Spring Preview 2010 - Coaches On The Hot Seat
Paul Wulff, Tim Brewster, & Ralph Friedgen
Paul Wulff, Tim Brewster, & Ralph Friedgen
Posted Apr 3, 2010

Which coaches are on the hottest seats? Beyond just the idea of a coach possibly being fired for not winning, the rankings are also based on who's under the most pressure. It's No. 11 on the list of the key questions in the CFN 2010 Spring Preview.

2010 Spring Preview - No. 11
The Coaching Hot Seat Status

2010 Spring Preview 
- No. 20 Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 1-10) 
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 11-20) 
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 21-30) 
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 31-40) 
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 41-50)  
- No. 19 Is this it for the Big 12? 
- No. 18 Just how close the Big East has come to a BCS title?
- No. 17 Did ACC expansion work?
- No. 16 Why does the Pac 10 need USC to be good?
- No. 15 Just how hot is the Big Ten for expansion? 
- No. 14 Does the SEC title = BCS title? 
- No. 13 What's going to make you grouchy? 
- No. 12 The new superstars 
- No. 11 Ranking all 120 coaches and their hot seat status 

- ACC CoachesBig East Coaches | Big Ten Coaches | Big East Coaches
- Big 12 Coaches | C-USA Coaches | Ind CoachesMAC Coaches | M-West Coaches
- Pac 10 Coaches | SEC Coaches | Sun Belt Coaches | WAC Coaches 

By Pete Fiutak  

A hot seat isn't always what the media makes it out to be. When a coach is on the proverbial hot seat, usually it means he needs to win now or he'll be fired, but it could also mean a lot more. It could mean a coach needs to start winning because he's under pressure (Mark Richt), but isn't under real threat of being fired. It could mean he's winning, but is in an impossible situation and can't afford a slip (Jim Tressel after last year's loss to Purdue). Or it could mean he needs to win big just because he does (Urban Meyer).

So keeping in mind that for this, Hot Seat doesn't necessarily mean win-or-get-fired and it's more about who's under a lot of pressure (and yeah, in some cases it is a win-or-else situation), here's the ranking of the all 120 coaches and where they fit in on the warm butt scale.

1. Rich Rodriguez, Michigan
This hasn't exactly gone well. He hasn't been given the slightest bit of a break, but his inability to field a decent defense has been his own fault. Winning would cure everything both on and off the field.
Status: He could cure cancer, find Bin Laden, and make fat free mayo taste like real mayo, and none of it would matter if he doesn't come up with a winning season.

2. Lane Kiffin, USC
Being on the hot seat doesn't necessarily mean a coach will be fired without a good year. No one has more pressure on his shoulders than Kiffin after the way he bolted from Tennessee and considering he's following a legend in Pete Carroll. Just being good at USC is a failure, and there will be no grace period whatsoever even after the team's disappointing 2009.
Status: USC could've had almost any coach it wanted. Kiffin had better be worth it.

3. Paul Wulff, Washington State
There was a time not all that long ago when Washington State was a Pac 10 power. At least the offense was fantastic and a cradle of college quarterbacks, even in the lean times. Under Wulff, the Cougars have been all-timer bad on both sides of the ball.
Status: He'll get this year to show a sign of life, but there isn't much hope for a Rose Bowl any time soon.

4. Tim Brewster, Minnesota
He has the shiny stadium and he has the facilities, but if he has to win right now and big. The buzz of the new digs is going to die down in a hurry and Brewster isn't bringing in the talent like he was supposed to.
Status: He not only has to get to a bowl game, but he has to show that the program is on the right track. Anything less than eight wins and a bowl win and he's gone.

5. Ralph Friedgen, Maryland
And he's still there, why? He might churn out some freak-of-nature NFL prospects, but Friedgen is struggling to field talented teams that can hang around the ACC title hunt.
Status: Win big now or go home.

6. Dan Hawkins, Colorado
If it wasn't for budget concerns, Colorado might have a new head coach. Everyone wants Coach Hawk to succeed, but this has been a puzzling disaster.
Status: A winning season and a bowl game keeps him around. Anything less and he's done.

7. Ron Zook, Illinois
It hasn't worked out. Known as a great recruiter, he came up with one big class, went to the Rose Bowl, and that has been it. Illinois isn't going to eat his contract unless a disaster strikes.
Status: Illinois might like to go a different direction, but Zook can change everything with a winning season.

8. Stan Parrish, Ball State
While he didn't get much of a break with the loss of some key players, Parrish took over a team that was the best in the MAC (even with the title game loss to Buffalo) in 2009 and was a part of a disaster in 2010.
Status: Parrish was a stopgap after Brady Hoke left for San Diego State. Anything less than a winning season will bring a change.

9. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
Not being Charlie Weis is a plus from the start, but Kelly put the pressure on himself by not telling the Irish fans what they needed to hear: it's going to take some time.
Status: Kelly was able to do huge things offensively from the start at Cincinnati, and anything less than bowl season, a win over Navy, and a few splashy wins will be seen as a disappointment.

10. Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech
There's a large segment of Red Raider fans who still believe Mike Leach should be the head coach. Tuberville will get exactly 14 seconds of grace period.
Status: Win or else. Not only must Tuberville come up with a good year, but the offense had better be explosive.

11. Mike Locksley, New Mexico
New Mexico might not have been a superpower under Rocky Long, but at least it was solid and went to bowls. Locksley's first year was awful, controversial, and didn't provide much hope.
Status: After an embarrassing first year, Locksley has to prove he can actually coach.

12. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina
If it was anyone else but Steve Freakin' Ball Coach Spurrier, South Carolina would have a different head man going into this year. It's not like Spurrier has been bad, but he hasn't taken the Gamecocks to a higher level.
Status: You don't fire Steve Spurrier (unless you're Daniel Snyder), but unless there's some semblance of offensive line production, playing golf every day will seem like a good option.

13. Bob Toledo, Tulane
Toledo was handed a spoiled sandwich and has been asked to do miracles. His teams haven't had enough success even with all the things dragging the program down.
Status: He's in a tough situation, but he needs to come up with a good year and a sign of hope for the near future.

14. Mike Price, UTEP
It's not just that Price's Miner teams aren't winning, it's that his teams keep collapsing. He has been around since 2004 and the team isn't getting much better.
Status: He's still a big name and a big personality, but it's the seventh year under his guidance and the results had better come.

15. Mario Cristobal, FIU
He hasn't been around for all that long, and he has a massive rebuilding project to deal with, but he was supposed to start bringing in some of the better talent from the Miami area. The recruiting has been decent, and now it has to pay off.
Status: Very young, Cristobal has excellent potential. But the Golden Panthers need to start winning in a hurry.

16. Steve Fairchild, Colorado State
17. Neil Callaway, UAB
18. Bobby Johnson, Vanderbilt
19. Todd Dodge, North Texas
20. Tom O'Brien, NC State
21. Bill Stewart, West Virginia
22. Pat Hill, Fresno State
23. Mark Richt, Georgia
24. Bill Lynch, Indiana
25. Mike Haywood, Miami University
26. Ron English, Eastern Michigan
27. Skip Holtz, South Florida
28. Rickey Bustle, Louisiana-Lafayette
29. Randy Shannon, Miami
30. Gene Chizik, Auburn
31. Dan Enos, Central Michigan
32. Doug Marrone, Syracuse
33. David Bailiff, Rice
34. DeWayne Walker, New Mexico State
35. Dennis Erickson, Arizona State
36. Derek Dooley, Tennessee
37. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State
38. Doug Martin, Kent State
39. Greg McMackin, Hawaii
40. Butch Davis, North Carolina
41. Mike Stoops, Arizona
42. Butch Jones, Cincinnati
43. Rick Neuheisel, UCLA
44. Mike Sherman, Texas A&M
45. Brady Hoke, San Diego State
46. Dave Wannstedt, Pitt
47. Ruffin McNeill, East Carolina
48. Jim Grobe, Wake Forest
49. Larry Fedora, Southern Miss
50. Art Briles, Baylor
51. Steve Roberts, Arkansas State
52. Bobby Hauck, UNLV
53. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
54. Bill Cubit, Western Michigan
55. Dabo Swinney, Clemson
56. Turner Gill, Kansas
57. Frank Spaziani, Boston College
58. Mike London, Virginia
59. Jeff Tedford, California
60. Gary Pinkel, Missouri
61. Joe Paterno, Penn State
62. Urban Meyer, Florida
63. Tim Beckman, Toledo
64. Joker Phillips, Kentucky
65. David Cutcliffe, Duke
66. Bret Bielema, Wisconsin
67. Paul Rhoads, Iowa State
68. Dave Clawson, Bowling Green
69. Houston Nutt, Ole Miss
70. Jerry Kill, Northern Illinois
71. Les Miles, LSU
72. Charlie Strong, Louisville
73. Chip Kelly, Oregon
74. Jeff Quinn, Buffalo
75. Bill Snyder, Kansas State
76. Rob Ianello, Akron
77. Frank Solich, Ohio
Gary Andersen, Utah State
79. Doc Holliday, Marshall
80. Danny Hope, Purdue
81. Bobby Petrino, Arkansas
82. Todd Berry, ULM
83. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State
84. George O'Leary, UCF
85. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
86. Sonny Dykes, Louisiana Tech
87. Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee
88. Larry Porter, Memphis
89. Willie Taggart, Western Kentucky
90. Todd Graham, Tulsa
91. Dave Christensen, Wyoming
92. Jim Tressel, Ohio State
93. Randy Edsall, Connecticut
94. Howard Schnellenberger, Florida Atlantic
95. Mark MacIntyre, San Jose State
96. Greg Schiano, Rutgers
97. Mike Riley, Oregon State
98. Kevin Sumlin, Houston
99. Bo Pelini, Nebraska
100. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
101. Kyle Whittingham, Utah
102. Robb Akey, Idaho
103. Rich Ellerson, Army
104. Bronco Mendenhall, BYU
105. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
106. Chris Ault, Nevada
107. Steve Sarkisian, Washington
108. Troy Calhoun, Air Force
109. Gary Patterson, TCU
110. Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech
111. Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech
112. Al Golden, Temple
113. Larry Blakeney, Troy
114. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
115. Jim Harbaugh, Stanford
116. June Jones, SMU
117. Nick Saban, Alabama
118. Chris Petersen, Boise State
119. Mack Brown, Texas
120. Ken Niumatalolo, Navy