8. Tennessee - The Tennessee Volunteer Football program has been mired in mediocrity the past four seasons. Derek Dooley took over as Head Coach after one tumultuous season under Lane Kiffin. And so far it’s been a rocky ride for Dooley. Granted there wasn’t an over abundance of talent in the program when Dooley took over, and an emphasis needed to be placed on recruiting .
But even still going 1-7 in a weak SEC East Division has to raise an alarm among Volunteer fans. However, after the Lane Kiffin fiasco it seems Tennessee Administrators may be more likely to give Dooley a little more time to get things pointed in the right direction. Injuries to key players hurt the Vols this past season as well. But until Dooley shows to tangible results, he will be on the hot seat.
7. Oregon State – The prevailing trend with the programs on this list: Coaches on the Hot Seat. And Coach Mike Riley is squarely on the hot seat. After having a mostly successful stint with the Beavers, Riley has delivered two consecutive losing seasons, and the Beavers at this time are clearly on a downward trend.
However, it seems the Oregon State administration is being patient with Riley and are giving him a chance to turn things around. But be that as it may, I doubt Riley will survive a third consecutive losing season. So next season Riley is in a must win situation, and will be coaching for his job.
6. Texas Tech - When Mike Leach was at Texas Tech, the Red Raiders offense was both feared and effective. and it seems that Leach was the major reason Texas Tech was competing for conference championships at the end of the Leach era. But Leach was fired, and even though his replacement Tommy Tuberville brought a high pedigree to the job, this seems to be another case of a program losing it’s mojo after firing a coach that was a perfect fit for the program.
The high-powered offense is still in place, but Leach’s pirate like persona seemed to give the program an edge that it doesn’t have now that he’s gone. Tuberville is a good coach, and if anyone can turn it around he can. But will Texas Tech ever reach the heights is did under Leach again? Probably not in the near future.
5. Kansas - Sometimes a coaching hire just isn’t a good fit. Kansas is another program that at one time seemed to have turned the corner, and was competing for bowls every year. But then the coach is fired, and his replacement can’t seem to keep the momentum going. In this case Turner Gill was the new coach, and the program never resembled the competitive program it looked like under Mark Mangino. Now it’s up to Charlie Weis to try to restore Kansas to a winning program, but can he do it? That remains to be seen.
4. Boston College - Another program with coaching issues. Boston College was challenging for ACC titles under Jeff Jagodzinski, but when he flirted with NFL jobs, he was abruptly fired, and replaced by Frank Spaziani. Things have slowly gone downhill since then, and has culminated in a 4-8 season, and while the Eagles were still competitive in some games, the future doesn’t look very promising at this point.
3. Maryland - In Randy Edsall’s first season he took a nine win bowl team, and turned it into a 2-10 disaster. Edsall has alienated a good portion of his players, and the majority of the Maryland fan base. Players are transferring out at an alarming rate, and the fertile DC / Maryland recruiting area is being raided of its top recruits by major programs and Mike London at Virginia.
Edsall is clearly on the Hot Seat and may not survive another bad season. He needs results quickly. And even though things may have not been great when Ralph Friedgen was there, I seriously doubt Maryland administrators ever imagined things would get even worse than they were before Edsall took over.
2. Florida - There are some schools that would be happy for a 6-6 season and a bowl appearance. But at Florida, such a scenario is an absolute disaster. After winning multiple National Championships under Urban Meyer, the Gators are now barely a winning program. Will Muschamp is a first time head coach, and may be in over his head, but he is young and has ability, so it’s possible that he can get it going in a big way.
Naming Charlie Weis as his Offensive Coordinator seems to have been a mistake, and now that Weis is gone, can Muschamp lure a top OC to join his staff now that he’s on the hot seat? It may be a bit risky for a top Offensive Coordinator to jump on board a sinking ship, but I’m sure the Gators will pay handsomely to whatever OC agrees to take over for Weis. But will it really matter? Muschamp has the resources to win now, but if he doesn’t he’s out. That’s the blessing and the curse of being Head Coach at one of the top programs in the country.
1. Texas - The days of Conference and National Championships may be over for Mack Brown at Texas. After their runs with Vince Young and Colt McCoy, it seems the Longhorns have lost their mojo. The capacity is there to more than get it back, but the question is will they? As successful as Mack Brown has been at Texas, I’m sure they will give him more time to find the mojo. I doubt they would fire Brown, but if things continue on a downward trend, he may be asked to resign at some point.