College Football Hot Seat Rankings: Hello, Brian Kelly

Tom PerryCorrespondent INovember 2, 2010

College Football Hot Seat Rankings: Hello Brian Kelly

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    This week's Hot Seat has a number of new faces, including Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, who is struggling big-time in his first year in South Bend.

    There are also some regulars that haven't gotten fired yet, and aren't getting enough wins to justify a second (or even third) chance.

    It's November and some of the coaches on this list are likely coaching their final games ... at least at their current school.

10. Randy Shannon, Miami

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    Last Week: NR
    2010 Record: 5-3

    Randy Shannon can't be blamed for Jacory Harris' concussion and having to use backup Spencer Whipple, as well as freshman Stephen Morris, in a 24-19 loss to a serious rebuilding project at Virginia.

    Shannon was already in trouble following the Hurricanes' lackluster performance against Florida State, but Miami has more talent than the Cavaliers and these are not the type of losses anyone associated with The U can tolerate.

    Miami president Donna Shalala gave Shannon a vote of confidence, but don't read too much into it. Shannon could be in serious trouble this season.

    Hot Seat-ometer: 0.5 (on a scale of 1-5)

9. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame

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    Last Week: NR
    2010 Record: 4-5

    The Irish seem to be turning on Brian Kelly. Injuries have ravaged Notre Dame this season and Charlie Weis didn't leave too much talent, but most Irish fans are unrealistic.

    Kelly's questionable call last week to have practice with extremely high winds in the area that resulted in the death of a videographer has brought out a different element calling for his ouster.

    No one at Notre Dame really wants to deal with another buyout and Kelly deserves a chance to get his players and win. If he does that then everything will be fine.

    Hot Seat-ometer: 1.0 (on a scale of 1-5)

8. Rick Neuheisel, UCLA

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    Last Week: NR
    2010 Record: 3-5

    UCLA is talented enough to beat any team it plays from here on out. Problem is no one really believes the Bruins will do it.

    Most experts thought Rick Neuheisel's Bruins would show more consistency than they are in his third season. Neuheisel has been successful everywhere he's coached, but now it's looking like he's lost a little magic.

    UCLA lost a tough 29-21 game to Arizona and Neuheisel said he blamed a lack of execution as one of the key reasons why the Bruins lost. That would be a reasonable excuse if it wasn't this late in the season.

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

7. Bill Lynch, Indiana

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    Last Week: NR
    2010 Record: 4-4

    Lynch is 18-27 in four seasons, but his Big Ten record is a horrendous 5-21.

    Indiana just went 1-4 in October and the possibility of another 1-7 or even 0-8 record in the conference is pretty realistic.

    All four victories this year are against very substandard opponents, so none really help Lynch's cause.

    Hot Seat-ometer: 2.0 (on a scale of 1-5)

6. Mike Sherman, Texas A&M

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    Last Week: 6
    2010 Record: 5-3

    Following a 45-27 victory over Texas Tech, Mike Sherman helped his cause a little. But he really needs to win at least one (if not two) of his final four games to really be safe.

    Who wants to pick the game (or games) the Aggies will win, out of No. 8 Oklahoma (Nov. 6), at No. 21 Baylor (Nov. 13), No. 7 Nebraska (Nov. 20) and at Texas (Nov. 25).

    Oddly enough, the best opportunity may come against rival Texas. If Sherman gets just that win it may be enough to return in 2011.

    Hot Seat-ometer: 3.0 (on a scale of 1-5)

5. Bill Stewart, West Virginia

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    Last Week: 9
    2010 Record: 5-3

    Has anyone seen a coach go from coaching the clear-cut favorite to win a league to watching his team play so poorly that two inferior opponents pulled out wins?

    Welcome to Bill Stewart's world. The West Virginia coach has been on thin ice since he took the reigns and it's starting to look like his jovial ways won't save his job.

    The Mountaineers are talented enough to still finish 9-3, but Stewart's coaching abilities appear to be holding them back.

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

4. Paul Wulff, Washington State

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    Last Week: 2
    2010 Record: 1-8

    There still seems to be considerable support for Paul Wulff, but losing 42-0 to Arizona State and Dennis Erickson, who was considered on his way out at the beginning of the season, certainly doesn't help Wulff's cause.

    There's really no projectable victories for the Cougars this season so another 1-11 season appears to be inevitable.

    If Wulff is retained it's because Washington State doesn't want to buy him out or the administration sees something no one else in the country does.

    Hot Seat-ometer: 4.0 (on a scale of 1-5)

3. Rich Rodriguez, Michigan

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    Last Week: 8
    2010 Record: 5-3

    If Michigan could play defense Rich Rodriguez would probably be safe. But the Wolverines' defense gave up 41 points to a Penn State team that was starting a former walk-on quarterback.

    If you saw Rodriguez on the sidelines this past weekend you could almost see the pressure he feels on his face.

    He really needs victories against Illinois (Nov. 6) and Purdue (Nov. 13) to salvage any hope he has of remaining in Ann Arbor for another season. Of course, notching his first win over rival No. 11 Ohio State (Nov. 27) wouldn't hurt either.

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

2. Dan Hawkins, Colorado

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    Last Week: 3
    2010 Record: 3-5

    It would be easy to argue that Dan Hawkins should top this list, but we all know who has a firm grasp on that spot.

    After opening the season 3-1 and notching a huge victory over Georgia at home, how did the Buffaloes respond? They lost four straight.

    Colorado can legitimately win two more games, but that's probably it. Odds are 5-7 isn't going to save Hawkins as Colorado readies for a move to the Pac-12 in 2011.

    Hot Seat-ometer: 5.0 (on a scale of 1-5)

1. Mike Locksley, New Mexico

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    Last Week: 1
    2010 Record: 0-8

    What else can we say about Mike Locksley?

    He's been on the list all year. His team is the least competitive program in the country. He's a bad fit.

    Would New Mexico just fire the guy so someone else can top this list?

    Hot Seat-ometer: 8.5 (on a scale of 1-5)