It figures to be a slow silly season … unless LSU, USC or -- gulp -- Ohio State opens up, there may not be any high-profile Power Five jobs available this cycle. But give it time. That could all shift if the always-changing winds and whims of wild-eyed boosters and their expectations.
As a fair-and-balanced update to CBS Sports' annual Hot Seat Rankings, we figured we'd revisit the list in-season after one month of competition. As such, we present six coaches from that all-encompassing list of 129 whose security is now trending up since the summer … and six who are trending down.
It's fair to say (some) things have changed. Jim Harbaugh and Michigan are on a roll, while -- five words you thought you'd never read -- Urban Meyer kept his job. Rutgers looks like it could be the worst program in the country. Texas might be back. After a 10-win season, Notre Dame never left. Bill Snyder and Kansas State have endured a troubling start. Colorado is undefeated this far into the season for the first time since 1995.
The rationale for a lot of this: We're not worried about hurt feelings. Coaches make millions of dollars for coaching a game. It's OK if the public reviews their job performance now and then.
A disclaimer because we have something not exhibited in college athletics lately -- patience: We are not including Chip Kelly and Scott Frost (a combined 0-8) because we have a soul. Let these guys complete a season first.
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
|Chris Ash||5||With possible exception of Texas-El Paso, the Scarlet Knights may be the worst program in the country. (Some) Rutgers supporters have made the point Ash has been extended. Turns out the school had to make that lucrative extension. It would probably take a 2-10 season for Rutgers to make a change but that seems entirely possible. Previous: 4|
|D.J. Durkin||5||There are no multiple reports calling the climate around the program both "toxic" and "calamitous" after the death of player Jordan McNair. As Maryland waits for a final report of a second investigative group, not only is Durkin's job in question, there has be speculation about the security of AD Damon Evans and president Wallace Loh. Acting coach Matt Canada might be a logical replacement. The Terps are 3-1 and have beaten Texas for a second straight year. Previous: 3|
|Larry Fedora||4||The out-of-nowhere "football is under attack" comment before the season deflected from the obvious: Fedora was in trouble. A 37-point, six-turnover loss to Miami won't help. North Carolina would owe Fedora approximately $12 million in buyout money after this season. One hint on a replacement: Appalachian State's Scott Satterfield. Previous: 3|
|Urban Meyer||3||Before the Courtney Smith allegations in late July, Meyer was untouchable. Not so much now, at least in terms of these ratings. His job was a point of discussion while he was suspended and put on leave. A trustee resigned when he thought Meyer's suspension wasn't enough. Since returning, a report surfaced there had been discussions that to make interim coach Ryan Day the coach-in-waiting. Meyer's boss, Gene Smith, was also suspended. Would any of us bet a mortgage payment that nothing else comes up regarding Meyer between now and Jan. 1? (Or ever?) It wouldn't be shocking if there was a mutual parting of ways at the end of this season. Ohio State football has always been greater than the Ohio State coach. Ask Woody Hayes and Jim Tressel. Previous: 0|
|Bobby Petrino||3||Suddenly, being the last vestige of the Tom Jurich administration may not be so appealing to Louisville officials. There was bound to be a downturn after the departure of Heisman winner Lamar Jackson but that took an ugly pivot Saturday against Florida State. Louisville may just want to start over after a season that has started 2-3. The remaining schedule isn't friendly. Petrino has a new boss (AD Vince Tyra) and plenty of family on staff. Son Nick is a quarterbacks coach. Ryan Beard, a son-in-law, is safeties coach. After all the scandal Louisville has been through, fresh faces might not be a bad idea. Previous: 2|
|Bill Snyder||3||Something is lost with K-State football. There are few playmakers on offense. The two-quarterback system hasn't really solved much. The momentum that was always there with K-State as the gutty little underdogs seems to have slowed. The Wildcats are off to a 2-3 start. The last time they started out worse was 1989, Snyder's first season. The streak of eight straight bowls is in jeopardy. Snyder has as much power as any coach as any coach in the country, but if the bottom falls out with a 4-8 season, don't be surprised if a change is made. Previous: 1|
Other coaches feeling the heat: Paul Johnson (Georgia Tech), Brad Lambert (Charlotte), Bobby Wilder (Old Dominion), Bob Davie (New Mexico), Everett Withers (Texas State), Mark Whipple (UMass), Phillip Montgomery (Tulsa)
Seats cooling off
|Jim Harbaugh||1||Michigan fans everywhere are asking themselves, "If we just could have survived the first quarter at Notre Dame." In that quarter, ND drove to a 14-0 lead with a quarterback (Brandon Wimbush) who has since lost the starting job. Literally since that moment, Michigan has collected itself winning the next three quarters and four games. All is right with Shea Patterson completing 68.5 percent of his passes. The defense is No. 1 in the country. The Ohio State game is 52 days away. We will reevaluate then. Previous: 2|
|Mark Stoops||1||Who would have circled Georgia at Kentucky on Nov. 3 at the beginning of the season? Now that game might decide the SEC East. In Year 6, Stoops has turned everything around. He has a tough, physical team that we should have seen coming. Benny Snell Jr. may be the SEC's best rusher. Defensive end Josh Allen is having an All-SEC season (10.5 tackles for loss, six sacks). The administration has shown patience -- something not seen often enough these days. A win over Texas A&M this week and the Wildcats are off to their best start since 1950. Stoops looks like he has assured himself a future (read: extension) at Kentucky. Previous: 4|
|Mike MacIntyre||1||In a wide-open Pac-12 South, why not CU? Mac has slipped off the hot seat with the first 4-0 start of his career. Steve Montez just might be the best quarterback in the Pac-12 (sorry Jake Browning). Receiver Laviska Shenault is No. 2 in Power Five receiving yards and No. 1 the Pac-12. There are whispers of Heisman contention. Previous: 4|
|Ed Orgeron||2||Coach O is 11-2 since the Troy loss last year. LSU has accomplished more than any team this season -- already beating two top 10 teams during a 5-0 start. With the fast start, Oregeron seems comfortable in his own skin. Finally, LSU fans seem comfortable with him. His players would run through a wall for him. Check back, though, if the Tigers finish 8-4. Previous: 4|
|Kalani Sitake||2||The first Tongan head football coach in NCAA history may have saved his job on Sept. 15. The Cougars pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season winning at Wisconsin. A 3-1 start was blemished by a blowout loss at Washington. Still, the Cougars are trending up after a 4-9 season in 2017, the program's worst since 1970. Previous: 4|
|Lovie Smith||3||Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany went out of his way to give Illini football a vote of confidence last week. Despite a staggering second-half collapse against Penn State, the Illini (2-2) are better. A bowl game isn't out of the question. Illinois has an identity leading the Big Ten in interceptions and takeaways. There are a lot of people rooting for Lovie to succeed. I'm among them after he entered the season 5-19 at Illinois. Previous: 5|
Other coaches cooling off: Steve Addazio (Boston College), Luke Fickell (Cincinnati), Chris Reighton (Eastern Michigan), Nick Rolovich (Hawaii), Dino Babers (Syracuse)