College Football: 10 Coaches on the Hot Seat Who Cannot Afford a Week 1 Loss
A college football coach only has 12-13 game to prove that he deserves to keep his job every season.
Because of the brevity of each season, every single game is of utmost importance, including Game 1.
The 10 men on this list are on coaching seats that range everywhere from lukewarm to dumpster-fire on the hot seat scale.
A loss in Week 1 would be extremely harmful to each one of them, and their hopes of remaining the head honchos of their respective programs.
10. Mike Riley, Oregon State
Week 1 Opponent: Nicholls State
In 2011, Oregon State was bad.
They opened the season with a 29-28 overtime loss to FCS Sacramento State.
There is some talent on this team, but they seem to have a hard time putting anything together on either side of the ball or performing with any consistency.
At this point in Riley's tenure, it's difficult to see a second consecutive season-opening loss to an FCS squad, but should it happen to the Beavers, Riley's job will be in big, big trouble.
9. Derek Dooley, Tennessee
Week 1 Opponent: N.C. State
Tennessee is supposed to be healthier, and therefore better, in 2012.
But Derek Dooley has to be concerned.
The defense is still full of holes, and the recent suspension of stud wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers was a blow.
While a loss to a solid N.C. State squad would not be the end o the world for the Vols, it would signify some deeper issues that Dooley and his staff haven't been unable to address and resolve yet.
Not a good start for Mr. Dooley.
8. Jeff Tedford, Cal
Week 1 Opponent: Nevada Wolf Pack
Tedford has been consistent in his time with Cal...consistently mediocre.
There have been some seasons when the Bears were hyped up, only to fall below expectations by season's end.
Cal fans and administrators aren't going to stand for this forever.
Nevada, led by Cody Fajardo at quarterback, is a pretty explosive team with the ability to challenge Cal for all four quarters.
Frankly, the Wolf Pack are a better team than the Bears, and should Chris Ault's team knock off Cal, Tedford will hear the rumblings for his job get louder.
7. Mack Brown, Texas
Week 1 Opponent: Wyoming
This is the year the Longhorns compete for the Big 12 title again.
At least, that's what most of us seem to think.
The road is tough, with West Virginia and the Oklahoma schools lying in wait, and Kansas State waiting in the wings.
The Longhorns' defense is one of the best in the nation, and the running game is going to be very, very good.
However, Wyoming is led by a solid quarterback in Brett Smith, and a loss to the Cowboys would turn the rumblings about Mack Brown's job into a full-blown roar.
6. Randy Edsall, Maryland
Week 1 Opponent: William & Mary
A loss to William & Mary would be devastating to any coach's dreams of hanging around a program.
Especially to Edsall's.
In only his second season with the team, Edsall faces a huge challenge, losing starting quarterback Danny O'Brien to transfer and seeing his system flop in a big way in season one.
The man did a solid job at UConn, and has some talent he can develop with the Terps.
An upset loss to William & Mary would end any hope he might have of remaining past this season.
5. Joker Phillips, Kentucky
Week 1 Opponent: Louisville
Joker Phillips and friends have a pretty tough task ahead of them, starting off the season against a very talented Louisville team.
This is also bad news for Phillips, who has a pretty warm coaching seat already.
While the defense showed some progress last season, and Phillips has recruited pretty well since he came to the program in 2010, starting off the season with a loss to an in-state rival would not help out his bid to hang around for a few more seasons.
4. Robb Akey, Idaho
Week 1Opponent: Eastern Washington
19-43, that's Akey's record in four seasons at Idaho.
For those of you keeping track, that's a .306 average, or less than one win in every three games.
After last season's dreadful 2-10 season, the Vandals are hoping to get off to a good start this season, just like every other team in the country.
Eastern Washington is no pushover, however, and the Vandals will have their hands full.
3. Kevin Wilson, Indiana
Week 1 Opponent: Indiana State
Indiana State should not be able to compete with the Hoosiers, ever, on the football field.
That's exactly why a loss here would mark another notch in the miserable existence that has been Kevin Wilson's tenure of less than two years.
Last season, the Hoosiers were 1-11, with that win coming over FCS South Carolina State.
While I expect this one to be a win for IU, stranger things have happened.
2. Bobby Hauck, UNLV
Week 1 Opponent: Minnesota
The Rebels are 4-21 during Hauck's time at the helm.
He did take over a program nearly bereft of talent, but has now had three offseasons to implement his system and athletes into the program.
UNLV starts off this season with a meeting against Minnesota, who seems to spend all its time at the bottom of the Big Ten standings.
Each of the past two seasons, UNLV has lost its opener to the eventual Big Ten champ, Wisconsin.
This season, a loss to one of the two worst teams in the Big Ten would give the program a pretty solid gauge of Hauck's progress, and where he might find himself going from here.
1. Frank Spaziani, Boston College
Week 1 Opponent: Miami Hurricanes
Technically, Spaziani has been above .500 during his time at Boston College.
However, 20-19 is not exactly something to write home about when the team has gone from nine wins, to seven wins, to only four wins in 2011.
He finds himself already on the hot seat, and is going to have tough sledding trying to make it through this season with his job still intact.
A loss to Miami, a middle-of-the-road conference opponent, would not be a great way to start his campaign to stay on as head man.