SportsLine.com's annual Coaches on the Hot Seat used to be just that. Hot. It stirred the matches, er, masses. It was juicy. It fed the feedback.
Not this year. Sorry folks, Hot Seat is cancelled for '07.
|Ted Roof (0-12 in '06) shouldn't get too comfortable over at Duke. (US Presswire)|
This year, the Hot Seat is back but barely warm. Only four of 119 coaches are "feeling the pressure" (4-4.5 on a scale of five) heading into 2007. Job security, it seems, has broken out like the Ebola virus. One-fifth of schools (24) have new coaches. Only 13 of those schools actually fired their coaches. Honeymoons abound.
That's not to say coaches won't get fired during or after next season. But when Wyoming's Joe Glenn is being mentioned in polite company as being ready for The Big Haircut, it's time to start reading the box scores instead of the tea leaves.
When wasn't Ty Willingham fighting some sort of perception problem?
Virginia's Al Groh runs off coaches. So what? Where's your outrage Charlottesville?
The SEC has mellowed. In 2006, all of the conference's coaches returned together for the first time since 1988. Then things got back to normal. Mike Shula was culled from the herd.
Who's next? For a while, Ed Orgeron at Ole Miss seemed to be a likely victim, except he just got a two-year extension and is still recruiting like a madman. It's hard to fire a guy who, by this fall, will have had two books significantly chronicle his program.
Arkansas doesn't have the guts, money or the appropriate incriminating phone records to can Houston Nutt. That will come soon enough after the Hogs go 7-5 and the new AD wants his own guy.
Memphis paid $462,500 per victory last season considering Tommy West went 2-10 and makes $925,000 per season. But that makes him a bargain compared to Duke which paid Ted Roof $372,000 for nothing (0-12).
Or Ron Zook ($620,8975 per win) or Dan Hawkins ($549,250) whose two victories each were more expensive to their schools.
There is an entire industry built on coaching searches. Bloggers are now capable of swaying a search just by booting up, putting on a pot of coffee and firing away at the keyboard. Successful employed coaches have leeched on themselves. Just getting their name mentioned in print can lead to an extension or a bonus.