14 August 2013

What college football coaches are on the hot seat in 2013?

Going into every college football campaign, not every coach has himself a cozy and seat job going forward and thus he has to meet expectation or enjoy himself a fine pink slip. This season is no different with a number of coaches having to coach for their jobs in 2013. Who are some of these unfortunate gentlemen?

Ron English, Eastern Michigan
For a program that has only been to two bowl games (although they got screwed in 2011) and none since 1987, expectations are not that high among the Eagle faithful. And English did pull off a 6-6 surprise in the aforementioned 2011 campaign, but besides that, has not won more than two games in any season. English is a good coach but he needs to get back closer to that year two years ago if he wants to keep his job in Ypsilanti.

Tim Beckman, Illinois
After a fine tenure at Toledo, and with the club coming off yet another disappointing season under Ron Zook, Beckman was thought to be the guy to get a talented Fighting Illini team to play to their potential. Instead, they went 2-10 and embarrassingly only lost one game by less than a touchdown. With that fiasco, Beckman's leash is going to be much tighter and if Indiana shows progress and Illinois doesn't, a change may very well happen.

Kevin Wilson, Indiana
A lot of folks are expecting the Hoosiers to have a breakthrough campaign and get to a bowl for the first time since 2007, including myself. Therefore, expectations are going to be raised and thus the pressure will be high on third year coach Wilson, who has won a combined five games in Bloomington. As the basketball program is swinging back toward greatness, the fanbase is expecting some progress for the football club so anything less than a bowl berth can make things tenuous.

Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
In February of 2009, the university gave Ferentz a contract extension until 2020 as a result of spurning another round of speculation about jumping to the NFL. Ferentz followed that up by winning the Orange Bowl, then winning eight and seven games before falling to four this past season. The bottom line is that Ferentz, save for the three-year run from 2002 to 2004 when the Hawkeyes won thirty games, really has not torn it up in Iowa City and is getting paid a hefty sum to do so. The Big Ten is not going to be great this year, but another underwhelming season will result in an axing.

Charlie Weis, Kansas
Considering his disappointing tenure at Notre Dame that started off with much promise and a mediocre year calling plays at Florida, Weis was not a particularly inspiring hire a year ago even as he was a big name. After a disastrous 1-11 season with the lone win coming over South Dakota State, Weis is in danger of being the second consecutive Kansas coach to be axed after two seasons. There is some promise with talented BYU transfer Jake Heaps at quarterback and James Sims at running back, but there needs to be victories for Weis to stay around.

Randy Edsall, Maryland
To say that Edsall's first two years in College Park were a disappointment would be an understatement. Edsall has taken a program that appeared to be on the ups after a surprising nine-win 2010 after the unceremonious firing of Ralph Friedgen and has driving it into a ditch, with six wins in two years. After surviving a firing twice, Edsall has to make a bowl or he is done. The potential is there for the team to get to one, but he has to count on it.

Gary Pinkel, Missouri
Let's admit, it is a little unusual to see a guy like Pinkel on the hot seat as save for last year's five win disappointment, he had six straight seasons of eight wins or more with three ten win seasons (including the 2007 team which should have been in the BCS). Plus, a key part of the disappointment of last year was a number of injuries, particularly in the backfield. But the thing is, when you join a conference that was a little out of their league, the fans developed a higher view of the program than it really was. Therefore, if the club disappoints again, regardless of the reason, he could be in trouble.

Paul Pasqualoni, UConn
Like a lot of folks, I was not a huge fan of Pasqualoni's hiring a couple years back but I gave it a decent grade because I thought he could keep the Huskies playing well in the short term. And while a step backward was expected after a nice overachieving effort got the club in the Fiesta Bowl under Randy Edsall, they have gone 5-7 in back-to-back years in a weak conference. Now, the American is not looking like a barn-burner as a conference, so he has to at least get back to a bowl.

Bobby Hauck, UNLV
Given the high amount of success that Hauck had with Montana before coming to Las Vegas, expectations were somewhat high for Hauck to build up a long-stagnant Rebels program. It has not happened at all and the program has taken a step back from Mike Sanford, as they have won six games in three years. There has to be positive movement this year, and there is hope with sixteen returning starters from last year, and probably a bowl berth.

Lane Kiffin, USC
I like Pat Haden and I would consider him to be a fine athletic director but I can't think of anybody who actually buys that Kiffin is not on the hot seat this year. After all, USC was expected to be a national title contender last season, and they won seven games. That ranks among the bigger disappointments in recent memory. Yes, he has had to work around the sanctions as a part of the Reggie Bush situation but save for the ten win 2011 season, it has been a disappointment. If Kiffin's club disappoints like it did last year, even with lower expectations, he's gone.

Mack Brown, Texas
Listen, I understand that Brown has built a reputation of being a tremendous recruiter in Austin while not always getting the most out of his players. And yes, the program has not been as lights out since losing in the 2010 BCS Championship Game to Alabama, winning five, eight and nine games. But all the guy has done is win and win a lot, bringing the first title to Texas since 1969 and winning less than nine games twice in his 15 years. It is the same argument that I always make, you better make sure you find somebody better and let's not forget how inconsistent the program was under Brown's two predecessors, David McWilliams and John Mackovic. But if Brown produces another relative disappointment, there may be pressure for a change.

Dave Christensen, Wyoming
All in all, Christensen has done a fine job in Laramie, taking the Cowboys to two of their two bowl appearances since 1993. Of course, the club has disappointed the following year but for a program like this one, that is fine. But what really cranked up the coals on this hot seat was his confrontation with Air Force coach Troy Calhoun last year in which he referred to him as a "fly boy" and thus got a one game suspension. If the team has another subpar season, Christensen may be done.

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