Unemployment Line: 10 Coaches Most Likely To Join Tommy West
The FBS college football coaches all made it to Week 10 this year without anyone receiving a pink slip. That is until today, when Tommy West from Memphis became the first coach to get the axe. Also getting canned was Western Kentucky's head coach David Elson.
This year is filled with coaches in their first or second years, meaning the offseason turnaround will be less active than most years. However, there are certainly some situations where coaches are feeling their seats gets warmer and warmer with each passing week.
What other coaches are feeling the heat this upcoming offseason?
10. Mark Richt, Georgia
Of course you're surprised to see Richt on here. Why wouldn't you be? After all, in 8+ seasons in Athens, Richt has won nearly 90 games while losing only 27.
But much like great SEC coaches from years past (see Tuberville, Tommy and Fulmer, Phil), the slogan for job security is "what have you done for me lately?" The Bulldogs currently sit at 5-4 on the year, a record magnified by completely embarrassing losses to rivals Tennessee and Florida.
Still needing one more win to become bowl eligible, Georgia has a tough road to go with games at home against Auburn and Kentucky as well as their rival Georgia Tech.
Should Richt fail to lead UGA to a bowl games—something that hasn't happened since 1996, you could see more trimmed in Athens this offseason than just the hedges.
9. Mike Sherman, Texas A & M
Sherman, who came over from the NFL last year to coach the Aggies, quickly warmed up to the fans in 2008 by nearly knocking off the Arkansas State Red Wolves, only to lose by 4 points. Ouch.
Things are looking a bit more hopeful for A&M this season, sitting at a cool 5-4. However, when you see Oklahoma and Texas still on the schedule, making a bowl looks less and less likely.
They do get a break with Baylor coming to College Station Nov. 21. The Aggies only lost to the Bears by 20 last year. Ouch again.
8. Bobby Bowden, Florida State
This picture seems most appropriate for a class act of a coach who's been on the sidelines for 300+ wins now as a head coach. Unfortunately for Papa Bowden, the glory days in Tallahassee appear to be well behind him.
He'll need to win two of the next three to make it to a bowl, and those wins will have to come against Wake Forest, who has beaten the 'Noles three straight years, and Maryland. It sure won't happen in the final game of the year in the Swamp against Florida.
I hope for Bowden's sake and his legacy that FSU makes a bowl and wins it. Then I hope the school makes the decision to move forward with the football program's future rather than clinging to it's ever-aging past, and asks Bowden to make a graceful exit.
7. Rich Rodriguez, Michigan
Quick: name one thing more embarrassing for the Michigan football program than losing to a FCS school on your home turf?
Try failing to make a bowl game two seasons in a row. That's what Rich Rodriguez, the much maligned coach of the Wolverines will try to avoid as he finishes up his second year in Ann Arbor. And good luck with that coach, since your final two games come on the road at #20 Wisconsin and then back home against #11 Ohio State.
You have to win one of those to qualify for a bowl. I say make that win against the Buckeyes, just for safe measure against continually skeptical UM alumni.
6. Ralph Friedgen, Maryland
Few things are worse than losing to MTSU AND Duke in the same season...in football no less. However, the stark reality of ending your season with ten losses may be an unnerving stat that forces Ralph Friedgen out of a head coaching job.
Maryland has been downright dreadful this year, winning only one game against a FBS opponent (Clemson, how do you let that happen?). They conclude the year with games against Va Tech, Florida State, and Boston College.
I'll go ahead and say there's a better chance Friedgen skips a pregame meal before they win any of those. See ya Fridge.
5. Dan Hawkins, Colorado
A winning percentage just over .250 may get you by as a field hockey coach at Sister Mary's School for Blind Girls, but it's not gonna cut it for too long at a major Big 12 football program.
Dan Hawkins has struggled in his past few seasons, and this one is no different, needing to win the last three games just to sniff a bowl.
For a once proud football program, the Buffs are on quite the down slide. To make matters worse? The school Hawkins left to come to Boulder is undefeated and in great position to get into a BCS bowl (Boise State).
4. Ron Zook, Illinois
Just 2 years ago, Zook had his team prepping for a Rose Bowl appearance against USC, and was orchestrating what many thought was the next up-and-coming Big 10 powerhouse.
Since then, the Illini have gone 8-13 and face a grim reality of a second straight year with no bowl appearance. Zook seems to be able to recruit with the best of them, but can't seem to get it all together on the field. Question is, will he get another year to make it happen?
3. Charlie Weis, Notre Dame
Perhaps the only man who looks funnier than Ralph Friedgen in a pair of pleated khakis, Weis is continuing the Notre Dame tradition of sugar-coated mediocrity.
He won big with Ty Willingham's leftover players, and yet has done nothing with any of his own other than propel Jimmy Clausen into some Heisman water cooler talk.
Losing to Navy this past Saturday didn't nail the coffin shut, but it certainly slammed the door shut on any BCS chances. Weis better win out, and win out big.
2. Steve Kragthorpe, Louisville
A 14-19 record over two-and-a-half years at a BCS school may not seem too terrible, but when it's a school that's used to winning, it's a bad thing.
The year before Kragthorpe arrived from Tulsa, the Cardinals were playing in the Orange Bowl. Kragthorpe has yet to take them back to a BCS bowl since...er...change that. He's yet to take them back to ANY bowl since his arrival, and unless he wins out this year, they'll face another year at home for the holidays.
And just when we were beginning to think Louisville wasn't just a basketball school...
1. Al Groh, Virginia
Groh is one of those coaches who manages to lose some completely awful games, and yet wins some late in the season to give his bosses confidence that he's righting the ship.
Last year it was a 31-3 debacle against Duke that had everyone thinking he was on the chopping block, until the Cavs then rolled off 4 straight wins. This year, however, Groh hasn't managed a miracle run.
Virginia sits at 3-6, but most importantly, they lost to William and Mary. And not just in some nail-biter, fluky, poorly officiated game, but by 12 points. To William and Mary. Yes, the University of Virginia lost to a school that has a girl's name in its title.
How does the AD not fire Groh the next morning after a loss like that?
Groh could technically salvage the season should UVA win out and make a bowl, but seeing as how those final three games are against Boston College, Clemson, and Virginia Tech, it won't happen. Take it as a sure thing: Al Groh won't be in Charlottesville next year.