Phil Steele has a habit of being right about college football coaches on the hot seat.
Steele is a sportswriter and football analyst that produces a widely-respected annual preseason magazine Phil Steele's College Football Preview . His magazine, full of statistics and information has been the most accurate preseason magazine for the last 11 years.
Along with his magazine, he publishes daily blog posts covering the entire spectrum of the gridiron.
In 2008, he started an annual Coaches on the Hot Seat list as part of his blog. Seven out of the 12 coaches on Steele's first Hot Seat lost their jobs.
Three of the remaining five names were on the hot seat again in 2009. All three were fired during or after the 2009 season, as were several others.
Being on Steele's hot seat list is not where a head coach wants to be.
Thirteen coaches made 2010's Hot Seat. Of those 13, four are coaches from the Big Ten Conference.
Michigan's Rich Rodriguez (No. 1), Illinois' Ron Zook (No. 2), Minnesota's Tim Brewster (No. 5) and Indiana's Bill Lynch (No. 8) all make an appearance on the list.
Rodriguez and Lynch appear for the second year in a row. Lynch was able to improve his position considerably over last year, after Indiana's 2009 performance.
Rodriguez wasn't quite as lucky.
The Wolverine head coach sits in the hottest seat on Steele's list this year. Unfortunately for Rodriguez, the coach sitting atop the list the previous two years has lost his job.
Being as accurate as he is, Steele knows a list like this might ruffle some feathers so he reminds his readers that he is “rooting for every one of them to have a good season and get off the hot seat.” He is also quick to point out a few success stories.
Coaches like Iowa's Kirk Ferentz and Oklahoma's Bob Stoops provide hope to those on the list this year. Both were previously predicted hot-seaters that have done "what they needed to do" to earn their way off.
Steele likes Rich Rod's chances, and predicts he will earn his way off the list. According to the prognosticator, Rodriguez's magic win number to stick around another year is eight.
"A 7-win season would mean 7-5 and a bowl loss or 6-6 and a bowl win and that would probably not be enough."
Unfortunately, Steele's past statistics suggest Michigan might be shopping around for a new head coach at the end of the season.
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