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College Basketball Preview: 10 Coaches on the Hot Seat Heading into 2012-13 Season

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Top 10 Coaches on the Hot Seat

Rick Stansbury
Kelly Lambert-US PRESSWIRE

No college basketball coach ever wants to be on the hot seat.

The season is long so aspirations and hype can alter as the regular season progress through the non-conference schedule and into league play as the new year hits. Some coaches can get their respected teams to overachieve, just look at South Florida's Stan Heath. Yet on the other hand, things can fall apart rather quickly, take Mississippi State's Rick Stansbury (pictured above).

With the 2012-13 season on the horizon, a new batch of college coaches find themselves in rocky positions, mainly due off poor seasons in the past. For these ten coaches, the time must be now, or their jobs may be in question.

Some of the following coaches will see their squads improve, whether it's from a new recruiting haul or simply a more experienced lineup. Other however, are facing stiff challenges and the approaching season just may be their last.

Without further ado, let's take a look at ten coaches who must find success this season:

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No. 10-Tubby Smith

Tubby Smith
Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Team- Minnesota

Years at School- 5

Status- Lukewarm

Tubby Smith gets the biggest advantage in this group because he does have a 61.7 winning percentage since taking over the Golden Golphers' program back in 2007. However, Minnesota have never finished above .500 within the Big Ten during his tenure and has qualified for only two NCAA Tournaments. Last season, Minnesota won 23 games under Smith's guidance, a team-high during Smith's five seasons in charge. However, a run to the NIT Championship game was an added boost to that overall mark. The pressure isn't mounting for Smith just yet, but the Golden Gophers need to be a tournament team this year if he hopes to maintain that status.

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No. 9-Craig Robinson

Craig Robinson

Team- Oregon State

Years at School- 4

Status- Heating Up

The Beavers have not qualified for the NCAA Tournament since 1990 and have not won a game in the Big Dance since 1982. With that being said, Robinson gets the leeway in that regard. In fact, just last season, Oregon State had their first winning seasons in Robinson's tenure, finishing the year at 21-15 overall. However, the Beavers have not even qualified for a trip to the NIT in that span. Replacing Jared Cunningham this season will not be easy, so expectations are up in the air. Robinson's seat is heating up with each sub-par season.

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No. 8-Donnie Jones

Donnie Jones
Marvin Gentry-US PRESSWIRE

Team- Central Florida

Years at School- 2

Status- Heating Up

In two seasons at Central Florida, Jones has lead the Golden Knights to 43 wins and back-to-back postseason appearances. UCF has not advanced to the NCAA Tournament in either of those years, which is okay, but NCAA violations and a postseason ban in the school's final year in Conference USA is not. Keith Clanton made the decision to return to UCF this season and that's not good news, but the loss of Marcus Jordan certainly does not help expectations. Central Florida is headed to the Big East in 2013, so Jones needs to show the university he is the man to help begin that transition.

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No. 7-Bill Carmody

Bill Carmody

Team- Northwestern

Years at School- 12

Status- Heating Up

Carmody has guided the Wildcats for the past 12 years and college basketball fans across the country known the facts: Northwestern has never qualified for the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats are the only power six conference university to never advance to the Big Dance, yet Carmody has guided the school to increased expectations and four consecutive NIT tournaments. Despite knocking on the door of history, Northwestern has been unable to break through and that pressure is now beginning to mount against Carmody. The good news is that 2013 prospect Jaren Sina is committed for next season and that could hold dividends for Carmody's status following this season.

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No.6-Travis Ford

Travis Ford

Team- Oklahoma State

Years at School- 4

Status- Hot

After back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in his first two seasons in Stillwater, Ford has failed to guide the Cowboys back to the Big Dance since. The good news is that Oklahoma State has high expectations in 2012-13 with Le'Bryan Nash and Marcus Smart leading the way, yet the bad news is that Ford's status revolves around the team's ability to live up to that hype. Ford needs to lead this group to the NCAA Tournament this March or things could be headed in a different direction at OSU.

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No. 5-Ben Howland

Ben Howland
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Team- UCLA

Years at School- 9

Status- Hot

We know the off the court issues and trend of transfers has developed into a recent theme for the Bruins, but Howland's tenure at UCLA has not been dictated just by that. The only problem is that his job security certainly will be. An overhaul of top recruits has UCLA thinking big things in 2012-13, but will they live up to hype? Incoming freshmen Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad have yet to receive clearance from the NCAA and that's crucial to the Bruins' success. Will UCLA return to national prominence this year? If not, Howland may be in trouble.

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No. 4-Andy Kennedy

Andy Kennedy

Team- Ole Miss

Years at School- 6

Status- Hot

In six years at the helm, Kennedy has failed to guide the Rebels to the NCAA Tournament. Five postseason appearances (all NIT) in that stretch is something to hang their hat on, but Ole Miss needs more. The usual suspects sit atop the SEC again in 2012-13, so Ole Miss will look to crash the standings, or else Kennedy may be out of a job.

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No. 3-Ken Bone

Ken Bone

Team- Washington State

Years at School- 3

Status- Burning

In all three of Bone's seasons at Washington State, the Cougars have had a winning record. The return of Brock Motum, one of the more under-appreciated stars in the Pac-12 helps, but expectations are low in Pullman once again. The dismissal of three-year starting point guard Reggie Moore is a devastating blow to the Cougars' roster, so how does that affect Bone's status? Regardless, his seat is heating up and the pressure is mounting rather quickly.

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No. 2-Jeff Bzdelik

Jeff Bzdelik

Team- Wake Forest

Years at School- 2

Status- Burning

Bzdelik has only been at Wake Forest for two seasons and a nice recruiting class has expectations on the rise for the Demon Deacons. In relation to Bzdelik's job status however, those expectations must be met or his tenure could be cut short. Over the past two years, Wake Forest has found themselves near the bottom of the barrel in the ACC, so Bzdelik needs to pull them up and pull them out fast.

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No.1-Herb Sendek

Herb Sendek

Team- Arizona State

Years at School- 6

Status- On Fire

There may be no coach in the country that is feeling the pressure that Sendek is feeling. Many believe it is now or never for the Arizona State head man and a lot rests on the Sun Devils' ability to perform in 2012-13. That means, point guard Jahii Carson. After sitting out all of last season due to eligibility issues, Carson is ready to go and ready to take the Pac-12 Conference by storm. While ASU might not be a title contender in the league, the Sun Devils need improvement or it could be Sendek who doesn't return next season.