Sunday, April 23, 2017

Coaches on the Hot Seat: Spring 2017 Edition

With most of the spring football games around the nation coming to a close in the next seven days, it is time for me to take a look at who has the most to prove as far as head coaches are concerned as we head into summer and the fall camps beyond. Here are the coaches who are feeling some heat as we head into the summer months...

Chad Morris, SMU
The Mustangs made some real progress in 2016, but they really need to show they are in it for at least a bowl game in 2017. Morris came into the program with some serious hype, which has not paid off to date. If the Mustangs slip back at all, there could be a massive devaluation of his stock.

Steve Addazio, Boston College
Heading to a bowl in 2016 was almost a joke for the Eagles program, as they only won two games in ACC play, and are just 2-14 in conference play the last two seasons. There is a new AD coming to town, and that means evaluations are coming, and Addazio may not survive the cut without a major push forward.

Dave Doeren, NC State
Doeren was supposed to be a home run hire coming out of Northern Illinois, but it has not turned out that way in Raleigh. The Pack play in the toughest division in the ACC, and they finished just 3-5 overall in league play last season, and let a sure win against eventual champs Clemson slip away late. Doeren will need to hit a winning record in conference play in 2017 to stick around for another go in what should be a rather watered down version of the conference.

Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
If you think I am nuts here, check again. Not only are the Spartans in the dumps after the worst season of the Dantonio era, the program is in a fish bowl because of multiple off field issues including players in regards to sexual assault cases. The message from the administration and the conference is clear. Clean it up, or get the hell out.

Mike Riley, Nebraska
Riley improved the team by four wins from 2015 to 2016, but there are major personnel changes on the field coming for 2017, and if Riley slips backwards at all, there could be some massive grumbling going on. The Huskers have been a mess now ever since Tom Osborne retired, with few exceltions, and this cannot go on like that. Remember, Bo Pelini was fired after averaging a shade over nine games per season, because it wasn't enough. Riley should be treated the same.

Chuck Martin, Miami (Ohio)
Martin took Miami to a bowl game last season, which was an incredible situation, but it was only after a mid season run got the Red Hawks eligible. Miami only has one way to go in 2017, and that is up. If they back track, Martin could get chopped.

Terry Bowden, Akron
He was supposed to bring instant credibility to the Zips, but other than one winning season thus far, I don't see where he has earned his stripes and his clout at Akron. Bowden was on his way to becoming a legend in the college ranks, but now he is just another name. He couldn't even win last season with one of the best players in the MAC in WR/LB Jerome Lane.

Rod Carey, Northern Illinois
I think that I am nuts for even bringing up Carey at this point, but there was a ton of grumbling about his job status around the country last season, and heavily so in NIU circles. Losing is just not in the vernacular for the Husky program anymore, so last fall was a shock to the system. He cannot afford a second straight losing season.

Matt Wells, Utah State
The days of hearing this name in the ranks of rising stars seem to be long forgotten now. Last season was an abject disaster for the Aggies, and there is little hope short of a miracle that the Aggies finish outside of the Mountain West's Mountain Division once again. If that happenes, there could be some serious consideration for change in Logan.

Tony Sanchez, UNLV
The over/under on wins for the Rebels in 2016 was set around six. They fell two wins short of that, and the team simply had given up in the Fremont Cannon game against Nevada in a 45-10 loss. Sanchez is heading into year three, and for the first time has a QB to get excited about in Armani Rogers, if he wins the job in fall camp. There is a new AD on campus as of this last week, and the former high school coach had better start to impress right away.

Todd Graham, Arizona State
Graham is a fairly unimpressive coach when you look at his ASU resume. He has never gotten close to winning a South title in the PAC-12, and ast season won just two games in conference play. When you say overrated, his picture is right next to it. There was quite a bit of change in the conference after the 2016 season in the coaching ranks, and there could be more in 2017, including him.

Jim Mora, UCLA
I was pondering selecting Mora for a Dead Pool candidate, but I am awaiting a chance to see what his mostly new offensive staff can do between spring and fall camps. I am not at all encouraged enough so far to say that UCLA will return to the top of the heap after an abysmal 2016 season, and I am watching Josh Rosen pull a complete Tommy Maddox, as he goes from top prospect to not nearly the best QB in his league in less than two full seasons. The Mora era has been a complete letdown in my opinion, and another season of not meeting expectations, and the Dead Pool becomes an option.

Rich Rodriguez, Arizona
I do not see a way that Rodriguez survives past 2017, short of the money it would cost to fire is overpaid ass. Arizona gave him an extension before the 2016 season that was far from earned, and they could have to place themselves into a situation where money becomes no issue in getting rid of him. He never should have been given the extension, and he should have been fired after last. He also has completely wasted the career of QB Anu Solomon, and that is a fire-able offense all by itself.

Butch Jones, Tennessee
When you ask national media people who they see as the most likely coach to be fired in the SEC in 2017, Jones comes up almost unanimously. Last season was a complete mess for the Vols, as they barely survived an upset attempt by Appalachian State, and then only won four games in the SC despite being in what is probably one of the weakest divisions in any Power Five league, the SEC East. His recruiting classes are over hyped annually, and there are no excuses anymore. It's time to win or get out.

Gus Malzahn, Auburn
Malzahn will finally have a QB to air it out in Jarrett Stidham in 2017, and if the Tigers fail to win ten games with him at the trigger, the patience of the powerful Tiger nation will possibly give out. Malzahn has fallen well short of expectations, and he has failed to find his QB until now. No more excuses.

Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
How long are Aggie fans going to just sit there and accept eight win under achieving seasons in College Stations? How long will the administration deal with it? Eight wins per season overall is not nearly enough to be noticed in the SEC, so at some point, the Aggies have to turn a corner.

Bret Bielema, Arkansas
Braden Gall asked Gainesville reporter Pat Dooley why Bielema should be on the hot seat last week on Sirius Radio,. The answer should have been "because he is a crappy football coach." That is the only answer that should suffice. He won at Wisconsin because he was in a very weak division, and now that he has to coach for his wins, he simply cannot do it. Arkansas has massively under achieved under Bielema, and his big mouth doesn't help.

Dan Mullen, Mississippi State
I am not certain how Mullen keeps getting the hype he gets at MSU. He had no Dak Prescott in 2016, and the Bulldogs only go bowling because they got a ridiculous five win waiver, and they barely hold off Miami (Ohio) to get a win. That's not a legend. That's garbage.

Mark Hudspeth, UL-Lafayette
The Ragin' Cajuns have been a mess the last couple of seasons, and off field issues took shape as well. Hudspeth is spinning. They went 5-3 in Sun Belt play last season out of pure desperation, and they could slide backwards this season. Should that happen, look for a change.

Coming up Monday night...Coaches Swimming in the Dead Pool: Spring 2017 Edition

No comments:

Post a Comment