20 August 2012

What college football coaches are on the hot seat in 2012?

The college football coaching carousel is always spinning, just take a look at this year's. Every year, a fair amount of college football programs nationwide at the FBS opts to fire their head coach for a fair amount of reasons but most importantly being a disappointing product on the field. Who are coaches that could very well be in danger of losing their jobs?

Robb Akey, Idaho
Save for a couple of flukie seasons in 2009, when the Vandals won an exciting Humanitarian Bowl over Bowling Green, and 2010 when they went 6-7 during a thirteen game regular season that was a disappointment after the bowl berth and the return of quarterback Nathan Enderle, Idaho has never won more than two games under Akey. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that Idaho is an easy job because it isn't but the Vandals really have to improve this season in a pretty soft WAC for the program to have any confidence going forward with Akey.

Derek Dooley, Tennessee
The last time the Volunteers won more than seven games in a season was in 2007. Philip Fulmer was fired a season later and Lane Kiffin was hired to replace him. Kiffin came to Knoxville with a lot of bravado, had one 7-5 season and left for USC. Dooley was hired to replace him from Louisiana Tech where he had a less than stellar 17-20 mark and was not a popular hire. And thus seemingly from the get-go, Dooley has been on the hot seat and the on-field play from the Volunteers has not been promising. The Vols had to rally to get  to bowl elgibility in 2010 and were not even bowl elgible last season, finishing 5-7 after losing to Kentucky for the first time in almost twenty years. That said, Dooley has had very young teams and there were a ton of injuries to the club a season ago. He needs to take a couple steps forward to keep his job, seemingly, and fortunately he returns 18 starters, most notably star quarterback Tyler Bray.

Randy Edsall, Maryland
Wait, a coach on the hot seat after only one season? Well, when your first season at a school is as big of a disaster as Edsall's was last season, you betcha. After the unpopular firing of alum Ralph Friedgen after a bounce-back nine win 2010, a seven game improvement over 2009, Maryland turned to Edsall while the fanbase was craving Mike Leach. The Terps were expected to be a strong contender in the ACC but finished 2-10, only beating one FBS opponent, the opener against an undermanned Miami, losing by over 30 points at home to Temple and blowing a 27-point deficit to NC State in the finale. 24 players transferred out over the course of the season. Edsall replaced both of his coordinators and was able to bring in a good recruiting class, thanks to new offensive coordinator Mike Locksley. He needs to improve a lot to return for a third season.

Dan Enos, Central Michigan
Not sure why the program gave Enos a one-year extension on his contract through 2016 because all the Chippewas, a proud mid-major and MAC program, have done under the Michigan State grad are steps backward. Central Michigan won 36 games from 2006-2009. They have won six games since. And to make things worse, they have been passed by both of their intrastate rivals and they lost to both Western and Eastern Michigan last season.

Mike Riley, Oregon State
You may be surprised to find Riley's name on this list, considering Riley's success at what is one of the toughest jobs in the country in Corvallis. But after winning 36 games from 2006-2009, the Beavers have won a combined eight games in the past two seasons and have really taken a few steps back. Oregon State could very well be in last place in the North division of the Pac-12 and Riley could really be in hot water if the team does not improve back towards bowl eligibility once again.

Frank Spaziani, Boston College
As much as I love his mustache as well as the fact that he is a New Jersey native, one cannot deny that the Boston College program has declined every year after Spaziani was promoted to the head coach position after Jeff Jagodzinski was fired for interviewing for the Jets' head coaching job in January 2009. And this was a program that went to back-to-back ACC Championship Games the two prior years before Spaziani took over. The bottom fell out last year as the Eagles had their first losing record since the Clinton administration by finishing 4-8 and if BC misses a bowl again this year, "Spaz" is gone.

Jeff Tedford, California
Tedford has had a very successful tenure in Berkeley in which he has become the winningest coach in school history. But it does seem that the program has hit something of a plateau as they are three games under .500 (21-24) in the conference over the past five years and have not beaten a conference opponent that has finished the season with a winning record since 2009 (Stanford). The program has invested a lot of money to upgrade the facilities and to renovate Memorial Stadium so the ball is in Tedford's court for the program improve and that starts with taking a step forward on the football field that has not happened in a couple years.

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