Saturday, September 26, 2015

Coaches on the Hot Seat/Dead Pool Saturday Combo

With week 3 now in the books, we can begin to get a feel for where certain teams are heading in 2015. Believe it or not, we have almost closed out September, with just one more week to go before we head into the meat of the schedule. With that in mind, we also are starting to get a much clearer picture of which coaches are starting to end up in jeopardy. Here is our second volume of “Coaches on the Hot Seat” for 2015:


George O’Leary, UCF

O’Leary is his own boss right now, granted, but something has got to give. The Knights are 0-3, and they have losses to FIU and now Furman in September. O’Leary gets some heat removed due to inhuman injury issues at the QB position, but he must find some kind of answer to the issues he is having, or else he may very well lose both the AD and Coaching job in the off-season.

Jeff Monken, Army

I do know that Monken inherited nothing when he took the Army job, but he’s done nothing to fix the issues at the program either. Army is young, so I am not saying that he will get shown the door this season, but the Cadets have also lost three games, all by 5 or fewer points this season. If Monken doesn’t find a way to get this team winning these close games, they may as well have been all by 5 TDs or more, because it won’t matter.

Charlie Partridge, FAU

I was never a fan of this hire in the first place, but much like Monken, Partridge hasn’t done much to change the course of the program, as of yet, and the clock is ticking as FIU has shown improvements in the Owls back yard. Just like Monken, Partridge inherited nothing after the dismal performance and behaviors of Carl Pelini before him. Partridge likely gets out of 2015, but the pressure is starting to build.

Paul Petrino, Idaho

We all have seen this coming, and unlike Partridge and Monken, I don’t know if Petrino gets out of 2015 alive. He is into year three at the helm now, and the program isn’t changing gears at all. Idaho beat FCS member Wofford at home last week, and Idaho was actually more or less the underdog. That is a terrible place to be for this program at this point. It’s time to turn a corner…any corner.

Don Treadwell, Miami (Ohio)

Again, not like Treadwell had anything to work with, but he has had enough time to put his stamp on this program. The Red Hawks are struggling once again, and were virtual no shows in a 58-0 loss to Wisconsin before showing signs of life in a 37-33 loss to arch rival Cincinnati. The team was probably playing up for Cincy, however, and the likelihood of another losing season is staggering. It’s time to start showing change, or change will come in its own form.


Derek Mason, Vanderbilt

I won’t lie, I got a little filled with anxiety for Mason early against Austin Peay, as Vandy didn’t come to life until the 2nd quarter before finding the gas pedal and gunning it to a 47-7 win. Had The Commodores lost to APSU, I’m not sure Mason would have made it beyond this week. Mason has dropped the ball in every aspect of this program since taking over for the beloved James Franklin, and this team is back to the SEC basement. That won’t fly anymore in Nashville.

Dan McCarney, North Texas

When UNT completed the 2013 season, they beat UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, and looked like the program was turning a solid corner. Last season was a disaster coming off that jubilant moment in time, and this season is off to another 0-2 start. It looks like those visions of better days are now just long forgotten nightmares, and the Eagles are stalling.

Rocky Long, San Diego State

Sure SDSU won the West Division in the Mountain West last fall, but that division is one of the worst in FBS football. This last weekend, the Aztecs lost to South Alabama in OT at home, and USA is one of the worst teams in the nation this season. This is the same USA that struggled to get by Gardner-Webb, and got blasted by Nebraska 48-9. This loss was inexcusable for Long, and it’s looking like he has lost touch.

Bob Davie, New Mexico

When this season began, I felt as if maybe Davie would get the ship righted in 2015, and he could finally build a foundation. That may still happen, but after the last two weeks, it is hard to see how. UNM got blasted by Tulsa and then played inept offensively in a 34-10 loss to Arizona State last weekend. Signs are showing a much bleaker picture right now, but the MWC is terrible this season, so there may still be time to turn around.

Willie Taggert, Western Kentucky

Taggert didn’t inherit much at USF, but his miracle turnaround of the Western Kentucky program does not look like it is repeating itself in Tampa. USF lacks talent, lacks heart, and above all else seems to be lacking leaders after a 35-17 dumping by Maryland. USF has become completely irrelevant, and Taggert has got to show some signs that he has control of this situation, before the entire program rots out from under him.

Charlie Strong, Texas

I like Strong quite a bit as a coach. He’s working as hard as he can to fix the many deficiencies of this program. Last week, Mack brown refused to take any blame for the state of the program as it was left to Strong last season. I call bull on that comment, because it’s all Brown’s fault. Why Strong ends up on this list is because of a high profile AD change that will likely go down in the next several months, and where he fits in is anyone’s guess when the chips fall, and 1-2 is not a great place to be right now with all of that going on.

Todd Berry, UL-Monroe

Berry has never known success on any level. I have been perfectly clear about this in the past. He’s also not having any success at ULM, and this season will likely be his last unless he pulls a miracle in a very difficult Sun Belt slate to get the Hawks bowling. I don’t see it happening, but there is still time to shock me.

Steve Spurrier, South Carolina

It’s simple…the window has closed on the Gamecocks, and the talent level on offense is absolutely nowhere near where it has been in the last several seasons. We all love Spurrier to a degree. His quotes and press conferences are the stuff of legend. Now, however, it’s time to stop being a clown to the press, and start getting Carolina back to SEC East dominance, and that just isn’t happening, and it likely won’t happen soon. Spurrier is 70, so he could be going on his own to retirement any time now, but I’m guessing his ego won’t allow that.

Bret Bielema, Arkansas

Nobody should be surprised to see this name on the list. Arkansas was largely thought to be a dark horse contender in the SEC West this season, and instead is limping through September with losses to Toledo and Texas Tech. There is absolutely nothing that can be said as to why this is happening. There are no excuses. Arkansas was poorly prepared the last two weeks, and has been flat in both performances. 2015 has been nothing short of a disaster so far.


Dead Pool

Doug Martin, New Mexico State

This should come as a surprise to nobody that Martin remains in the pool yet again. The aggies are nightmarish in a terrible way on defense, and that hasn’t changed in recent years, but what does matter is that they have been beaten by both Georgia State (2 wins in 3 years) and arch-rival UTEP, again. Martin has won only 5 times as coach of the Aggies, and that’s not going to get much better. It’s time to find some fresh blood in someone who can actually have half a clue in hell how to make this program simply relevant.

Curtis Johnson, Tulane

I have no illusions at this point that Johnson is the guy to get Tulane moving in the right direction. Recruiting has been terrible, at best, and the program is flailing after the school put a considerable amount of money up front to show a commitment. They’ve done their part, and now the on-field product has to match pace in a brand new stadium. Remember, this school once had a guy named Rich Rodriguez coaching it.

Mike London, Virginia

It’s just time to pull the plug on the London era, and short of a miracle, that is exactly what will happen. The Cavaliers had Notre Dame on the ropes with an injured QB, and still blew it, while they were completely outclassed by UCLA in the opener. Last week, the Cavaliers were fortunate to escape with their hides intact in a near loss to FCS member William & Mary. The talent level on this club is closer to Wake Forest than Florida State, and even if this team could squeak out a few wins, they will never be better than the middle of a highly average pack in the ACC. That could change with new blood.

Darrell Hazell, Purdue

Reports out of West Lafayette are stating that fans in the stands were so disgusted by the Boiler performance against Virginia Tech, that by the half most people just wanted to leave. The fans are grumbling more and more loudly, because three years of Hazell now have led to nothing better than what he found coming in the door. They are right, there has largely been no improvement in Hazell’s tenure, the talent level is lackluster at best, and their only win this season is against FCS member Indiana State.

Paul Rhoades, Iowa State

The articles from fans have surfaced online where all interested parties are calling for a change in the program as soon as whenever someone has the guts to pull the trigger. ISU fans have said that they respect Rhoades, they respect what he’s done for the university, but they believe that he has done all he can, and it’s time for him to go. That’s enough for me…Dead Pool it is.

Paul Haynes, Kent State

Haynes took over for Hazell, who is on this list at Purdue. Hazell built a quick, not meant to last situation at Kent State, and rode the first train out. Haynes largely got stuck with the mess of an aftermath of dealing with situations not built to last, and he can’t figure out how to copy the procedure. Granted, Kent State did challenge Minnesota last week, but who hasn’t done that this season with the underproductive Gophers. Haynes has no blueprint how to fix this sinking ship.

Kyle Flood, Rutgers

Flood has already been suspended for three weeks for his attempt to sway a professor to change grades. Off the field problems are off the chart since last season, and into this season. The very player he tried to manipulate grades for was suspended for unlawful activities. The Big 10 is livid at Rutgers for dragging their conference reputation into the mud for even allowing Rutgers to stay in the league. If nothing more, the conference will force a change, which would likely gladly open the door for Greg Schiano to return.

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