Coaching Hot Seat Rankings - ACC
Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen
Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen
Posted Apr 5, 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. Ranking all the ACC coaches and how much pressure they're under.

2010 Spring Preview
Coaching Hot Seats - ACC

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.

Ranked from highest to lowest on the pressure scale

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.

Tom O'Brien, NC State
O'Brien was supposed to bring a steadiness to a program that was used to wild swings in production, but he has to start producing at a Boston College-like level or else and be in the ACC title hunt soon or there may be problems.
Status: Can withstand one more mediocre year. One.

Randy Shannon, Miami
Miami appears to be on the verge of being close to Miami again, but if there isn't an appearance in the ACC title game soon, like this year soon, Cane fans will start wanting better results.
Status: Fine, but expectations are high.

Jimbo Fisher, Florida State
Now it's time to see if he was worth waiting for. If the recruiting class he brought in was any indication, he's already paying off.
Status: Bobby Bowden got kicked out when his Noles were merely above-average. Bobby Bowden.

Butch Davis, North Carolina

If he's not going to win big this year, when is it going to happen? He has an NFL defense that has to dominate.
Status: Tar Heel fans are more concerned about the suddenly whiny Roy Williams and the hoop team's issues.

Dabo Swinney, Clemson
After getting to the ACC title game, all is fine for the moment. But he's one bad year away from being on a flaming hot seat.
Status: Solid after last year, but a disastrous season could make 2011 really, really rough.

Jim Grobe, Wake Forest

While he's given a pass since he doesn't have a ton to work with on a yearly basis, it would be nice if he got his Demon Deacons back on the bowl track.
Status: Fine. No real hot seat, but a really bad year could start some grumblings.

Frank Spaziani, Boston College

Picked up the slack after the Jeff Jagodzinski fiasco. Ultra-popular and did a miraculous job with little to work with last year.
Status: He'll have to really, really screw up to be booted.

Mike London, Virginia

The new head coach will be given time to turn things around after the Al Groh era. He's changing things up in a big way, and there appears to be a breath of fresh air.
Status: No expectations this year. It's a stepping-stone season.

David Cutcliffe, Duke

Any production at Duke is considered a major coup. Cutcliffe could've been the Tennessee head man and chose to stick around.
Status: As long as the offense is dangerous, he'll get a free pass for at least another two years.

Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech

With Bobby Bowden gone, this is Beamer's ACC. He is Virginia Tech football and he has a tremendous team that should be in the ACC title hunt all season long.
Status: Needs to have at least two really, really bad years in a row to be on any hot seat. However, it would be nice to get back in the national title chase.

Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech

Coming off an ACC championship with an offense that still doesn't have all the right pieces in place, if Georgia Tech doesn't want him, there are dozens of other programs that would snap him up in a heartbeat.
Status: After winning the ACC title in just two years, he's the star of the league right now.