Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Coaches Who Have the Hottest Seats in 2017

With all of the FBS jobs now taken (17 total changes in 2016), it is time to look forward at who could be fired in 2017, with a few making the list that we thought for certain would be gone in the current crop. Here is a look at who will have the hottest seats in 2017:

Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
There have been off-field issues, on field collapses, and now a rumored job flirtation outside of South Bend by Kelly himself that necessitated a statement to the media. Kelly is no longer a rising rock star at Notre Dame, and is sinking like a stone after a horrifying 2016 that finished at 4-8, and saw all manner of things go wrong. If Notre Dame is not playing NY6 football at the very least next season, he will not be back in 2018.

Todd Graham, Arizona State
I am not certain as to why anyone still has any faith left in Graham at this point, He has failed to get anywhere close to a division title in the PAC-12 South, is coming off of back to back mediocre or losing seasons, and has seen Colorado pass him by in the division as well. The talent base is not impressive, and the Sun Devils are a train wreck on defense. Short of 8 or 9 wins next season, it would be tough to sell him as coming back in 2018.

Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
The Aggies were ranked 4th in the nation at one point before finishing at just 8-4, again. Sumlin, who was once considered a riser in coaching ranks, has proven to be simply average with the Aggies, and has gotten no closer to taking Alabama down in the SEC West than ever. Even when he had Jonny Manziel, other than beating the Tide once, he never got the Aggies close to winning a division title, and the collapse this year, with the ever awful Noel Mazzone coordinating his offense, has everyone wondering why Sumlin is even returning for 2017.

Jim Mora, UCLA
Mora has lost everyone in and around Westwood, all with the exception of his boss, Dan Guerrero. The fans are done, recruiting for the 2017 class has stalled out, he has all but botched the OC hire after letting his second consecutive OC go. Josh Rosen will have a third OC in as many seasons next fall, and he will certainly leave after next season, meaning that Mora has largely wasted Rosen's UCLA career and has ill afforded him a chance to develop, which he has not. Other than a ridiculous buyout of $15 million, there ws no reason to bring Mora back in 2017. He may not be back in 2018, as there is little chance that this roster improves on the offensive side of the football next season.

Paul Haynes, Kent State
I have no clue why Haynes was not canned weeks ago. Kent State is awful, and the program has sunk down to where it was previous to Darrell Hazell arriving. Haynes has largely been clueless, the program is back in the mud, and there was no reason to continue the suffering.

Bret Bielema, Arkansas
Bielema has simply not produced at Arkansas. He has had talented rosters, decent recruits, and solid staffs, but still, the job is not getting done here. Arkansas is not close to competing for SEC titles, and if you cannot figure out a way to push Alabama, you simply don't matter, and right now, Arkansas football does not matter in the scheme of things.

Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss
I am not sure who Freeze has nasty pictures of, but that must be why he hasn't been fired by now. Freeze has an issue of major proportions with massive off-field problems during his watch and the Rebels failed to win in 2017 with Chad Kelly at QB. Kelly is now gone, so I am not sure what Freeze can use to keep his job beyond 2017. He should not be there now.

Butch Jones, Tennessee
After all of the hype that Jones has received for his vaunted recruiting efforts, he certainly has very little to show for it. Tennessee finished 8-4, which seems to be his ceiling in Knoxville, and the Vols failed to win a very weak and watered down SEC East. He seems to be the football version of Steve Lavin. He's a solid recruiter who doesn't know what to do with the talent once he lands it.

Lance Leipold, Buffalo
I was never a super fan of the Leipold hire in Buffalo. He came straight from D3 football to FBS football, and the jump is just too large a chasm to cross in one shot. Buffalo football is listless right now, and looking for a future of winning is like looking for a unicorn. Leipold may be in over his head here.

David Beaty, Kansas
He has won just 2 games in 2 years. Beaty, in my opinion, was the wrong hire for the Jayhawks when the move was made. If he cannot win more than 2 games in 2017, forget about them moving forward with a coach who would own a 4-30 mark after 2017 if they finish 2-10 once again. It is just not tenable.

Lovie Smith, Illinois
The sad truth is that this was the wrong hire to begin with for Illinois. Smith has zero connections in Big 10 recruiting country, and his first season on the job has been tenuous at best, with rumors that he was already thinking bout leaving as early as October. Smith has never been a big winner during his career in the NFL, and college football is probably more difficult to coach in. I cannot see him staying long, either way.

Rich Rodriguez, Arizona
The recipient of the most ridiculous contract extension in history after last season, Rodriguez completely imploded in 2016. Arizona was probably the worst program in the PAC-12 in 2016 next to Oregon State, and the Beavers were showing signs of life. Rodriguez has totally screwed up his QB pool, and the team looks completely lifeless. That cannot be allowed to continue for long in Tucson.

Doug Martin, New Mexico State
The only reason that Martin is still in charge is that nobody else would want this job. NMSU is losing their standing in the Sun Belt, will be an independent next season, and has virtually no recruiting land mass to speak of anywhere. They depend on JC talent, which basically means that nobody ever truly ever gets to develop in their system. This is one of the three worst jobs in America.

Sean Kugler, UTEP
Other than Aaron Jones at RB, there was not one bright spot in 2016 for UTEP. Kugler has had just one winning season during his time in El Paso, and that will not be anough after what is certain to be another bad season in 2017.

Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech
Here is another guy who does not deserve to be running his program in 2017. Again, he must have pictures on someone, because he deserved to get canned this month or last. HE just flat out cannot coach, and as far as playing even the most simple defense, he is clueless.

David Bailiff, Rice
He was gone in October. By the end of November, he was still in charge. I call him zombie coach, because nothing kills this guy. He will be entering his 11th full season at Rice in 2017, and has a record of under .500. I want to b the next coach at Rice, simply because nobody ever gets fired from that gig.

Bob Diaco, U Conn
He is all talk, and no action. Diaco was a fine DC in his day, but he is a terrible head coach. One can add to this fact that he also strangely insists that UCF is a major rival. That is just stupid.

Matt Wells, Utah State
Once one of the fast risers in college football who's name was always connected with open jobs, he may not even be able to retain the one he has after 2017. The Aggie program is sinking like a stone, and the Wells star is winking out quickly.

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