Now that Ross and I have gotten the cogs working and have managed to slot five posts a week into our busy schedules, it is our pleasure to bring back 4th and 10. Every Wednesday, I’ll be bringing you a list of ten for the week. Today let’s take a look at the ten hottest seats among head coaches at the midway point.
10. Nick Saban
“Fire Saban!” “He can’t win the big one!” “He ain’t no Bear!” Just kidding. Anyone who has the gall to say something like this should just in no way be taken seriously. Nick Saban definitely has some work to do in terms of adapting his scheme to defending the spread, but he won three of the last five BCS championships. He isn’t going anywhere, unless he feels like it.
Job Security Level: Bill Gates
9. Charlie Strong
The first year Texas coach probably isn’t in any real danger of losing his job this season, but you never know. Texas is a program that demands wins. Right now, they aren’t winning. Even more alarming, however, is the amount of players that have been dismissed from or left the team. Strong has a very strict disciplinary standard, and it apparently has come as a culture shock for many of the returning Longhorn players. If Strong and his players can’t get on the same page, then Strong will be exiting Austin a little earlier than he intended.
Job Security Level: “The Voice” coaches not named Adam Levine or Blake Shelton
8. Larry Fedora
I know it may be difficult to believe that a guy who had a winning record in each of his first two seasons can be on the hot seat, but he is. North Carolina is 2-4 now and their defense is worse than Baylor’s or TCU’s, and it might not even be that close. The Tar Heels entered this season with high hopes, and some, myself included, believed they were primed for an appearance in the ACC championship game. We have been hearing “This is the year” in Chapel Hill for a few years now, and they’ve always managed to finish just under expectations. Fedora needs to salvage this season or he may be looking for a new job soon, even if he does have rock hard abs.
Job Security Level: A Tiger Woods’ Swing Coach
7. Ron Turner
Ron Turner is the second year coach at Florida International. And while he may be off to a job saving start, he did go 1-11 in his first year at the helm. The Panthers are 3-4 so far this season, but that includes a loss to FCS Bethune-Cookman. Turner probably needs to finish at least .500 to save his job.
Job Security Level: Jameis Winston’s 1st Publix Chaperone
6. Paul Rhoads
Paul Rhoads is so proud to be the Iowa State head coach. If you don’t believe me then watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAcKiMy0Gp4. (Fast forward to the 1:10 mark). However, pride may not be enough anymore. Rhoads needs to get some wins this season to reverse the downward trend if he wants to keep his job. He’s an “Iowa State man” though and the AD is going to look for any reason he can to keep him, but 4-8 won’t be enough.
Job Security Level: Alabama’s Special Teams Coach
5. Tim Beckman
Tim Beckman is in his 3rd year as Illinois head coach, and has yet to show significant improvement. He is 3-4 this year, but 0-3 in the Big 10. As a matter of fact, only one of his nine wins as the Illinois head coach has been a conference victory. Going 1-18 in the Big 10 is not a good way to keep your job. Illinois is by no means a great program, but they should be better than this. Beckman had better start winning and winning fast.
Job Security Level: Whoever is responsible for this McDonald’s ad…
4. Paul Petrino
Bobby’s less successful brother is the head coach of the Idaho Vandals. He has one win in a year and a half as head coach of the Vandals, a 26-24 win over Temple. Since then, they’ve only managed to stay within double digits of their opponent three times. Idaho is in a dead sprint with SMU to see who can be the absolute worst football team this season. I’d be bold enough to suggest Vanderbilt would blow Idaho out. Petrino will probably be looking for a job on his brother’s staff in the near future.
Job Security Level: Neck Brace Bobby
3. Norm Chow
Chow has the rare distinction of having two reasons he probably won’t have a job in December. The first is the diminishing win total of the Hawaii program. Norm is 6-24 as the head coach at Hawaii. In other words, he’s winning one out of every five games. Some have suggested that he may be “passed his prime” as a coach. How does that even happen? I’m pretty sure an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is the only way a coach can become “passed his prime”, it literally takes next-to-no physical ability to be a coach. The more likely scenario is that Chow is a very good coordinator, who isn’t a particularly good head coach. The second reason he may not have a job is that Hawaii’s athletic director is strongly considering shutting the program down because it is too costly for the university to sustain.
Job Security Level: Charlie Weis’ FUPA (proof of my “next-to-no athletic ability” point)
2. Will Muschamp
Muschamp is another great example of the “great coordinator, bad head coach” stereotype. In fact, he may be the epitome of the stereotype. I actually really hope he doesn’t read this though, because he still scares the devil out of me. Things have gone downhill very rapidly since Muschamp’s first season at Florida, where the Gators went 11-1 before getting smoked by Louisville in the Sugar Bowl. That was before the Gators went 4-8 last season, and started a less-than-impressive 3-2 this season. Muschamp still has time to save his job, but the progress has to start now.
Job Security Level: Post “Nappy Headed Hoes” Don Imus
1. Brady Hoke
Brady Hoke will get fired or resign. It’s going to happen. If Michigan wins out, he will still likely get fired. They won’t win out. Michigan is the winningest program in college football, but they aren’t going to extend that lead this season. Florida and Michigan are two examples of teams who are inexplicably bad. There is no reason Michigan should be this bad. A Notre Dame team who just gave up 43 points to North Carolina shut them out. They are 3-4 now after beating Penn State last weekend to temporarily stem the “Brady Hoke must go!” outcry in Big Blue nation, but there only other two wins are over Appalachian State and a Miami of Ohio team that just recently snapped a 21 game losing streak. I repeat: Brady Hoke will not coach Michigan next season.
Job Security Level: Richard Nixon