Sunday, September 7, 2014

Coaches on the Hot Seat: 2014 Volume 1

It's that time of year where it starts to become apparent which coaches are starting to feel some early heat for their jobs. Several coaches stepped to the forefront of the heat this last weekend, but then there is a much deeper issue where certain coaches are already done, and they splash down in our Dead Pool. That's the next piece to publish. What we are focusing on now are coaches who still have a shot to turn it around, but had better get on the ball now. Here are our Coaches on the Hot Seat as it currently stands:

June Jones, SMU
Jones really started feeling the heat last season, but a strong finish saved him from further issue. Now, SMU has been abysmal out of the gate in an 0-2 start with a 45-0 loss to Baylor, and 43-6 loss to North Texas. If something doesn't start to flip, Jones may not survive into 2015.

Curtis Johnson, Tulane
The Green Wave started to turn a corner last fall, but now they are slipping again. Johnson cannot afford to return to losing ways, as Tulane has to figure out how to fill a new stadium. If the stadium is empty, it becomes difficult for Johnson to justify his job.

Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech
Tech just had their probation extended by the NCAA due to improper contact with recruits. This is on Johnson. The new AD is not happy with this issue, and he has to get Johnson and his staff in line, which seemingly has been a problem. Johnson had better get his people compliant and together, or he'll be on his way out.

Mike London, Virginia
Not a Dead Pool swimmer just yet, London should have been fired after last season. He played UCLA tight before blowing out his former employer, Richmond, this weekend. This team could still go either way, but if the Cavs start to slide, London is back in the pool.

Al Golden, Miami
Golden has had a huge job to do at Miami on the heels of the Nevin Shapiro garbage. The administration is still onboard with him, but he has definitely lost the fan base. The only thing that fixes that is winning, but Golden hasn't done a ton of that yet.

Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia
West Virginia largely played better than what was expected against Alabama in a ten point loss. They returned home to crush Towson 54-0. If Holgorsen keeps it up, we won't have to worry about him moving forward. Right now, he just needs to deliver and win, something he hasn't done much of since coming to Morgantown.

Kyle Flood, Rutgers
The Knights are 2-0, but those wins have come against overrated Washington State and Howard. The win against Howard wasn't impressive at all. Flood has to win this season, because his former boss, Greg Schiano, is available, and could return in a snap.

Brady Hoke, Michigan
Hoke has been feeling some heat for some time, but that 31-0 loss to Notre Dame on Saturday was an absolute disaster, as it was the only time in 42 years that the Irish have ever shut out the Wolverines. That loss alone may have written the script on Hoke, as it came at a horrible time. Another bad loss, and it's the Dead Pool.

Bo Pelini, Nebraska
Contract extension or not, if Nebraska had lost that game to McNeese State, the wolves would now be howling at the gate. Pelini was given that extension last winter to get the haters off of his tail, but that won't fool anyone, because all the administration did was make it more expensive to get rid of him. The Huskers have got to get it together.

Tim Beckman, Illinois
Beckman was a target last season, and he is now 2-0, but those wins were ugly affairs over Youngstown State and Western Kentucky. The Illini look due for a collapse, and if it comes, it's the Dead Pool for Beckman in short order.

Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
He isn't feeling the heat like Beckman is, but Iowa was largely a mess at times last fall, and are a mess once again despite a 2-0 start. Those wins were sloppy, barely passable efforts over northern Iowa and Ball State. The big boys haven't even shown up on the schedule yet.

Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
Fitzgerald is on the brink of losing this football team to the union issue, and to losing games that the Cats should be winning. He has to get the focus back, because there certainly isn't any here right now. If this 0-2 slide continues, he may end up in the Pool.

David Bailiff, Rice
Bailiff is always on this list. He always finds his way off of it as well. This could be different this season. Bailiff got his ass handed to him by Notre Dame, and still has 11 games to go. This can still go either way.

Paul Haynes, Kent State
Haynes hasn't figured out a way to build on Darrell Hazell's success, and the team has completely regressed under his leadership. They cannot afford to go down this road again, but they are anyway, and Haynes has to take the blame here.

Bobby Hauck, UNLV
The Rebels have hugely regressed early this season after losing by 45 to Arizona, and scrapping away in a 13-12 win over an abysmal Northern Colorado team at home. Add to the escape from APR penalty that almost ended up in bowl ban, and Hauck has yet another mess coming off of a bowl loss.

Bob Davie, New Mexico
He can still turn it around, but this is year three under Davie, and the Lobos have yet to show the improvement we should see at this stage. Let us see what the coming weeks bring, but I can see a dip in the pool coming.

Coming Up Next...Coaches Swimming in the Dead Pool

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