Last season, the coaching world saw 31 job openings, as College Football Poll reported. At the highest level, only Auburn and Tennessee were jobs near the top of the collegiate food chain that came open. In 2013, as Coach Hunting Season draws closer, there are more big-name jobs that run the risk of coming open.
Obviously, USC and Lane Kiffin parted ways early in 2013, leaving the Trojans' job wide open with coaches getting resumes put together hoping for an interview and an opportunity. At Texas, Mack Brown was all but fired during the year, but a midseason surge gave Brown new life. Of course, getting blown out by Oklahoma State made the firing talk resurface.
If other fans across the country get their collective wishes, Texas and USC would just be the first of college football's big-name jobs to open. At Nebraska, as the Associated Press reported, Bo Pelini understands folks are upset, but he is not coaching with saving his job on his mind. The Cornhuskers fans, simply put, do not like Pelini, and the results on the field, in their minds, do not warrant keeping a coach who people simply despise.
The same goes for folks who root for the Florida Gators. Will Muschamp, quoted by the Orlando Sentinel as telling fans to get a grip, is a guy that many hope loses his grasp of the Gators' coaching job. Muschamp is in the same vein as Pelini, an aggressive, take no prisoners and have no care about fans coach; except Muschamp's results are even worse than what is happening at Nebraska.
Florida lost to Georgia Southern, of the FCS ranks, and will be sitting at home with no bowl game for the first time in over two decades. The head coach is still backed by athletic director, Jeremy Foley, as Sports Illustrated notes, and that likely means Gator fans do not get the firing that they want. Barrett Sallee, of the SEC Blog, points out that fans will get a firing, just not of the head guy.
Another coach that needed a vote of confidence was Michigan's Brady Hoke, as athletic director Dave Brandon voiced to MLive earlier in November. Hoke's on the field results, including a three-loss November, have been less than inspiring following the Sugar Bowl of two seasons ago. However, on the recruiting trail, Hoke is continuing to impress, and in doing so, he is buying himself plenty of time, although his offensive coordinator, Al Borges, could end up being a casualty of the 2013 campaign.
Might is the operative word here, as the final weeks of the regular season draw near. The seats are heating up for Brown, Pelini, Muschamp and Hoke, each with big games on the docket. For Pelini, Muschamp and Hoke, Rivalry Week will be an interesting affair. Pelini will likely be in a dog fight with a resurgent Iowa team. Muschamp and Hoke, in the minds of many, are fighting to stave off a possible blow out finale to a disappointing regular season.
There will be big-name openings, starting with USC and filtering through as athletic directors make moves to get better on the field. When head coaches do not fall by the wayside, coordinators will pay the price, and in the high stakes world of college football, that means another coach gets a shot in the meat grinder.