Tuesday, June 16, 2015

2015 Coaches on the Hot Seat

With the 2015 season just a few short months away, it's time to take a look at which coaches are in a win now or else situation. Some of these coaches will be behind the eight ball before the season begins, while others have the opportunity to save themselves early on, or push themselves into the Dead Pool. Here are the coaches that need to worry from day one...

Scott Shafer, Syracuse
Shafer is just 10-15 heading into year three with the Orange, and is coming off a 3-9 season in 2014, including a 1-7 run in ACC play. The first three games on the 2015 schedule are winnable, but there is little in the way of starting experience coming back on either side of the ball. Shafer will have to find some answers quickly, especially on offense after Syracuse averaged just 17.1 PPG last fall.
Risk Factor: Win now or else

Al Golden, Miami
The Canes are a mess right now. Of that there is no doubt. After finishing 6-7 in 2014, Golden is just 28-22 in 4 seasons in Coral Gables. That's not cutting it. His overall career record is just 55-56. The Canes should breeze through their first two games before Nebraska comes to town on 9/19.
Risk Factor: Could go either way

Larry Fedora, North Carolina
UNC is having all sorts of issues coming off of their academic fraud issues, and despite all of that, they still can't win. The Heels finished just 6-7 last fall, dropping Fedora to just 21-17 in three seasons. September isn't incredibly daunting on the schedule, so Fedora has some opportunities, but the defense was a disaster in 2014. That has to be shored up for Fedora to win.
Risk Factor: Seat is heating up

Mike London, Virginia
London was lucky to get back for 2015. Most people were shocked that he survived what was supposed to be a win now or else season in 2014. He didn't win. The Cavs did improve, but still fell short and finished 5-7, dropping London to 23-38 after five seasons. The defense is ok, but the offense was not remotely good. The September schedule is brutal, and a 1-3 start is possible. That would bode badly for London's finished.
Risk Factor: Likely to be fired

Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech
Beamer is very much at the end of his career. The Hokies finished just 7-6 last fall, and needed to beat Cincinnati in the bowl game to get over .500 for the year. Beamer has been great for the program, but the writing is on the wall as the program is sliding.
Risk Factor: Time for forced retirement

Willie Taggert, USF
Taggert was a wonder coach at formerly moribund Western Kentucky, and has been trying to find the same magic in Tampa. It isn't happening, and the early schedule isn't going to be much of an assist. The offense has been a disaster, and the defense just average. Taggert is just 6-18 in two seasons, and year three may be a breaking point after a 4-8 season.
Risk Factor: At the breaking point

Matt Ruhle, Temple
The Owls were 6-6 last season, but Ruhle is just 8-16 in two seasons in Philadelphia. Ruhle cannot allow the Owls to slide back in year three. The defense may be carrying the load early as that unit was beyond solid in 2014.
Risk Factor: Pressure is building, but has a shot to succeed

Curtis Johnson, Tulane
Johnson is just 12-25 after three seasons, and Tulane is coming off a 3-9 season that was largely a mess, including a three game losing streak to close out the season. The offense finished 107th nationally, and that certainly did not help. Johnson needs to pick up the offense and get it right, and year four is going to likely be the decider.
Risk Factor: Likely not to survive until 2016

Paul Rhoades, Iowa State
Rhoades is not getting it done in Ames. ISU finished 2-10 in 2014, and they could lose either two of three to start 2015, or could lose all three, including the opener with Northern Iowa. ISU finished 0-6 in 2014, and could have a rough start once again. Rhoades is well liked, but that may not be enough.
Risk Factor: Likely to be gone after the season

Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech
Kingsbury is 12-13 after two seasons, and went from golden boy one season to being questioned in year two. Kingsbury needs to prove that the magic he had in year one and as a coordinator. The offense has been hit and miss, and the defense has been a mess. Kingsbury has to figure it out and do it soon, as Tech cannot wait as the rest of the league passes them by.
Risk Factor: Better start winning now

Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia
Holgorsen was a guy who everyone wanted a few years ago, but now his future is cloudy in Morgantown. He finished 7-6 last fall, but is now just 28-23 in four seasons. WVU was off to a decent start last season, but finished 1-4. That's not getting it done, and WVU needs to start winning big in the Big 12, or get left in the dust.
Risk Factor: Win now

Kevin Wilson, Indiana
Landing Jordan Howard as a transfer from UAB was huge, but IU must turn a corner after finishing 5-6 last fall. IU still has no bowls under Wilson, and his overall record is just 14-34 in four seasons.
Risk Factor: Bowl or bust

Randy Edsall, Maryland
Edsall has never been a big winner in stops at Connecticut and Maryland, and he is in deeper waters in the Big 10. His record with the Terps is just 20-30 heading into year five of his tenure, and that 1-3 finish in 2014 really derailed the season. The offense must get fixed in 2015 to give him any chance of surviving.
Risk Factor: Eight wins are a must

Kyle Flood, Rutgers
Greg Schiano he isn't. Flood does have a winning record at Rutgers (23-16), and they did win eight games in 2015, but three of those wins came at the end of the year. He needs to build on that to get the doubters to go away.
Risk Factor: Another 8 wins should be fine

Tim Beckman, Illinois
After a six wins in 2014, Beckman survived another season, as unlikely as that was. Beckman has some chance of breaking through in 2015, and he needs a fast start to survive as he enters season four with a 12-25 record.
Risk Factor: A slow start will guarantee his ouster

Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
Ferentz is just 19-19 over the last three seasons. He has a solid record over his 16 years in Iowa City, but the luster has worn off during his stay. It's been a long time since the Hawkeyes were relevant in the Big 10, and there is little promise of that happening in 2015.
Risk Factor: Pitchforks and torches are being lined up

Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
Fitzgerald is a Northwestern guy, but the Wildcats have faded fast over the last few seasons, and that is on Fitz to get right. If Northwestern does not get to a bowl this season, it'll be three straight years without a bid. That cannot fly.
Risk Factor: Being well liked is fine, but not without winning

Darrell Hazell, Purdue
How can Hazell have a record of 4-20 after two seasons, and not be in a terrible place heading into 2015. A 1-3 start could be a real possibility this fall, and if that happens, it's going to be hard to survive.
Risk Factor: I don't see this situation working out

Ron Turner, FIU
I really felt that Turner was all wrong for the Panthers, but he did show some improvements at times last fall despite winning only four games last season. He's 5-19 after two seasons, and year three will make or break him.
Risk Factor: Early schedule toughness could be the undoing

Todd Monken, Southern Mississippi
Monken is 4-20 heading into year three...any other questions?
Risk Factor: Improvement must be immediate

Paul Haynes, Kent State
Haynes is 6-17 after taking over for Darrell Hazell on a high note in program history. Haynes has not been able to sustain the success that he inherited. .500 would be a great way to show improvement.
Risk Factor: Could be gone after 2015

Bob Davie, New Mexico
Davie is 11-26 heading into year four, and a 4-8 record in year three was not what most Lobo fans wanted to see. Davie is in a win now situation.
Risk Factor: Win or go home

Norm Chow, Hawaii
If UH had the money, they would have fired Chow already. He's 8-29 over three seasons, and is coming off of a 4-9 season. It may not be all his fault, as he has so little to work with, but the program overall has been a mess for years, and Chow has not helped.
Risk Factor: Chow cannot win at Hawaii

Derek Mason, Vanderbilt
Mason has only been in Nashville for one season, but it went really badly. Mason isn't likely going anywhere after season two, but he's getting on a bad radar. He has some personnel issues that he needs to fix right away to get this program on track.
Risk Factor: Vandy is sliding back to their old losing ways

Trent Miles. Georgia State
There have been some financial issues in potentially buying Miles out at GSU, but the man is just 1-23 in two seasons, and 21-59 for his career. Who in the world believes that he is capable of running a winning program at this point?
Risk Factor: Gone, gone, gone

Paul Petrino, Idaho
Petrino was a fill in when Rob Akey failed. As an FBS program, I haven't seen how Idaho can possibly succeed. Their best bet is to go back to FCS football and rejoin the Big Sky, but pride keeps getting in the way. Petrino cannot succeed like this, and nobody really can.
Risk Factor: Eventually gone

Doug Martin, New Mexico State
Martin is 4-20 heading into year three. Martin also owns a record of 33-73 overall. NMSU, like Idaho, is a poor fit for the FBS model, and should also be playing in the Big Sky or the Southland on the FCS level. The likelihood that the Aggies can survive in the modern FBS environment is doubtful, whether Martin is there or not.
Risk Factor: Martin will not succeed where nobody else ever has

Todd Berry, UL-Monroe
Berry is 27-34 for his 5 years with the Warhawks, and ULM seems to be sinking once again. Berry has a career 56-93 record, so his successes have been few overall. One more bad season (4-8 in 2014), and it could be time for a change of direction.
Risk Factor: Win now or it's time for a change

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