Coaching Hot Seat Rankings - Sun Belt
North Texas head coach Todd Dodge
North Texas head coach Todd Dodge
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 Sun Belt coaches and how much pressure they're under.

2010 Spring Preview
Coaching Hot Seats - Sun Belt

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

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.

Todd Dodge, North Texas
The experiment isn't working out. A special high school coach who won four state championships in his final five years at Southlake Carroll High in Texas going an amazing 79-1 during that span. But his high-octane offense hasn't translated as North Texas has gone 5-31 in three years.
Status: Dodge has to win this year or he's almost certainly gone. 2-10, 1-11, and 2-10 wasn't what the Mean Green higher-ups were hoping for.

Rickey Bustle, Louisiana-Lafayette
Going 38-56 since 2002, Bustle has gotten the Ragin' Cajuns close, but not over the Sun Belt hump. It's not like his teams have been awful, winning six games in four of the last five seasons, but things have gotten a tad stale.
Status: He's on the hot seat mainly because has been around so long and without any titles. One winning season in eight years isn't good enough.

Steve Roberts, Arkansas State
A Sun Belt title in 2005 showed what Roberts could do, and while the Red Wolves have had two 6-6 seasons in the last three years, they haven't been able to get back into the title chase. There isn't any real pressure to win now outside of the new blood factor; he's going into his eighth year.
Status: He's fine as long as he's able to pull off five wins or more, but he probably couldn't survive a disaster.

Todd Berry, ULM
He comes in after struggling as the offensive coordinator at UNLV over the last few years, and he was a disaster at Army going 5-36 in four years. He'll get a chance to show what he can do with a ULM program that's been close, but not quite good enough to come up with a Sun Belt title.
Status: Berry was a curious hire mainly because he has done nothing as an FBS coach. Considering his underwhelming résumé, he needs to win right away to show that he can.

Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee
Just when it seemed like Stockstill was on a bit of a hot seat with two disappointing 5-7 seasons, he came up with a brilliant 10-3 campaign with a win over Southern Miss in the New Orleans Bowl. The Blue Raiders will be among the favorites to win the Sun Belt title.
Status: The expectations will be there, but he has shown enough to be given a few chances if this isn't the Sun Belt title season it probably should be.

Willie Taggart, Western Kentucky
A favorite son comes home. A former WKU quarterback, Taggart knows the program and he is coming off a successful stint as an assistant at Stanford where, as the running backs coach, helped Toby Gerhart come within a whisker of the Heisman.
Status: After last year's total disaster under David Elson, any production from Taggart will be hailed as glorious. He'll be given a few years to make something happen.

Howard Schnellenberger, Florida Atlantic
Florida Atlantic has fallen off the perch a bit after appearing to be the star of the Sun Belt, but Schnellenberger's teams have a weird way of coming up with something special out of the blue. The Owls should be more than just competitive as Schnellenberger tries to come up with at least one more great year to add to his legacy.
Status: The guy created the program … literally. He will never, ever be fired and will be done when he decides he'll be done.

Larry Blakeney, Troy
Arguably the most underappreciated head coach in college football, he took Troy from the D-II days up through D-IAA and into full-time D-I mode in 2004. Since then, Troy has had five winning seasons in six and four straight Sun Belt titles.
Status: Troy has gone 26-3 in the last four years in Sun Belt play. Blakeney has become an institution.