This is our third Hot Seat Coaches edition for the 2017 season.
In the College Football America 2017 Yearbook I highlighted our Hot Seat Coaches for this year. Now, no one likes to see a coach get fired (well, maybe some of you do). But there are realities to college football. Head coach is a performance-based job and if your team doesn’t perform, well, that can sometimes lead to a change. We’re in the final month of the regular season and those office chairs are getting hotter for some coaches around the country.
This list includes names from our Yearbook and names that have been added to the list based on performance and other factors.
From the Yearbook
Paul Haynes, Kent State: Haynes has won 14 games in four-plus seasons at Kent State. I would say it’s time to make a change. Five years is enough to know the Golden Flashes aren’t going in the right direction.
Butch Jones, Tennessee: $14 million buyout for Jones and his staff aside, I don’t expect Jones to be in Knoxville in 2018. Heck, the fans tried to stage an “empty Neyland” Stadium protest on Saturday that really didn’t work. Hey, it’s football. What are you gonna do? People love it no matter who the coach is.
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M: I’m leaning toward Sumlin remaining in Aggieland in 2018. The loss to Mississippi State was a bad look (and I was there for that one). Losing to Auburn was expected. But they should be going bowling and they’re starting a freshman quarterback so I think administration will cut him a bit of slack. I think.
Steve Addazio, Boston College: Three straight wins over Louisville, Virginia and Florida State seem to have put the Eagles back on the right path. One more win and BC heads back to a bowl game. I think Addazio is looking like a good bet to remain in Chestnut Hill in 2018.
Mike Riley, Nebraska: As if Riley’s tenure isn’t already tenuous enough the Cornhuskers just hired a new athletic director in Bill Moos, who most recently led the Washington State athletic department. I think Riley is out at this point, and not even a bowl berth will save him.
Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech: The Red Raiders have gone from 4-1 to 4-5, with losses to West Virginia, Iowa State, Oklahoma and Kansas State (the last of which the Red Raiders really should have won). The Red Raiders need to win two of their final three against Baylor, TCU and Texas to reach a bowl game. That said, I’m starting to think it may not be enough to save the Red Raiders’ former quarterback. We’ll see. But this four-game losing streak is a bad look.
Sean Kugler, UTEP: Kugler resigned after an 0-5 start. Former Miners head coach Mike Price — yes, that Mike Price — is the interim.
David Bailiff, Rice: Rice is on its way to its third straight losing season. Bailiff has survived it before (2009-11), but that was early in his tenure. He’s been at Rice for 11 seasons. Maybe it’s time for a change. This could be it, especially if they fail to win another game.
Rod Carey, Northern Illinois: Already bowl-eligible and second in the MAC West, Carey looks to have the ship turned around in DeKalb.
Matt Wells, Utah State: With five wins the Aggies are a game away from getting back to a bowl game after a one-year absence. That might be enough to buy Wells another season.
Rich Rodriguez, Arizona: The Wildcats are bowl eligible and scared USC Saturday night. The emergence of QB Khalil Tate seems to have saved RichRod’s job.
Bret Bielema, Arkansas: The Razorbacks have, in consecutive weeks, beaten Ole Miss — perhaps the SEC’s worst team — and Coastal Carolina, which is in the first year of its transition to FBS. The problem? Arkansas won both games by a combined two points. Coastal had just one win. The prohibitive buyout on Bielema’s deal may buy him a year. But I’m starting to believe it won’t. I think the Razorbacks fail to make a bowl game with games against LSU, Mississippi State and Missouri remaining.
Doug Martin, New Mexico State: The Aggies won their fourth game of the season against Texas State last weekend. That’s a benchmark for Martin, who has never won more than three games in a season with NMSU. With Louisiana, Idaho and South Alabama left, there’s an actual chance the Aggies get to bowl eligibility. That would be wondrous for this program. That, plus Martin’s extension, signed in late September for a genuine bargain for this athletic department (less than $400,000 per season) means that he’s coming back in 2018, barring a job offer.
Gary Andersen, Oregon State: Andersen resigned, stunningly, after an 1-5 start.
Ed Orgeron, LSU: He’s locked in, even with Saturday’s loss to Alabama. But his Tigers can’t be losing home games to Troy anymore. Baton Rouge can’t take that again.
Matt Luke, Ole Miss: The job opening is posted on the Ole Miss web site and it is unlikely Luke will be considered for the full-time job. If things break right, the Rebels could break even this season at 6-6. But that means beating Louisiana and either Texas A&M or Mississippi State. Tough road.
Brad Lambert, Charlotte: How bad is it now in Charlotte? The 49ers lost to Old Dominion, 6-0 last weekend. All the 49ers had to do to win was score a touchdown. All signs are pointing toward a 1-11 season, the program’s worst under Lambert. One thing to consider — there is little chatter out there about Lambert’s job security. Could be telling.
Kalani Sitake, BYU: Tracking the Cougars this season is depressing. The fact that UMass hung in there with Mississippi State last weekend — and that BYU has UMass coming to town in a couple of weeks — is something to watch. I think the second-year coach gets a third year, but if so the expectation will be that he turns it around quickly.
Barry Odom, Missouri: Sooooo … that win over Florida? Wow. The Gators have checked out, apparently. But Odom will take it as he tries to convince his administration that better days are ahead. One thing to consider — his $2.45 million salary is a bargain these days (No. 45 in FBS, according to USA Today.
Bob Davie, New Mexico: You never want to hear that a coach is being investigated for player mistreatment, but that’s what Davie is dealing with. That investigation began at the start of the season. Now the Lobos are under .500 and staring at missing a bowl game after reaching one a year ago. His situation bears monitoring as it appears the investigation is not resolved.
Derek Mason, Vanderbilt: I don’t believe the odds of Mason losing his job after this season are substantial, but it bears discussion that he’s won just five SEC games in nearly four seasons in Nashville.
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