College Football Hot Seat Rankings: Hawkins' Era Coming to an End In Boulder

Tom PerryCorrespondent INovember 9, 2010

College Football Hot Seat Rankings: Hawkins' Era Coming to an End In Boulder

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    It wasn't going to be easy to knock New Mexico's Mike Locksley from the top spot, but it has happened.

    The Lobos actually recorded a victory over Wyoming. Meanwhile, a coach to be named later, who probably won't be residing in Boulder, Colorado. much longer, just wanted the spot more.

    There are also a number of big name coaches who could easily make this list.

    What about Washington's wunderkind Steve Sarkisian? Not looking so good in Year 2 at 3-6. But clearly the Huskies will give him time as he took over a program in shambles.

    How about Rick Neuheisel? Just when everything is going against Slick Rick his Bruins find a way to pull out a win.

    So who's on the hot seat this week?

10. Mack Brown, Texas

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    Last Week: NR
    2010 Record: 4-5

    We all know Mack Brown isn't going to get fired, but after losing 39-14 at Kansas State the Longhorns are in an odd position—below .500.

    The defending Big 12 champion is in jeopardy of not qualifying for a bowl game just one year after playing for a national championship.

    Does anyone really believe Texas is going to win two games against No. 10 Oklahoma State, Florida Atlantic and No. 25 Texas A&M? Many wonder if the Longhorns can win one of those.

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

9. Dennis Erickson, Arizona State

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    Last Week: NR
    2010 Record: 4-5

    Dennis Erickson has done a great job with the Sun Devils this fall. However, the wins are too few.

    ASU missed a great opportunity this past weekend, but fell to USC 34-33. Special teams really let the Sun Devils down in the loss, but penalties were also costly.

    Now Arizona State is faced with having to win out to make it to a bowl game. The school of thought coming into the season was that the Sun Devils needed to make a bowl game for Erickson to save his job.

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

8. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame

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    Last Week: 9
    2010 Record: 4-5

    It was a bye week for the Fighting Irish, but it didn't seem to cool the complaints about Brian Kelly's sub-par performance in his inaugural season in South Bend.

    Kelly appears to be safe. The right people have come out in support of his future employment.

    However, because of everything that has happened this season, Kelly is likely to start the season near the top of this list next year. Only then will victories—especially signature wins—ease his pain.

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

7. Dave Christensen, Wyoming

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    Last Week: NR
    2010 Record: 2-8

    When you lose to Mike Locksley and New Mexico there is almost no other option but to add you to the hot seat.

    Welcome Dave Christensen.

    What's a little shocking is the great job Christensen did last year as he led the Cowboys to a 7-6 record and a victory in the New Mexico Bowl. Now he's losing to the worst team from the state.

    This is probably a one-week reaction to the loss, but it's a wake-up call.

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

6. Dwayne Walker, New Mexico State

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    Last Week: NR
    2010 Record: 2-7

    Dwayne Walker has actually benefited from in-state rival New Mexico coach Mike Locksley being such a train wreck. Many outsiders haven't focused much on the poor job Walker has done.

    The Aggies lost 27-22 at Utah State—another bottom dweller in the WAC.

    Walker hasn't had the off-field issues of Locksley, but that attention is going to turn toward the New Mexico State coach soon.

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

5. Bill Lynch, Indiana

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    Last Week: 7
    2010 Record: 4-5

    Man, an upset of Iowa was what Bill Lynch really needed. If Demarlo Belcher had just held onto that Ben Chappell pass in the end zone as time expired, Lynch would likely be off the hook.

    Instead, the Hoosiers remain the worst team in the Big Ten not named Minnesota.

    Even a victory over the Gophers probably won't save Lynch now.

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

4. Paul Wulff, Washington State

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    Last Week: 4
    2010 Record: 1-9

    Paul Wulff just won't go away.

    Washington State doesn't fire the guy and his Cougars don't win. On a positive note, the Cougars did look better in a 20-13 loss to California.

    However, the Bears are down this year so don't read too much into it.

    Wulff is high on the list, but don't be shocked if he's still coaching in Pullman next fall.

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

3. Bill Stewart, West Virginia

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    Last Week: 5
    2010 Record: 5-3

    Another coach on a bye week. That gave the fans and the media more time to speculate about Bill Stewart's future.

    Stewart isn't a goner yet, but a 7-5 or 6-6 finish will likely mean a lateral move into the senior administration of the university so he can be a spokesperson.

    We all know how much Stewart loves West Virginia.

    A loss to Cincinnati this week could seal his fate.

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

2. Mike Locksley, New Mexico

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    Last Week: 1
    2010 Record: 1-8

    Congratulations Mike Locksley! You just celebrated your second victory in two years.

    Hey, and you also moved out of the top spot of the Hot Seat Rankings.

    But the victory over Wyoming isn't a watershed moment in your career. It's just a blip.

    Sometime on Nov. 28, probably about 24 hours after TCU puts a whipping on the Lobos, the New Mexico administration will call a press conference to make a major announcement about its football program.

    That's not good news for you.

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

1. Dan Hawkins, Colorado

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    Last Week: 2
    2010 Record: 3-6

    We're all waiting for that photo to appear on the Internet of Dan Hawkins' home for sale.

    Not that a win over Kansas would have really helped much, but this guy really knows how to drive the final nail in the coffin.

    Leading Kansas by 28-points in the fourth quarter, the Buffaloes managed to blow the game (52-45) and fell to 0-5 in conference play.

    Certainly Chris Petersen can find a spot on his Boise State staff for you, right?

    Hot Seat-ometer: 12.0 (on a scale of 1-5)