College football coaches at risk of being fired generate lists, emotional outbursts and rampant, sometimes loony speculation. Your scribe is a connoisseur of those unmarketable areas so while the season is still months away, checking in on the head coaches facing heat offers some entertainment.
According to always enjoyable CoachesHotSeat.com, here’s a top ten for 2012 with my own vapid remarks:
Since taking over for Jeff Jagodzinski, fired for interviewing with the New York Jets, Spaziani is a middling 20-19. That’s not horrible for a school like Boston College and I’m sure the administration realizes the larger issue is finding another Matt Ryan. College executives always consider these minute details right alongside the seriousness of trading Under Armour for Reebok.
Riley is steadily complimented for his demeanor and I’m pretty sure he’d stay with the Beavers for life if given the chance. After eleven years though, it might be time to inject something else into their dam. James and Jacquizz Rodgers brought headlines and that unforgettable upset of #1 Southern Cal in 2008 but the last two seasons have seen Oregon State notch 5-7 and 3-9 records.
2-10 in Year One. A run on transfers that rivals the number of people who quote Voltaire unironically. Alienating the fan base when they were disappointed already the Terrapins couldn’t lock down Mike Leach. Edsall needs tangible success in his second season at College Park or he might not receive a third try.
He’s never quit expressing an undying love for the Southeastern Conference. I’m sure he quietly angled for the Arkansas gig. But Tuberville is stuck in Lubbock and unable to find a defensive coordinator to his liking. At 13-12 the past two seasons, he’s not scorching but Lake Travis quarterback product Michael Brewer might be the key to his future on the South Plains.
11-14 in two years doesn’t inspire any sort of confidence in the former attorney. He also watched as his best recruiter (Peter Sirmon) and defensive coordinator (Justin Wilcox) moved laterally to Washington. Then there’s the fact that he’s sort of goofy. Dooley requires a bounce back season probably more than anyone else on this list because of the conference his campus inhabits. Tennessee is a great college job but the upheaval since Phil Fulmer’s ouster has made Dooley’s potential replacement cost that much more.
A man who made his name as a quarterbacks guru hasn’t produced one in years. A decade of one man’s leadership means rousing success or for both Mike Riley and Jeff Tedford, occasionally above-average, sometimes mediocre. The coaching turnover in the Pac 12 figures to present a challenging distraction as well. The Bears may give Tedford 2012 to reignite his cause but more than likely, Cal offers an attractive landing spot next winter.
7. Robb Akey: Idaho
My vocabulary only extends so far as to contain enough words for one college football program from Idaho. And I don’t see Chris Petersen on this list.
8. Dan Enos: Central Michigan
The Central Michigan mascot is the Chippewas. See, we all learned something today.
9. Kevin Wilson: Indiana
In his first season with the Hoosiers, they finished a disastrous 1-11. Gunner Kiel, the native son committed last summer to Kevin Wilson’s staff only to renege for LSU then renege again for Notre Dame. Had the 5-star quarterback arrived in Bloomington, Wilson has all the leverage he needs to wade through the initial growing pains. But he doesn’t have Kiel and now the former Oklahoma offensive coordinator could stand to show some progress or simply point to the resurgence of Indiana hoops and say, “HEY, LOOK OVER THERE!”
Absent another 5-7 debacle, Brown isn’t in trouble. A three game improvement from 2010 to 2011 kept most of his detractors at bay and his recruiting has maintained a steady national ranking. But it’s time for the Longhorns to challenge in the Big 12 again. No amount of dollars raised and donated distance a head coach from embarrassing losses. Mack Brown retooled his staff, recommitted to recruiting evaluations and seems genuinely invigorated about finishing a legacy. He just needs an Oklahoma win like Vince Young needs a job.