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College Football: 15 Coaches Waiting to be Fired

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15 College Football Coaches on the Hot Seat


The day Houston Nutt was hired at the University of Arkansas he joked Athletic Director Frank Broyles just formed a search committee to find his replacement.


The life of a BCS Head Football Coach

There is nothing quite like it on the face of the earth and is one of the most unusual leadership management position ever in the history of the world.

Just think about it for a second…

Where else in the working world would a company hire you with very little history of success, pay you millions of dollars, hand you a box of crap and give you three years to turn it into the most successful product or company in the history of mankind?


That is what college football fans, the University Presidents and the Athletic Directors expect in today’s world of high stakes on the amateur gridiron.

The NCAA reported 49.7 MILLION fans attended a College Football game in 2011.

The SEC was the top conference draw again for the 14th-straight year with 6.4 million fans in attendance.

Yes, the top draw in all of college football for 14 straight seasons…

Add to this an average ticket price of $109 per seat and you are looking at $54 Billion business for the NCAA on ticket sales alone.

That is an average of $454 Million in ticket sales income on average.

That is just silly crazy money...

And now you know why and how the Hot Seat was created in college football…

So as with every season, the list of fans asking for the head of their leader on a silver platter is a long one.

And where there is wins, there is income and happiness…

And where there are losses, there is The Top 15 Coaches on the Hot Seat in College Football.

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No. 15 - Mark Richt, Georgia Bulldogs

Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

OK Georgia Bulldog fans…

This has to make you happy seeing Head Coach Mark Richt on the Hot Seat List at No. 15.


But don’t be so quick to throw a party and let’s make something very, very clear…

No matter what you think of Richt he is simply not going anywhere.

Facts are Richt is the most successful coach in Georgia history with a winning percentage of .746. He has won five SEC Eastern Division crowns and a pair of SEC Titles in just 11 years.

The one thing missing is a BCS National Championship

The greatest coach in Bulldog history is regarded as the legendary Vince Dooley.

But what Georgia Fans are quick to forget is that without a recruit by the name of Hershel Walker, Vince may never have gotten to the time to stick around Athens, Georgia and become a legend.

Richt has to be on the list for the simple fact everyone is become tired of waiting for his special player he can ride to the title to arrive

But if Georgia falters down the stretch, look for Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo to finally take the hit and not Richt.

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No. 14 - Mack Brown, Texas Longhorns



Texas Longhorn Icon Mack Brown did make the Hot Seat List at No. 14 for one simple reason…

His team gave up 63 points to its arch nemesis…

Is there anyway under the sun Texas gets rid of the man who is Texas Football

The answer is an overwhelming NO!

Even the Official Texas Football Website has a banner to vote Brown Coach of the Year.

Take a deep breath Longhorn fans…

Brown has given the program more success than it ever has seen on and off the field and he has a record of 141-39 in his 15 seasons in Austin, Texas.

Who do you really think is a better option as the head coach of the Longhorns?

Simply, No one…

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No. 13 - Joker Phillips, Kentucky Wildcats

Marvin Gentry-US PRESSWIRE

So the first thing you are probably asking is why Kentucky Wildcats Head Coach Joker Phillips is coming in so low on the list at No. 13 in the Hot Seat List.

First of all, dump the Wildcats record out the window right now…

Kentucky is and will always be a College Basketball juggernaut on the court and in the bank accounts.

It is one of the few schools that can afford the luxury of not have a big-time elite football program.

Plus, the Wildcats are in the SEC. When you have the six or so teams with open access to the money of the BCS as the SEC does, the profit sharing that trickles down keep Kentucky Football stable.

Now, Phillips needs to figure things out for sure and that is why he is on the list and will remain on the list for ever.

Kentucky cannot maintain its level of fan support if it is getting hammered by 60+ points each week.

Phillips and Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart are very close friends which keeps him protected for now.

But College Football is a business and if the money and support falls Phillips will be shown the door.

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No. 12 - Tom O'Brien, North Carolina State Wolfpack

Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Despite the huge upset over the Florida State Seminoles, North Carolina State Wolfpack Head Coach Tom O’Brien still makes the Hot Seat List at No. 12.

Facts are O’Brien is only 37-32 in his six seasons at NC State.

That is simply not good enough for the folks in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Wolfpack have had the athletes to compete in the tougher ACC Atlantic Division, but O’Brien has only been able to must one 2nd-place finish.

O’Brien needs a huge push down the stretch in 2012 to keep his post as the top man for NC State.

Anything less than four or five wins on the remaining schedule will probably cost O’Brien his job.

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No. 11 - Jon Embree, Colorado Buffaloes


The grease fire that is the Colorado Buffaloes has landed Head Coach Jon Embree on the Hot Seat List at No. 11.

Yes Embree is a Colorado Alum and is only in his second season to clean up the mess left by Dan Hawkins, but time is quickly running out for the young coach in Boulder, Colorado.

The Buffaloes are dead last in all of College Football in Points Allowed and are at No. 106 in Points Scored.

At 1-5 overall and 1-2 in Pac-12 action, Colorado still has yet to play the big boys on the conference schedule.

Embree needs to find a way to pull an upset or keep the losses close down the stretch or it’s simply two-and-done for him at Colorado.

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No. 10 - Doug Marrone, Syracuse Orange

Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

It’s a no-brainer that Syracuse Orange Head Coach Doug Marrone makes the Hot Seat List at No. 10.

Have you watched Syracuse play at all during his four-years with the school?

The Orange have been inconsistent and have lost numerous games it shouldn’t have while playing close in games it should be getting hammered in.

Plus this is Syracuse Football folks.

A once very elite and proud power in College Football.

With the pending move to the ACC, ‘Cuse Nation will be looking for a fresh start especially if they cannot win out most of its games on the 2012 slate.

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No. 9 - Tim Beckman, Illinois Fighting Illini

Brace Hemmelgran-US PRESSWIRE

Yes, Illinois Fighting Illini Head Coach Tim Beckman is in his first season, but that does not spare him from the Hot Seat List at No. 9.

At times you have to believe some of the proud faithful in Champaign, Illinois seriously thought to themselves, “maybe Ron Zook wasn’t that bad after all?”

Beckman’s squad does not have a win in conference and just got blasted 45-0 by the Michigan Wolverines.

If Illinois cannot pull out at least one or two wins in the pathetic Big 10 it will be a one-and-done contract for Beckman.

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No. 8 - Bo Pelini, Nebraska Cornhuskers

Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE

Nebraska Cornhuskers Head Coach Bo Pelini makes an appearance on the Hot Seat List at No. 8 for more than a few reasons.

First and foremost, the hottest ticket on Saturday’s in College Football resides in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Yes, Lincoln, Nebraksa…

The average ticket price for a Cornhuskers game is $262 which is almost double the amount of the Big 10 average of $132.

That’s a lot of seed in the ground from a program that has tons and tons of history.

Pelini has been very successful at Nebraska posting a 43-18 record.

But Nebraksa legend Tom Osborne has retired as the Athletic Director and Nebraska has hired Shawn Eichorst from the University of Miami Hurricanes.

Pelini has lost his security blanket in Osborne and if his health continues to falter and Nebraska loses more than it wins in the terrible Big 10 Eichorst will be quick to make a change under his new tenure.

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No. 7 - Danny Hope Purdue Boilermakers


This is a pretty easy sell here as Purdue Boilermakers Head Coach Danny Hope makes the Hot Seat List at No. 7.

Hope has been with Purdue since 2009 and has only been able to come up with a record of 19-24.

That is simply not good enough on so many different levels…

Add back to back spankings by the Michigan Wolverines and the Wisconsin Badgers and the Boilermakers are clearly heading in the wrong direction.

If Purdue as a team gives up on Hope, literally, it will go in another direction for the 2013 campaign.

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No. 6 - Frank Spaziani, Boston College Eagles


It’s tough luck, but that is the nature of the game and that is why Boston College Eagles Head Coach Frank Spaziani appears on the Hot Seat List at No. 6.

Spaziani has been with Boston College since but has only amassed a 21-24 overall mark and a 12-15 conference record in the ACC.

This season has been more about bad and a bad defense than anything else.

Every game remaining on the schedule is winnable for Spaziani and the Eagles, but he will need to pull a 4-2 mark to save his job.

But if the Mad Scientist does get canned he has a bright future as a Magnum P.I. remake.

Just Saying…

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No. 5 - Jeff Tedford, Cal Bears


Think to yourself the last season or the last time you felt the Cal Bears were relevant and significant…

Yeah… no one else can either…

And that is precisely why Head Coach Jeff Tedford breaks into the Top 5 of the Hot Seat List at No. 5.

Tedford has been with Cal for 11 seasons and has an overall record of 82-52 and a 50-40 mark in the Pac-12.

Sounds fantastic, right?

Well, since 2006, the last year Cal was relevant, the Bears have only put up a 39-32 overall mark and a 23-26 conference record.

Needless to say Tedford may be too comfortable with things at Cal and that usually leads to the warming up of the old coaches seat.

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No. 4 - Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets


Ask anyone around Atlanta, Georgia and you will quickly know why Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Head Coach Paul Johnson is on the Hot Seat List at No. 4.

Johnson’s triple option three-ring circus rushing attack historically leads the nation in yards on the ground each and every season.

The guy knows how to put points on the board…

But what he hasn’t been able to figure out is how to stop the other team from scoring.

And this is wearing very, very thin on Tech fans.

The Yellow Jackets are at 2-4 overall and 1-3 in the ACC Coastal Division. Its only two wins on the season are against the Presbyterian Blue Hoes of the FCS and the train wreck that is the Virginia Cavaliers.

Johnson did fire Al Groh as the scapegoat, but it might be too little, too late.

Let’s just say Johnson’s seat is already so hot there is no way he can even think about sitting down ever again.

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No. 3 - Mike London, Virginia Cavaliers


If you had to place a bet of someone who is getting canned on this list look no further than the Virginia Cavaliers Head Coach Mike London who come in at No. 3 on the Hot Seat List.

Virginia is about as hot and cold as a team can be year in and year out.

London got the big gig with the Cavaliers after just two very successful seasons with the Richmond Spiders.

Since then London has had one winning season at 8-5 and has an overall record of 14-18 in three seasons. He is also a pathetic 6-13 in ACC Football action.

The ACC needs Virginia to be a viable team and a lot was expected of the Cavaliers and London this season.

Look for this job to be open up if Virginia losses just two more games.

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No. 2 - Derek Dooley, Tennessee Volunteers


There is always that one guy who does not deserve his fate but is just in the wrong place at the wrong time…

And with that, let’s bring out Tennessee Volunteers Head Coach Derek Dooley for all to comment on at No. 2 on the Hot Seat List.

To say Dooley inherited a mess is the greatest understatement every made.

He walked in the front door and had a hooker shooting up meth who just started a grease fire a dumpster in the middle of Neyland Stadium that told him she loved him.

Next to the Penn State Nittany Lions, there was no program in greater disarray than the proud Volunteers.

Was Dooley ready for a prime-time gig like Tennessee?

Probably not…

He only had a 17-20 overall mark and a 12-12 conference mark with the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in three seasons.

Dooley did manage to break out in his first year with a 6-7 record and 3-5 in the SEC.

But it has gotten worse each year including a 1-7 SEC mark in 2011 and so far 0-3 this season.

There is no doubt if Dooley had another year or two he could turn this around…

But he simply will not be given the time…

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No. 1 - Gene Chizik, Auburn Tigers


Who else would sit atop the Hot Seat List than Auburn Tigers Head Coach Gene Chizik

Just two years removed from winning a BCS National Championship, things are grim around Auburn, Alabama.

There is a good chance, in fact a great chance, Auburn will not win an SEC game this season.


The guy was 5-19 and 2-14 in two seasons with the Iowa State Cyclones.

Chizik inheirited Tommy Tubberville’s players and rode that to a 30-10, 15-9 SEC mark and a BCS National Championship.

So far with his own players I 2012, Chizik is at 1-5 overall and 0-4 in the SEC…

And for all of you out there who thinks his wife Jonna Chizik’s rants about prayer and satan will lead to his demise, pull out your own Bible and do some reading before you pass judgment.

There is no doubt lots of prayer from Auburn Nation will help…

But if Chizik does not get some wins soon he will have plenty of quiet time to reflect on what went wrong with the Tigers.


M Shannon Smallwood has over 10 years of experience in broadcasting and journalism in professional baseball and college athletics and is the ACC Football Guru for Rant Sports.

Follow him @woodysmalls.