Is money really no object?
That's a question we have to be asking ourselves after another silly season. With 21 schools changing coaches, athletic directors ate a cumulative total of $70 million in contract buyouts -- at least. While the money continues to get bigger, patience keeps shrinking. In the last three offseasons, there have been 69 total coaching changes.
Which leads us to our ratings key. Here's how the 129 FBS coaches sort out. There are 16 on the proverbial hot seat entering the season with another 19 starting to feel the heat.
|Rating||What it means||Coaches|
Win or be fired
Start improving now
Pressure is mounting
All good ... for now
Safe and secure
That leads us to the annual Hot Seat Rankings and this handful of Power Five coaches that need to figure out a way to cool things down before 2018 comes to a close.
|David Beaty||5||The friendly KU coach is a sympathetic figure considering the circumstances. He was selected by then-AD Sheahon Zenger in 2014 when KU was tapped out financially, and let's face it, Texas A&M's receivers coach certainly wasn't going to say no to a Power Five job -- even he wasn't ready and the job was barely Power Five. You've probably read Beaty is 3-33 going into his fourth season with just one Power Five victory (Texas, 2016). There are excuses for Beaty but not enough to explain what has become arguably college football's worst major program. Basketball-crazy KU has been forced to care about football for all the wrong reasons because of the embarrassing downturn. This is almost certainly Beaty's final season -- if he even makes it all the way through.|
|Lovie Smith||4||Two years into a six-year contract that pays Smith an average $3.5 million, Illinois AD Josh Whitman has to be wondering about his out-of-the box hire. An NFL coach two games above .500 in his pro career has started 5-19 at Illinois. Whitman took a risk hiring a coach who hadn't been on a college sideline in 21 years. That risk has come home to roost on Whitman's desk if Smith doesn't improve dramatically this season. The prospects aren't good. In his own state, Smith is miles behind Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern.|
|Chris Ash||4||Urban Meyer's former co-defensive coordinator actually signed his first contract late last year at Rutgers at the end of his second season. Per NJ.com, Ash went 2-10 and 4-8 operating under a memorandum of understanding. Hey, no one ever accused Rutgers football of doing things by the book. AD Pat Hobbs thinks he has the guy. He'd better be right. This season, the Big Ten East just may be the toughest division in college football.|
|Kliff Kingsbury||4||Kingsbury made the top five here in our 2017 Hot Seat Rankings. Not much has changed. Kingsbury hasn't posted a winning Big 12 record in any of his five seasons (16-29). The program is just kind there after back-to-back 5-7 regular campaigns. It would be nice if Tech won the state of Texas. Fat chance. Texas is improving in Year 2 under Tom Herman. TCU is a solid No. 2 pick behind favored Oklahoma in the Big 12. Defense remains a problem for Kingsbury, even in the Big 12 where defense is sometimes an option. The Red Raiders moved up from dead last in total defense to 105th. Hooray! If Kingsbury doesn't make marked improvement this season with 10 returning starters on defense, perhaps he deserves The Big Haircut. He has lost six of his last eight games and 13 of his last 21. It's hard to believe Baker Mayfield used to play in Lubbock.|
|Mike MacIntyre||4||Mac looked like he was taking off in 2016 after winning 10 games and several national coach of the year honors while capturing the Pac-12 South. That has been his only winning season in Boulder. Counting two blowout losses at the end of '16, MacIntyre is 5-9 in his last 14. Since that division title, MacIntyre has been reprimanded by his CU bosses for mishandling accusations of domestic violence against former assistant Joe Tumpkin. He also had to donate $100,000 to a domestic awareness fund. Only UCLA and Washington State have less experience returning in the Pac-12 according to Phil Steele. To get rid of MacIntyre, CU will have to consider a three-year, $16 million extension that kicks in after this season.|
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