Three (firings) down, how many more to go? The silly season of coaching changes is upon us in early November. Get used to it. The early signing period (Dec. 19 this year) has put pressures on athletic directors to make moves earlier than preferred.
Kansas AD Jeff Long spoke about it Sunday when announcing the departure of David Beaty. "With that signing day looming, I felt that was the time to let our fans know, let our recruits know we're headed in a different direction," Long said. Beaty at least knows his fate. He will finish the season with the Jayhawks still chasing bowl eligibility.
The shifting temperatures of the Hot Seat Rankings have yet to fully kick in for others. This month figures to, well, heat up.
It's a rough business. USC's Clay Helton may not last the month, or he could go to the Rose Bowl. The end of the Bill Snyder era seems to be coming to a close -- if the powerful Kansas State matriarch allows it. Willie Taggart probably will survive a monumentally disappointing first season at Florida State. But will he make it through the second?
These are the names to watch going forward.
Before we get to who is up and who is down, a quick reminder about our ratings key and what the numbers next to each coach's name represent in the grand scheme of things.
- 5: Win or be fired
- 4: Start improving now
- 3: Pressure is mounting
- 2: All good ... for now
- 1: Safe and secure
- 0: Untouchable
Seats heating up
|Bobby Petrino||5||It was only five years ago the Charlie Strong completed a 23-3 two-year run at Louisville that included a Sugar Bowl win. Lately, the bottom has fallen out. Petrino's AD is long gone. At 2-7, the program is wandering. The Cardinals have given up at least 51 points four times. It seems inevitable now that Petrino is removed. The school would owe Petrino a reported $12 million. Can it afford not to get of him? Previous: 3|
|Bill Snyder||5||Two outlets that cover K-State have already called for Snyder to retire, including the influential Kansas City Star. The 79 year-old coach is no doubt a miracle worker, but the program has slipped. The coach lately has been singling out individuals for his criticism, which was never his style. Rumors circulated Monday that Snyder was ready to tell the team he was retiring. Those proved to be untrue for the moment. This is the second 3-6 start in the last four years. Previous: 3|
|Larry Fedora||5||Larry Fedora, North Carolina: Since we last updated the Hot Seat, the Tar Heels have gone from 1-3 to 1-7. Both Gene Chizik and North Texas' Seth Littrell (former UNC coordinators) have been mentioned as replacement for Fedora. AD Bubba Cunningham doesn't seem averse to paying the $12 million buyout. In other words, crank up the candidates list. Previous: 4|
|Chris Ash||5||The Scarlet Knights continue to lose, but just when you thought things couldn't get worse, they did. Last week, a linebacker was dismissed from the team after being charged with attempted double murder. Last month, I said it would probably take a 2-10 season for officials to swallow Ash's extension. Rutgers has been more competitive lately, but 1-11 seems entirely possible with games left against Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State. Previous: 5|
|Scottie Montgomery||5||The AD's job has been open since March. The chancellor denied a report he is leaving Jan. 1. The school's president has resigned. Enrollment is down. East Carolina seems it is not the place to be. In the middle of this malaise is Montgomery. The ex-Duke offensive coordinator is 2-6 (8-24) after a loss to Memphis before the smallest crowd of the season. Question: If ECU wanted to make a change, who in authority would do it? Previous: 5|
|Tony Sanchez||4||In his fourth season, the former Gorman High School coach is 14-31. He has one FBS win this season (2-7 overall). The feeling is that Sanchez will get one more year to turn it around. His local connections allowed the school to build a new football facility. But there will have to be buzz created with the Rebels playing in the new Raiders stadium beginning in 2020. Will Sanchez be the guy? Previous: 4|
|Clay Helton||3||The Trojans are an unacceptable 5-4 overall … but in a three-way tie (at 4-3) for the Pac-12 South lead. That means USC could miss a bowl or play in the Rose Bowl. The last three games (Cal, UCLA, Notre Dame) will reveal a lot. Beat the Bruins and Irish, and it would be hard to get rid of him. But lose to the Bears and things might get dicey. USC would easily be the No. 1 job if it opens. Helton recognized the hot seat when took over play-calling from Tee Martin. So far, so good. Helton has won but some of those fans are distressed at the extremes of the program. AD Lynn Swann gave Helton a vote of confidence last week. You know what that can mean. Previous: 2|
|Kalani Sitake||3||Will the upset of Wisconsin sustain this loyal Cougar? Probably not has long as the Badgers edge toward mediocrity. It really seemed like the program was turning the corner on Sept. 15 in Madison. Since then, the Cougars have lost to Pac-12, Mountain West and MAC schools. The offense has gone South after a revamping of the staff. At 4-5, a bowl berth seems key. UMass, New Mexico State and Utah are left on the schedule. Back-to-back losing seasons would be the first since 2003. Previous: 2|
Other coaches feeling the heat: Willie Taggart (Florida State), Phillip Montgomery (Tulsa), Everett Withers (Texas State), Randy Edsall (UConn), Bob Davie (New Mexico)