10 College Football Coaches Facing Make-or-Break Seasons

Tom PerryCorrespondent IJanuary 17, 2012

10 College Football Coaches Facing Make-or-Break Seasons

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    Boston College's Frank Spaziani needs a win more than he needs a hug.

    And he's not alone.

    Even before national signing day and spring practice, there are at least 10 coaches who need a big 2012 to save their current jobs.

    Some may actually pull it off, but it's not going to be easy.

    Spaziani has made some changes on his staff, but will that be enough to have a better 2012?

Derek Dooley, Tennessee

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    Derek Dooley got the Tennessee job by default.

    Once Lane Kiffin bolted for USC, the Volunteers were looking for someone with SEC pedigree and a cleaner reputation.

    Enter Derek Dooley, son of legendary Georgia coach Vince Dooley.

    Dooley is in the third year of a six-year contract that pays him $1.8 million per season.

    How has he repaid Tennessee? With 11 wins in 25 games. Dooley won just 17 of 37 games at Louisiana Tech before landing the job in Knoxville.

    Tennessee fans have been patient, but they won't remain that way much longer.

    If the Vols don't become a contender in the SEC East soon, then fans are going to be calling for more established coaches like Chris Petersen or Mike Gundy to become the next leader at Tennessee.

Mike Price, UTEP

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    The 65-year-old Mike Price has been a head coach since 1981.

    A lot has changed since then, but Price understands results are the key for any coach.

    Price's first two years at UTEP resulted in back-to-back 8-4 seasons, but he hasn't enjoyed a winning season over the past six years.

    It seems like Price has been on the hot seat for the past three or four seasons, but UTEP sticks with him.

    It would be hard to imagine that Price could endure another losing season and still be coaching at UTEP after 2012.

    Many UTEP fans, and some in the administration, are loyal to Price. He has taken the Miners to three bowl games, which is almost unheard of at UTEP.

Kevin Wilson, Indiana

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    Indiana paid $1.1 million this season to get one victory out of former Oklahoma assistant Kevin Wilson.

    Wilson also took on the media, and has come off as a bully.

    He initially persuaded top quarterback recruit Gunner Kiel to stay close to home and become a Hooiser.

    But after a horrible start to the season, Kiel backed out and will end up at LSU.

    Indiana's lone win came against a FCS team (South Carolina State), 38-21. The Hoosiers were stunned in the opener when they lost to Ball State, 27-20, and it all fell apart from there.

    Indiana made a commitment to Wilson, but it just doesn't seem like a good fit.

Dan Enos, Central Michigan

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    Consecutive 3-9 seasons will get you on the hot seat—even at Central Michigan.

    Dan Enos was given the keys to the defending Mid-American Conference champion and the results have been horrible.

    The Chippewas' fans became accustomed to winning after Brian Kelly and Butch Jones led the program.

    Central Michigan will likely provide a long leash for Enos as he tries to rebuild the program into a consistent MAC winner.

Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech

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    Depending on your perspective, Tommy Tuberville had a nice run as Auburn's coach.

    So when Texas Tech brought him in to replace Mike Leach, Red Raider Nation put a positive spin on it.

    After going 8-5 in his first season, Tuberville's squad floundered to a 5-7 record in 2011.

    The only bright spot was a huge road win at Oklahoma. But that still wasn't enough to become bowl eligible.

    In 10 season at Texas Tech, Leach never had a losing season.

    Any good will that Tuberville might have had disappeared quickly. Now that Leach is coaching again at Washington State, you can bet the Tech fans will keep an eye on how he performs.

Randy Edsall, Maryland

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    Randy Edsall had a proven track record and he built Connecticut into a solid Big East program.

    Then he had a disgraceful exit to take over his "dream job" at Maryland.

    However, his first season was simply a nightmare.

    Edsall took over a Maryland program loaded with talent left behind by Ralph Friedgen, who was forced out after winning ACC Coach of the Year honors.

    Edsall guided the Terps to a 2-10 record and last-place finish in the ACC. A number of players have also left the program.

    So Edsall has his work cut out for him to get the Terps back on track.

DeWayne Walker, New Mexico State

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    Let's start by saying New Mexico State did get better in DeWayne Walker's third season.

    After winning three games and then two games in Walker's first two seasons, the Aggies went 4-9.

    But a three-year record of 9-29 and 4-19 mark in the Western Athletic Conference are tough to overlook.

    Walker did take over a program in disarray, but the former UCLA assistant must be held accountable if the Aggies don't get better in 2012.

Robb Akey, Idaho

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    When Idaho went 8-5 and won the Humanitarian Bowl in Robb Akey's third season at Idaho, he was the toast of the town.

    The Vandals were also expected to continue being a winning program.

    However, that one season was a mirage.

    Akey has gone 8-17 since then and the Vandals finished last in the Western Athletic Conference this season.

    Akey is well-liked at Idaho, so he may not have to get back to a bowl next season.

    However, five wins would be nice.

Bobby Hauck, UNLV

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    Bobby Hauck arrived at UNLV after leading Montana to consecutive FCS championship games.

    Hauck went 84-38 in seven seasons with the Grizzlies.

    He has yet to find the magic touch with the Rebels.

    Hauck has gone 4-21 in two seasons in Sin City.

    UNLV was in a complete disarray when he took over, and he's been given a chance to rebuild the program. But another two-win season just won't cut it.

    Hauck would benefit by getting to at least five wins in 2012.

Frank Spaziani, Boston College

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    I can't believe Frank Spaziani wasn't fired after this season.

    In each of his three seasons at Boston College, the Eagles have lost more games in each succeeding season.

    The 4-8 record this season was the first losing year at Boston College since 1998.

    Spaziani replaced a number of coaches on his staff after the season, which is a good sign he needs things to change now to save his job.

    His best offseason move is hiring former Kent State coach Doug Martin as his offensive coordinator.