Coaching Hot Seat Rankings - Independents
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly
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 Independent coaches and how much pressure they're under.

2010 Spring Preview
Coaching Hot Seats - Ind.

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

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.

Rich Ellerson, Army
After a wildly successful run at Cal Poly, Ellerson has instantly changed around the culture of Army football. The goal is to be as successful as Navy has been over the last several years, and it appears to be well on its way.
Status: There's a chance he might be the next Paul Johnson. He should be able to make Army relevant before being courted by the bigger football schools. Army would take that if it means a win over Navy sometime in the near future.

Ken Niumatalolo, Navy
Could Niumatalolo keep the momentum going after the Paul Johnson era? Oh yeah. He has been able to beat Notre Dame (twice), has kept the program going to bowls, and he's making a name for himself as he has been able to handle turnover without a problem.
Status: Possibly the most secure of any head coach in the country. He's a rising superstar who might not be around Annapolis for much longer.

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