Everything College Football from Scott Bilo, National Football Foundation and Football Writers Association Member. CFB Hall of Fame voter. Contributor on ESPN Las Vegas, ESPN Jackson, MS, and VSiN on Sirius. Keith Harding Lead Statistician Co-Editor, Dina Bilo Social Networking Director, Co-Editor. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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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
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.
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
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.