Saturday, October 19, 2013

Coaches on the Hot Seat

Here's a special Saturday edition of Coaches on the Hot Seat. For clarification on what this piece means, we are looking at coaches who may not be on the firing line, but are feeling some heat. They may or may not be elevated to our Dead Pool column, which is a gauge on who may be in line for being fired. Don Treadwell is the only coach in the country this season which has been fired while just sitting in our Hot Seat column. Lane Kiffin and Paul Pasqualoni were already on our Dead Pool list when being fired earlier this season. We don't look at FCS coaches on this list, but we do cover those jobs in our "As the Carousel Turns" columns.
Let's see who's on this week's Hot Seat!

June Jones, SMU
Jones has done some special things at SMU, but has it been enough? The Mustangs have played a difficult schedule, true, but that cannot be an excuse as to why you can't win games. Well coached teams rise to the challenge and make opportunities. SMU has not done that, with their only win coming against Montana State by 1. Now, as I type this column, they lead Memphis 31-3 coming off of a bye week. Now is the time to turn it around.

Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech
Tech fans have been waiting a while now to see how long it can take to get Tech to the upper level in the ACC. They are getting tired of waiting for the tide to turn. As an old Wishbone fan, even I admit that the era has gone from the game where you can win big as a ground based option offense. Tech has got to turn on the jets, considering they are 3-3 coming into today.

David Cutliffe, Duke
Cutliffe is 4-2, but is 0-2 in the ACC. The Devils are coming off of a solid thumping of Navy last week, but they have to find a way to win in ACC play. If they can get to a bowl again, the heat may level off. Sooner or later, 6-6 will no longer be enough.

Mike London, Virginia
We've been waiting for three solid seasons to see an upswing in success for the Cavaliers. It hasn't happened, and Virginia is just awful on offense. The pressure is mounting, and sooner or later, a turn must take place. London could be a Dead Pooler by the end of November for lack of progress.

Charlie Weis, Kansas
Weis may not be gone by the end of this season, but he has already pressed the panic button and reassigned the offense to take himself off of primary play calling duties. Weis has been too authoritarian on offense, and his assistants were too afraid to voice their opinions on game planning. Not good.

Paul Rhodes, Iowa State
The Cyclones aren't playing badly at times, but they cannot hold on to win close games. Eventually you have to win those games, and that's the difference right now between 1-4 and 3-3. Rhodes will get 2014 to swing it around, but after that, he may be toast if he can't.

Jerry Kill, Minnesota
This has nothing to do with football. Kill's health is terrible, and his seizures have only worsened the last two seasons. He has an obligation to step aside when his health effects his program, and now it's happening with him taking a leave of absence. I have epilepsy in my own extended family, and it never goes away. Kill should step away for his health, and officially turn over the reigns, for his sake, for the team's sake, and for that of his own family.

Ron Turner, FIU
I don't agree with this necessarily, but there is a great deal of pressure on Turner already, with the Panthers looking just abysmal most weeks. It's too soon to nuke him now in my opinion, but just know that the heat is already on according to several sources.

Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee
The Raiders are 3-4, and falling right out of the CUSA race early. Stockstill is loved by many, but this program is looking like a mess to me, and should be so much better than it is. New blood may be in order.

Skip Holtz, Louisiana Tech
One year in, an the locals are already clamoring for blood as the Bulldogs are 2-4 out of the gate. It seems like Sonny Dykes has spoiled the folks in Ruston. Holtz needs another year or two to get it straight, but the locals are already lighting their torches.

Bill Blankenship, Tulsa
Tulsa was highly regarded heading into the season. They have disappointed as much as anyone in the nation. As Blankenship gets deeper into his own era, the Golden Hurricanes look like they are fading. Blankenship will get one more season, more than likely, but he has to get it right after surprising everyone to win 10 last season.

Dan Enos, Central Michigan
I am upgrading Enos this week, and pulling him out of the Dead Pool temporarily. The Chippewas are coming off of a win over Ohio, and while still just 3-4, they have now won two games in MAC play and could play spoiler as we head into the back half of the season. If they start to fade again, it's back into the pool. He is coaching for his life right now.

Rocky Long, San Diego State
After an awful start, the Aztecs are coming back in a big way, and could be tied for 1st in the Pacific division of the MWC tonight. If the Aztecs continue to come back, then Long can get comfy once again.

Troy Calhoun, Air Force
The Falcons have been purely terrible in 2013, and haven't been relevant in MWC play in a while now. Calhoun should be feeling the heat rising. I am checking sources this week, and checking further into his status, but I am feeling a slip in his support.

Will Muschamp, Florida
If the Gators fall today, which they are trailing right now, they will be 4-3 and out of the SEC East race. Muschamp is not loved in Gainesville, and there are some folks who will bleed no tears with his departure. It's nuts to think he'd be cut after 2013, but how about 2014? Talent is lacking, and so are the wins.

Mark Richt, Georgia
Every year...Richt is back on the list again after falling to Missouri at home last week and taking the Bulldogs out of the SEC East lead. UGA is now 4-2 after starting the season with a loss to Clemson to knock them out of the top ten. Patience is thin.

Dan Mullen, Mississippi State
Still waiting for that promised blooming of MSU success? So am I. It hasn't happened, and after an 0-2 start in SEC play, we have to start wondering when Mullen starts to face the same heat that Sylvester Croom once felt.

Coming up next...Coaches Swimming in the Dead Pool

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