its adamant stance that London is completely safe. With the Cavaliers (2-9, 0-7) needing a win over Virginia Tech to avoid a 10-loss season, though, it’s getting tougher to justify London hanging around. Next year gets tougher for Virginia in the schedule and with such uncertainty surrounding the head coach, how long can London keep up his solid recruiting? Next up: Virginia Tech.

5.      Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia (Last Week: 2); Bye week

As with London, a huge buyout might be the only saving grace for Holgorsen. The Mountaineers (4-7, 2-6) are coming off a bye week heading into their final game of the season – a home game against Iowa State. The West Virginia administration likely has already made up its mind on Holgorsen, who will not lead the program to a bowl game this year. The move to the Big 12 has not been successful so far for West Virginia. How accountable will Holgorsen be held? Next up: Iowa State.

6.      Tim Beckman, Illinois (Last Week: 7); Beat Purdue, 20-16

It took a pair of fourth-quarter field goals, but Illinois managed to beat a dreadful Purdue team. In the process, the Illini (4-7, 1-6) ended their 20-game Big Ten losing streak. In all likelihood, this win alone gets Beckman another season. As bad as Illinois has been under Beckman – and it has been exponentially worse than it was under former coach Ron Zook – ADs don’t enjoy admitting they made horrible hires. This probably isn’t the year for Beckman to cash in on his buyout. Next year, however, might. Next up: Northwestern.

7.      Charlie Weis, Kansas (Last Week: 8); Lost at Iowa State, 34-0

Just a week after winning its first Big 12 game since 2010, the Jayhawks went to Ames and got dominated by a 1-9 Iowa State team. Kansas (3-7, 1-6) failed to score– and managed just 279 yards of total offense – against one of the worst statistical defenses in the nation. Kansas probably won’t want to make a change in coaches after just two years for a second consecutive coach, but surely the administration doesn’t feel good about the direction of the program after taking an absolute beating from Iowa State. Next up: Kansas State.

8.      Paul Rhoads, Iowa State (Last Week: 4); Beat Kansas, 34-0

It’s very important that Rhoads won a league game before the season ended. How far it goes toward saving his job remains to be seen. The Cyclones (2-9, 1-7) thrashed Kansas on Saturday, meaning they likely won’t finish alone in last place in the suddenly mediocre Big 12. What Iowa State does – or doesn’t do – this offseason will tell a story of how realistic the administration is with its program. Rhoads has done a superb job of turning the Cyclones into a dangerous home underdog. His team even came close to knocking off Texas earlier this year. Does the administration in Ames strive for more? Next up: at West Virginia.

9.      Mack Brown, Texas (Last Week: 9); Bye week

Texas’ six-game win streak is over, leaving the Longhorns needing help in the Big 12 race. Even with the strong bounceback in the conference season, many Longhorns fans have seen enough of Brown. There’s a reasonable chance Brown gets to call his own shot, retiring if he’s being forced out. Texas (7-3, 6-1) bounced back well enough that Brown earned that – if not a shot to coach in 2014. Next up: Texas Tech.

10.  Brady Hoke, Michigan (Last Week: NR); Lost at Iowa, 24-21

This was supposed to be the season when Hoke and Michigan met Ohio State at the end of the year with a Rose Bowl berth on the line. The rival Buckeyes did their part. Michigan, however, fell on its face. The Wolverines (7-4, 3-4) dropped their fourth game of the conference season this week – at Iowa. Michigan QB Devin Gardner’s incomprehensible regression will almost certainly cost offensive coordinator Al Borges his job – a sign that shows Hoke will be on the hot-seat list to start 2014. Then again, an upset of Ohio State next week would forgive all prior sins. Next up: at Houston.


Feeling heat: June Jones (SMU), Dan Mullen (Mississippi State), Randy Edsall (Maryland), David Doeren (North Carolina State), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern), Kyle Flood (Rutgers), Darrell Hazell (Purdue), Paul Johnson (Georgia Tech), Mark Richt (Georgia), Gary Patterson (TCU), Matt Rhule (Temple), Jim Grobe (Wake Forest), Willie Taggart (South Florida), Bret Bielema (Arkansas), Mark Stoops (Kentucky).