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College Football Hot Seat Rankings: Is Richt Running Out of Time at Georgia?

Tom PerryCorrespondent ISeptember 21, 2010

College Football Hot Seat Rankings: Is Richt Running out of Time at Georgia?

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    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    It's interesting how just three weeks into the season some of the names that many thought would be on the Hot Seat all season have found a way to get off of it (even if it's temporary).

    So for all of you Dan Hawkins' haters, or for the people calling for Ron Zook's head at Illinois, they are not going to be on here as long as their teams are winning. Both are 2-1.

    Let's be honest, each of their employment prospects may change drastically over the next few weeks. But let them enjoy their early winning ways.

    Still, there are others like Washington State's Paul Wulff and New Mexico's Mike Locksley, who probably have no chance of seeing their name taken off any time during the season.

    The Hot Seat-ometer is an easy way to see how much trouble each coach is dealing with each week. The rankings are on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the worst-case scenario.

10. Randy Edsall, Connecticut

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    It would be hard to find anyone who would have thought Randy Edsall would have been on the hot seat.

    His overall situation is still positive, but a 1-2 start is a shock considering many felt UConn was a favorite to win the Big East.

    A conference title is still there for the taking, but an embarrassing loss to former Big East member Temple is enough to get Edsall on the Hot Seat this week.

    Hot Seat-ometer: 1 (on a scale of 1-5)

9. Butch Jones, Cincinnati

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    The first-year Cincinnati coach already has a nickname among fans of Big East schools.

    They're calling him Kragthorpe: a not-so-flattering reference to former Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe, who took over a very successful Louisville program only to lead it to mediocrity.

    Is this really what Butch Jones is doing in The Queen City? It's too early to tell, but it's hard to imagine that if Brian Kelly hadn't left for Notre Dame that he wouldn't have the Bearcats playing better right now, especially with dual-threat quarterback Zach Collaros.

    Cincinnati's defense was a disaster in the final three or four games last year and that trend has continued in 2010.

    There are also experience issues, and usually there's an adjustment to any new coach's system.

    Will the Bearcats rebound soon? It's not looking good with No. 8 Oklahoma on the schedule next.

    Hot Seat-ometer: 1.5 (on a scale of 1-5)

8. Steve Fairchild, Colorado State

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Colorado State officials like Steve Fairchild, but opening the season 0-3 is far from what anyone in Fort Collins wanted.

    Also, no one thought the Rams would be outscored 106-19, as they haven't won a game in 12 straight.

    Possibly the toughest loss to swallow was last week's 31-10 defeat at Miami in Oxford, Ohio.

    Fairchild still believes he has the talent in place to turn the Rams around this season, but first he needs to develop a running game to garner some balance on offense.

    Let's be realistic here ... a 0-12 season is a possibility.

    Hot Seat-ometer: 2 (on a scale of 1-5)

7. Mark Richt, Georgia

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    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    Mark Richt's job status was a hot topic all off season. He's had a ton of success in Athens, Ga., but the Bulldogs have not won a BCS Championship or even played for a title while the SEC has claimed the last four crowns.

    After a sub-par performance at South Carolina and falling behind Arkansas by two touchdowns at home, Richt's seat was boiling over. Then the Bulldogs made a miraculous comeback to tie the game at 24 with minutes to play.

    Then Georgia's defense collapsed and Heisman hopeful Ryan Mallett led a last-second 31-24 come-from-behind victory that put the bull's eyes squarely on Richt.

    His past success should be enough to save his job, but it's the SEC so even an eight-win season may not be enough.

    Hot Seat-ometer: 2.5 (on a scale of 1-5)

6. Butch Davis, North Carolina

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    This was supposed to be the big year in the Butch Davis era at North Carolina. Unfortunately for him, nothing has gone right.

    The Tar Heels' depth has been depleted because of suspensions and injuries and UNC has opened the season 0-2.

    There's nothing to say Davis can't right the ship and get to nine or 10 victories, but another trip to the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte would be a huge disappointment.

    The off-the-field issues may end up being a bigger problem, as North Carolina's brass may feel a change is necessary at the end of the season.

    Hot Seat-ometer: 3 (on a scale of 1-5)

5. Rick Neuheisel, UCLA

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    Just when everyone was writing Rick Neuheisel's coaching obituary, the crafty UCLA coach pulls off a 31-13 victory over then-No. 23 Houston.

    The Bruins are still adjusting to Neuheisel's Pistol offense, but last week's performance was the best of the season.

    A renewed emphasis on running should help quarterback Kevin Prince, who has struggled with consistency.

    However, one victory is not enough to remove the high-paid Neuheisel from the Hot Seat rankings.

    Hot Seat-ometer: 3.5 (on a scale of 1-5)

4. Todd Dodge, North Texas

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    If North Texas would just end the Todd Dodge experiment, he could be removed from the list and just be another cautionary tale of high school coaches trying to make the leap to Division I level.

    Until then, Dodge will likely remain in the top five unless North Texas makes a run.

    Hot Seat-ometer: 3.75 (on a scale of 1-5)

3. Tim Brewster, Minnesota

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    The Gophers actually played USC tough at home and could have pulled a major upset. Instead, Minnesota lost 32-21, and Brewster is still an unpopular figure in the Twin Cities.

    If Brewster can't figure out a little magic and beat Northern Illinois this week, the axe could fall quicker than he had hoped.

    If the Gophers play like they did against the Trojans, it's not out of the question that they could win three of the next four.

    Hot Seat-ometer: 4 (on a scale of 1-5)

2. Mike Locksley, New Mexico

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    Hey Mike, still here buddy.

    Of course it's not the No. 1 spot any more, but don't get too comfortable here.

    Is this the worst hire in history?

    Hot Seat-ometer: 4.5 (on a scale of 1-5)

1. Paul Wulff, Washington State

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Wulff moves into the top spot over Locksley because he's been on the job one more year and his team is just as bad.

    Maybe they could let Washington State face New Mexico in a bowl game and the winner gets to keep his job.

    In fairness to Wulff, he has worked hard to add better players and depth to a team that was in a mess when he arrived in 2008. Victories have been hard to come by, and in the end, that will be his undoing.

    Today's fans and athletic departments can't (and won't) wait for long-term plans to come to fruition.

    He's an alum of Washington State and if he has enough backing in the administration, Wulff may get a fourth season.

    Hot Seat-ometer: 5 (on a scale of 1-5)

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