This is just what it sounds like, folks. We look at some of the coaches who were on the hot seat at their respective schools when the season began (or after the first couple of weeks) and see where they stand right now. If I’m missing anyone, drop a note in comments and/or assess them yourself.
Bill Callahan, Nebraska – He was already under the gun, now having all of his recruits from the past few years in house and looking to clean up in a Big 12 North with no particular favorite outside of Lincoln to get waxed by either OU or Texas in the championship game. Now, with his main backer in AD Steve Pederson fired, his team at a severely underperforming 4-5, and interim AD Tom Osborne’s verbal slip-up in an interview, Callahan knows it.
Verdict: Already cleaning out his office in preparation.
Karl Dorrell, UCLA – Beset by bad game-planning on offense against teams he should beat easily (Utah, Notre Dame) and injuries at QB that would stymie the best of coaches, Dorrell finds himself in a mess created half by his own incompetence as a motivator and half by fate, and being haunted by the message-board die-hards who cry for his scalp every week. Their cries are now getting to boosters (although I hope they’re all smart enough to ignore one particular comment on BruinsNation calling for Rick Neuheisel. Ick.)
Verdict: Likely safe for one more year because the injuries aren’t things he can control, despite the rabble-rousing. If he loses his last three, that will change.
Mike Stoops, Arizona – Has gone through several recruiting classes and possibly even more offensive formations to try and get the best out of Willie Tuitama. 16-29 since being hired, however, given comebacks against Washington and now UCLA, may show signs of being competent enough to beat fellow mediocrities in the second toughest conference in college football. Also looks bad in comparison to ASU though, which continues to outside its Tucson-based neighbor with a first year coach (despite the obvious bona fides of Dennis Erickson as far as national championship pedigree goes.)
Verdict: Can save face for another year if they put up some respectable results against Oregon and the rest of the schedule post bye week. Beating up on Dorrell bought him time.
Dennis Franchione, Texas A&M – Underachieving and one-dimensional Aggies team is 6-4 heading into this week, but Franchione’s head has been on the chopping block because he was dumb enough to produce an e-mail newsletter providing detailed injury information on the members of his team for boosters willing to drop a G. Rumors of buyouts being negotiated are already being spread on the Four Letter.
Verdict: College Station can’t write up the buyout quickly enough.
Lloyd Carr, Michigan – Was on the hot seat after losing to both Appy State and Oregon in the first two games, with special venom reserved for coaching an offense and defense that seemed unwilling to admit that the spread existed in college football today. Thanks to the Big 10 being a ton of suck this year, Michigan hasn’t lost a game since and may be sneaking back into the Top 10 by the time the season is over due to everyone else shitting bricks along the way. Guess all the kitty-killing worked.
Verdict: He’ll never be fired, but if he loses to Ohio State again, he might be persuaded to resign.
Sylvester Croom, Mississippi State – The coach of the annual SEC bottom-dwellers was probably looking at a hot-seat season going in, and it looked like it would only get worse after getting beat up on by LSU in the opener. However, the team has Croomed both Auburn and Kentucky this year, and (gasp!) Sly Croom may be bowl-eligible, which is not something I’m comfortable with. (All he really has to do is beat Ole Miss to do it.)
Verdict: He’ll be bowling. Add two more years at least to his life span.
Houston Nutt, Arkansas – Rabid Hog fans have sought Nutt’s nuts on a stick in the worst ways: getting an FOIA act to discover whom he’s calling and texting (including a semi-comely local reporter) after a particularly nasty response to running off offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and his players Mitch Mustain and Damian Williams. To make matters worse, the Razorbacks have suffered with the lack of a game outside of a disgustingly good rushing offense thanks to Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. Mediocre quarterbacking and problems with recruiting good defensive players haven’t helped matters.
Verdict: He’s 2-3 in the SEC. To survive, he’d have to run the table against Tennessee, Mississippi State, and LSU, I think. Not likely.
Steve Kragthorpe, Louisville – He was fine replacing Bobby Petrino early until observers noticed that the Cardinals didn’t play a lick of defense, giving up lots of touchdowns to cupcakes early, and then it came to a major head by losing to Syracuse and Kentucky. After that, there was talk of firing him after one year (just like there was talk about his predecessor being canned from the Falcons after one season, which isn’t happening.) Essentially accused of wasting a possible championship season and Brian Brohm’s senior season.
Verdict: He won’t lose his job after one season, but expect him to be forced to bring in a completely new defensive staff. Gotta scale down expectations when a coach leaves.
Filed under: coaches, college football Tagged: | Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Louisville Cardinals, Michigan Wolverines, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Texas A&M Aggies, UCLA Bruins