The College Football America Hot Seat

In our preseason edition of College Football America 2015 Yearbook we examined the head coaches that we felt were on the hottest seats entering the season. Now that we’re nearly to the end of the season, let’s take a look at how they’re doing. Plus, we will update our additions to our list of Hot Seat Coaches. This is our last update before the end of the college football season.

New to Hot Seat Coaches — Week 13

LSU - Les MilesLes Miles, LSU: This is pretty nuts.

LSU’s boosters have reportedly agreed to foot the bill to buy out Miles and his assistant coaches, to the tune of $15-18 million. That’s just silly money.

Now, nothing is official yet. In fact, there was a press conference set for Monday that never happened. But it’s clear there are huge wheels turning in Baton Rouge. Frankly, this isn’t about the Ole Miss loss or the Tigers’ current three-game losing streak. This is about Alabama and the fact that LSU just can’t seem to get over that hump in the SEC West. It’s that simple.

I don’t agree with firing Miles and I think LSU will come to regret this decision. It’s a clear “The grass isn’t always greener” type of decision. If this comes to pass, Miles would leave Baton Rouge with more than 100 career wins and a national championship ring.

From the Yearbook

Mike London, Virginia: London drew a flag for arguing a pass interference call late in the Cavaliers’ loss to Duke. I can’t remember the last time a coach got a flag for that sort of thing. A win over Virginia Tech in the finale won’t save him. I think he’ll be let go next week, though there are no advanced reports of that happening at this point.

Indiana - Kevin WilsonKevin Wilson, Indiana: If the Hoosiers beat Purdue on Saturday they’ll be in a bowl game for the first time since Wilson took over as head coach. That might be enough to give him one more season. The administration has not said anything to the contrary of Wilson returning in 2016. But what if the Hoosiers lose? I think the footing gets treacherous, frankly.

Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech: Beamer’s final regular-season game is this Saturday against Virginia. The Hokies are hoping for a win to extend Beamer’s swan song to a bowl game.

Paul Rhoads, Iowa State: Rhoads was fired on Sunday after guiding the Cyclones to a 3-8 2015. He’ll be on the sideline for the season finale.

Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern: Potential for a 10-win season and New Year’s Day bowl game means Fitzgerald won’t be on this list in 2016.

Paul Haynes, Kent State: There is no chatter out there about Haynes’ job security despite three wins entering the season finale this weekend. I fall on the side of a head coach getting four years to build his program. So with that logic Haynes should be back in 2016, but on a really short leash.

Norm Chow, Hawaii: Chow was fired earlier this season.

Derek Mason, Vanderbilt: With two SEC wins, the chatter out of Nashville is that Mason has earned another season and has put the Commodores on a path to progress. He seems safe for next season.

Trent Miles, Georgia State: I wrote a few weeks ago that the issue for Georgia State was that it hadn’t won a Sun Belt game under Miles. Well, three Sun Belt wins later and I think Miles has another year in Atlanta ahead of him.

Scott Shafer, Syracuse: Shafer was fired this past weekend. He will coach in the season finale on Saturday.

Additions To Hot Seat Coaches — Week 4

George O’Leary, UCF: O’Leary retired earlier this season.

Al Golden, Miami (FL): Miami fired Golden earlier this season.

Charlie Strong, Texas: He is safe for 2016.

Kyle Flood, Rutgers: Here’s how bad it is for Flood. Fans are booing a PSA Flood appears in during games. There isn’t much public support for Flood and he says he doesn’t need it. What he does need, however, is private support from administration, and no one knows if he’s getting that, either. I think Rutgers pulls the trigger after the season finale and makes a change.

Steve Spurrier, South Carolina: Spurrier resigned earlier this year.

New to Hot Seat Coaches — Week 8

Darrell Hazell, Purdue: Purdue administration told reporters earlier this month that Hazell would be back in 2016. No reason not to believe them. But Hazell’s job is certain to be on the line next season, which will be Year 4 of his tenure.

Larry Coker, UTSA: Since the report more than a month ago I’ve heard nothing more about this. UTSA athletic director Lynn Dickey said the school is committed to Coker through 2018. Unless Coker wants to retire, he should be back in 2016.

New to Hot Seat Coaches — Week 11

Mark Richt, Georgia: Georgia just struggled to beat Georgia Southern at home last weekend. Richt has been under fire for more than a month. These Bulldogs have underachieved the last few years, that’s clear. But is firing Richt the way to go? Expect some high-level meetings the day after the season. I think it’s 50/50, and Les Miles’ status at LSU may play a role. If Georgia things they can get Miles, might they fire Richt to take their shot?

Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia: These Mountaineers have the chance to win eight games before going to a bowl game. Yes, the Mountaineers are still struggling against the Big 12’s elite. But eight wins is nothing to sneeze at. I think Holgorsen is safe now.

Mike Riley, Nebraska: My logic a few weeks ago was that missing a bowl game at Nebraska is unacceptable. And if the Cornhuskers can’t beat Iowa this Friday, they won’t go bowling. Still, I think the Michigan State win did plenty to instill some confidence in what Riley is trying to do. This program is down, probably more than anyone realized, when Bo Pelini was fired.

Doug Martin, New Mexico State: Since his inclusion on this list the Aggies have won three straight and could grab one more win in the season finale against ULM (I don’t see them beating Arkansas State this weekend). That’s progress for Martin and the Aggies and I think it will buy him one more year.


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