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In the land of the Hot Seat Rankings, security reigns (this season).

Over the last two seasons, a total of 53 coaching changes have been made. That's almost 40% of FBS. In the last three years, there have been 71 changes (53% of FBS). The market just may be exhausted -- at least financially -- from coach firings.

We enter Week 9 experiencing a rarity: no college football coaches having been fired for performance. This despite, over the last three years, a combined 26 coaches being fired during the season (18 in Power Five jobs). 

Michigan State's Mel Tucker was fired amid sexual harassment allegations during the season, and Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald lost his job amid hazing allegations before the campaign kicked off.

It shouldn't be a surprise that our first in-season Hot Seat Rankings of the year include only two coaches who are definitely in danger of losing their jobs. Even then, Arkansas' Sam Pittman and Indiana's Tom Allen would be owed a combined $36 million in buyout money if they were axed.

So … fire beware?

That's not to say the usual rash of firings cannot or will not take place down the stretch.

We're including a variety of coaches in this update, including notable names who are holding steady and others who have slid off some sort of hot seat.

Among the coaches included are three of the game's giants -- Michigan's Jim Harbaugh, Clemson's Dabo Swinney and USC's Lincoln Riley -- none of whom are in danger of losing their jobs yet all of whom are facing circumstances that are testing their mettle.

In the case of Harbaugh, Captain Quirk has brought it on himself. But winning percentage trumps all. We have summarized the state of affairs for three coaches making a combined $29 million per year with buyouts totaling $91 million. Much is expected of those earning that much.

For all of them, it will be interesting to observe how the market, money and football resolve each situation. 

A reminder about our ratings key (and our complete set of preseason Hot Seat Rankings):

  • 5 -- Win or be fired
  • 4 -- Star improving now
  • 3 -- Pressure is mounting
  • 2 -- All good ... for now
  • 1 -- Safe and secure
  • 0 -- Untouchable

2023 Hot Seat Rankings: Midseason update

Staying hot

West Virginia's Neal Brown, New Mexico's Danny Gonzales, Syracuse's Dino Babers, Arkansas State's Butch Jones and Rice's Mike Bloomgren all maintained their preseason spots firmly on the hot seat. Their teams are all hovering around .500 having played seven games each (4-3 or 3-4).

Warming up

Not as cool

Holding steady

Cooling off