24 August 2014

What college football head coaches are on the hot seat in 2014?

The coaching carousel seemingly never stops. Just as in any other college football season, the 2014 edition features a number of coaches perched upon what the kids these days refer to as the "hot seat." Who could have their job be on the line should this upcoming season not go quite right? Let's take a look.

Ron Turner, FIU
Everybody knew that dumping Mario Cristobal was a bad idea and then to replace him with Turner, who was largely unsuccessful during his previous collegiate tenure at Illinois (even with leading the Fighting Illini to a Sugar Bowl appearance), was even worse. However, perhaps nobody saw 2013 being as bad as it ended up being with only two games being competitive and the sole win coming against a pitiful Southern Miss team. If the Panthers have another disastrous season, Turner won't make it to a third season in Miami.

Will Muschamp, Florida
Perhaps no coach is on a hotter seat that Muschamp. Despite going 11-2 and appearing in the Sugar Bowl just two seasons ago, the 2013 campaign was such a mess that it may not have happened, at least in the minds of the folks in Gainesville. Try this on for size: Muschamp's overall record through three years at UF is 22-16 with a 13-11 SEC record. Ron Zook through three years was 23-14 and 16-8 in conference play. Muschamp did have a number of injuries that decimated his offense last year but he will need to show some significant gains to make Jeremy Foley's support be worthwhile.

Norm Chow, Hawaii
When Chow was brought to Hawaii, it was a celebrated move in the community considering that Chow was a native Hawaiian. However, Chow's head coaching debut through two seasons has been a fiasco. The Rainbow Warriors have not been the same since June Jones left for SMU but at least Greg McMackin had competitive teams that went to multiple bowls. Chow has gone 4-20 in his two seasons as the program has taken significant steps backward. Chow is no spring chicken at age 68 so the questions are being asked now if the game has passed Chow by.

Tim Beckman, Illinois
The Beckman tenure nearly was a one-year affair considering how disastrous their 2012 season was as a team thought to be a bowl contender was over-matched in nearly all Big Ten games. The Fighting Illini took a small step forward in doubling their win total from two to four thanks to an improved offensive output. However their defenses, Beckman's specialty, have been a disaster. Beckman may not have to get to a bowl game to save his job but at the very least, greater competitiveness in-conference is a must. 

Charlie Weis, Kansas
Weis was a bizarre hire out of nowhere after Turner Gill was a major disappointment in Lawrence but quite frankly, Weis hasn't done anything there either. In fact, Weis has done worse in his two seasons (4-20) with the Jayhawks than Gill did (5-19), and that's even after bringing in a number of JUCO transfers in an attempt to speed up the rebuilding process. KU is not an easy football job but let's not forget that Mark Mangino had a winning record over eight seasons. Weis is on thin ice. 

Brady Hoke, Michigan
I'm not as sold as others that Hoke's job is on the line but that said, there is no question that 2013 was disappointing for the Wolverines. Michigan has declined all three years of Hoke's tenure after winning the 2012 Sugar Bowl despite strong recruiting classes. Hoke should have an increase in wins this year, particularly after Ohio State appears weakened thanks to the loss of Braxton Miller, but Hoke will have to deliver.

Kyle Flood, Rutgers
Flood was put into a tough spot in taking over for Greg Schiano very late in the coaching carousel process and while his debut season was successful with nine wins, his team took a step backwards last year, especially in AAC play. He's also 0-2 in bowls and now is moving into a conference where they have been nearly unanimously projected to finish in the East division. Flood probably has to go to another bowl to save his job, but that projects to be a tough test.

Mike London, Virginia
London had a nice start in Charlottesville, winning eight games in his second season, but his clubs have been trending increasingly downward the last two seasons. In fact the only reason that London still has his job has been his recruiting prowess but if that does not turn into noticeable progress this year, and likely a winning record, UVA will be on the lookout for a new football coach. 

Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia
It also started so nice for Holgorsen after the mess that surrounded the forced resignation of Bill Stewart. Ever since dominated Clemson in the 2012 Orange Bowl and starting 5-0 in 2012, the Mountaineers are 6-14. 2013 was particularly disappointing as they even gave Charlie Weis his sole Big 12 win in two seasons for Kansas. Kansas! Holgorsen has made it possible for WVU fans to yearn for the days of Stewart, where while he underachieved, he also never won less games than eight in a season. That has to change this season or he's gone. 

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