Seats are sizzling and it’s early in November.
Jim McElwain has been kicked to the curb and there are still plenty of coaches with minimal job security right now. Let’s look at who is left.
Butch Jones, Tennessee Volunteers
The seat I’m describing is radiating enough heat to warm everyone’s home in suburban Knoxville.
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M Aggies
I’m not sure what to make of Sumlin or the Aggies. That’s been the case all season and for the last three years. They show promise each season and they falter late. It’s been difficult for the Aggies to have much offensive rhythm with Kellen Mond at quarterback the last two weeks. I’m guessing they’ll go with Nick Starkel going forward. Does it really matter though? It seems like Sumlin is going to get his $10 million buyout and pursue a job in the PAC-12.
Who the Aggies hire is complicated and will require a great deal of thought. I’d expect to hear some rumblings in the next two weeks if the administration has decided they’re done with Sumlin.
Bret Bielema, Arkansas Razorbacks
The Razorbacks have regressed under Bret’s tenure and change seems like it’s going to happen. It seems like Jeff Long, the current AD at Arkansas, is hesitant to fire Bielema. I’m sure something has to give and it may not be up to Long. The Razorbacks’ biggest boosters do have an affinity for another SEC coach though and he’s also sitting on a warm seat on the plains.
Gus Malzahn, Auburn Tigers
Most Auburn fans fall into one of two groups. The first group believes that Gus Malzahn is an offensive genius. The second group believes that Gus Malzahn knows nothing about football and runs the same three plays over and over. I’m not sure that either group is correct, however, Gus is in a tough spot. I think he’d like to get out due to changes at Auburn involving the resignation of Jay Jacobs and some upheaval in the athletic department. Auburn is good job, however, the rise of the Georgia Bulldogs and the dominance of Alabama certainly distorts my view of what Auburn can achieve at this time.
Names that Auburn would call if Gus is out? I’d have to think that Will Muschamp would get a call.
Jim Mora, UCLA Bruins
Mora and UCLA are seemingly a perfect fit, however, things have not been going well lately. UCLA’s poor offensive line play and injuries to key spots resulted in a 4-8 record in 2016. In 2017, the Bruins are a mediocre 4-5. Josh Rosen has had some minor injuries this season mostly due to a weak offensive line and bad running game.
UCLA is an interesting job and it might appeal to a variety of candidates.
Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech Red Raiders
The Ryan Gosling of college football hasn’t been as good as advertised this season (or in general) after a solid start at Texas Tech. Kingsbury is 28-31 overall and just 14-29 in conference games. Texas Tech might covet a new option to lead their team. Kingsbury’s defenses in Lubbock have been atrocious and maybe a change at head coach can fix it.
Look out for Neal Brown to get some serious consideration at Texas Tech if they decide to move on from Kingsbury.