Hot Seat Rankings: Clay Helton, Chad Morris, Mark Dantonio among college football coaches heating up

It's never too early for the silly season. Florida State reminded us Sunday when it fired Willie Taggart nine games into his second season. Rutgers beat everyone to the punch on Sept. 29 when it got rid of Chris Ash. We have become so conditioned to in-season firings that it doesn't feel odd there are two Power Five openings in the first week of November. 

The pressure point for any of the coaches on this list is the beginning of the Early Signing Period on Dec. 19. Any school that is considering to pull the trap door must be sensitive to recruiting. When the one and only National Signing Day was in early February, coaches on the hot seat at least had a chance to make it through the regular season. Not anymore. 

Last season alone, five coaches were fired during the season. Maryland's DJ Durkin never made it to Week 1. After Ash and Taggart, USC's Clay Helton may be the next in 2019

Prior to Taggart's firing, only four Power Five coaches in their second seasons had been fired for performance since 2003. There are five coaches on the list below who are at least are getting scrutiny in Year 2. 

Because of that early signing day, it promises to be a busy November -- and December. 

Nine coaches, including Ash and Taggart, were listed among our top two categories before the season began. Where do their peers stand now? Below is our ratings key along with how the 130 FBS coaches sorted out before the season began with nine on the hot seat (4-5 rating) and 12 others feeling the heat (3 rating).

Rating What it means Coaches in preseason

5

Win or be fired

3

4

Start improving now

6

3

Pressure is mounting

12

2

All good ... for now

39

1

Safe and secure

58

0

Untouchable

12

That leads us to our update. Here's how things are shaking out two months into the season with most teams now having played eight or nine games. Take a look below.

Heating up

Holding steady

Cooling off

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Dennis Dodd has covered college football for CBS Sports since it was CBS SportsLine in 1998. He is one of only seven media members to attend all 16 BCS title games and has chronicled conference realignment... Full Bio

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