NCAA Football: 10 Coaches That May Be Entering Their Final Season
There will be plenty of coaches on the hot seat this year and plenty of coaches waiting for their big break to finally move up into the National spotlight.
Some of these coaches are names that fans would never expect on a list like this, while others will be pretty obvious.
With the added pressure that the game of college football brings, the seat is hot the day a coach takes over and there are no exceptions, winning is the only objective.
With that being said, here are ten coaches who might be with another school by 2012.
10. Chris Peterson-Boise State
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There are two reasons I'm putting Chris Peterson on this list. The first is because it's just pure speculation, that he's one of the best coaches in the country at a school that has failed to provide him with a National Championship appearance.
The second, Boise State looked to be making a good move when they joined the Mountain West Conference, but then TCU, BYU and Utah left leaving Boise State with basically the same level of competition that will certainly not get them to a BCS National Championship game.
So will Peterson entertain the suitors that he surely is getting? This will be his last year with Kellen Moore as his quarterback, the best quarterback he's ever coached.
Would Peterson be a fool to stay? It almost appears that way, but he might just be stubborn enough to say that he can take a team like Boise State to a title game without having to be coaching in a BCS conference.
9. Mark Richt-Georgia
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The seat is very hot in Athens for Georgia head coach Mark Richt. After finishing with his first losing season last year at 6-7, the talk has already started that this has to be the year for him to at least show that he's in the right direction towards a National Championship.
When Richt began his head coaching career, he was a hot offensive coordinator fresh off a National Championship. He's a brilliant offensive mind, but he's failed to bring a National Championship appearance to Georgia.
He brought in a fantastic recruiting class this year called "the dream team", but will it be enough?
How many wins does he have to get to ensure more time at Georgia? It wouldn't be too far off the radar to say at least 10.
8. Rick Neuheisel-UCLA
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Rick Neuheisel was supposed to bring UCLA back into the National talks as a potential threat. He was winning over recruits from USC and he was making a huge splash in the media with statements of turning UCLA into a powerhouse.
That was then and this is now. Neuheisel has a 15-22 record at UCLA and after finishing 4-8 last year, it appears he is regressing instead of progressing.
He's only been there for three years, but if he doesn't have a winning record this season which quite frankly it doesn't appear like he will, he will get the boot.
UCLA won't give him a fifth year to "turn it around". Four years is long enough for this experiment and it didn't work.
7. Ken Niumatalolo-Navy
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Ken Niumatalolo has been the head coach at Navy for just three years, but in those three years he's collected 27 wins. While he's a young guy and considered to be a beginner, he knows how to win and he has proven that he can win.
This is again another speculation pick, but Niumatalolo is almost too hot of a coach right now to not at least entertain the idea. His offense is an option type offense and we all see how well that has worked out for Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech.
If Navy puts up another nine or ten win season, don't be surprised to see a BCS school lure Niumatalolo away.
6. Houston Nutt-Ole Miss
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Houston Nutt isn't exactly a lock to get fired if Ole Miss has another bad year, but if they do happen to have another 4-8 season like they did last year, it would be a hard decision for the program to keep him around.
Nutt won just one game in the SEC last year and the Jeremiah Massoli experiment failed miserably. He did post 9-4 records in his first two season at Ole Miss, but the fans are getting anxious.
Ole Miss needs to show that they can and will compete with the big boys in the SEC. Granted it is the best conference in football so it's easier said then done.
Nutt will need to have a bounce back year, probably a nine or ten win season to show that he's the man for the job and that he will bring Ole Miss back into national contention.
5. Jeff Tedord-California
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It's hard to put Jeff Tedford on this list especially with his 72-42 record, but going 5-7 last year didn't help his cause. Tedford is a good coach, not a great coach, but rather an average coach.
He's entering his tenth season as head coach at California, but he's won only one conference championship.
Add in that Utah is joining the conference along with Colorado and Arizona, Arizona State and Washington are all improving. Oregon, Oregon State and USC are going to be normals at the top of the conference and Stanford has the best quarterback/player in the country this year, so it's hard to see Cal making an impact this year.
Their record could be worse than last year or it could be better, but it's very hard to predict that Tedford and the Bears will win nine or ten games thus leading to a very hot seat.
This could be the last year that Tedford coaches for Cal, unless of course he proves his worth.
4. Greg Schiano-Rutgers
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Another coach that is hard to put up on this list. Greg Schiano put Rutgers on the map. He brought them into the national spotlight and he was a hot commodity a couple years ago.
Last season he failed to have a winning record going 4-8 and winning just one game in the Big East Conference.
Schiano is a high quality, high character type of coach so it's hard to imagine that Rutgers would give him the boot if he had another losing record, but that's the nature of the beast. This sport is a business now and it's what have you done for me lately?
Schiano is the architect to Rutgers success thus far, but he does have an overall record of 59-63.
If Rutgers fails to have a winning season this year, don't be surprised to see them look elsewhere for a new coach.
3. Jim Tressel-Ohio State
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I'm going to first start off by saying that I know all of you Ohio State fans are going to go crazy over this, but you're just going to have to deal with it.
In the means or morality there is no way this guy should still have a job. He hid information from the program, from the NCAA and he tried covering up the situation making him look like a very untrustworthy person and he turns around and says he will serve the five game suspension along with his players.
This entire story makes me sick. Someone as high up as Tressel should never be involved in anything like this and it doesn't matter how good of a coach he is, and he's in the top five in the country no doubt.
Let's say this team goes 0-5 in their first five games, which is going to be very hard for them to do judging by the talent of this team, but let's pretend they are hurting without their star players and head coach, wouldn't that be enough for the University to drop him?
Ohio State was supposed to be playing in National Championship games with Terrelle Pryor, not just BCS bowl games.
The win against Arkansas last year was huge and it was supposed to launch them back into a National Championship run, but that's hard to see now.
Tressel will need to have a monster year for his seat to cool down, but if they fail to do so it wouldn't be a surprise at all for him to lose his job, which he already should have lost.
2. Mike Locksley-New Mexico
Mike Locksley is 2-22 at New Mexico in two seasons going 1-11 in both of his first two season. While New Mexico wasn't exactly a dream job, he was hired to as least improve the atmosphere.
He came over as a young offensive coordinator from Illinois, but before that he was at Florida and Maryland, so he came from big name schools, but he didn't bring the big name with him.
Many of the fans at New Mexico have been calling for him to be fired, but New Mexico can't afford a buy out with him. He signed a six year contract initially and the program is expecting improvement in 2011, but it's not going to happen.
New Mexico under Locksley won't have a winning record and they might just go 1-11 again and the program will have no choice but to fire him.
His fate is almost sealed, unless of course a miracle happens.
1. Paul Wulff-Washington State
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Paul Wulff is only 44 years old, so he is still very young and has plenty of head coaching experience, but he took over a program that wasn't going anywhere and is still not going anywhere.
Entering his fourth year as head coach for the Cougars, he has a 5-32 record and has never won more than two games in a season. Honestly one of the aspects that is hurting him the most is Steve Sarkisian's success at cross state rival Washington.
Wulff was head coach at FCS Eastern Washington before he got the call for the Washington State job and while he had success at Eastern Washington, it's pretty evident now that he wasn't the right candidate for the job.
Washington State won't see success in 2011 especially with the emerging conference leaving them behind. Programs like Arizona, Washington, Stanford and Arizona State are passing them by with ease and Washington State isn't making progress.
As much as it is to blame on the program itself, Wulff is the head coach and he will get most of the blame for the poor play and this will be his last year at Washington State, but he's still very young and will get opportunities to bounce back.