Heating Up: Five Coaches Likely on the Hot Seat
Coaches face all kinds of pressure. The pressure to win is perhaps the greatest and is usually the reason coaches get fired. Others break NCAA rules and lie about them, and still others commit crimes. These are the coaches whose seats are heating up and may no longer be at their schools next year.
Number 5: Dennis Erickson
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Erickson has been coach at Arizona State since 2007. In his first year, the Sun Devils finished tied for first in the Pac-10. That could be credited to Dirk Koetter's recruits and not Erickson's coaching prowess. They finished the season with a loss to Texas in the Holiday Bowl.
Since then, ASU has been mediocre at best. The best the Sun Devils have done is a 6-6 record, good enough for a tie for fifth in the Pac-10. Arizona State is expected to be the team to beat in the Pac-12 this year. Needless to say, if the Sun Devils can't get it together this year, Erickson will most likely be gone.
Number 4: Ron Zook
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After a less than impressive tenure at Florida, Zook was hired by the University of Illinois. In his first year, the Fighting Illini were the punching bag of the Big Ten and finished in dead last. Zook did lead his team to the Rose Bowl in 2007, but that was only because Ohio State was invited to the National Championship.
Last year, Zook and the Illini finished 7-6 including a bowl win over Baylor. Overall, Zook has composed a 28-45 record at Illinois. If Zook doesn't make a bowl game this year, he is likely gone. Then again, he might be regardless.
Number 3: Paul Wulff
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Why Paul Wulff was ever hired in the first place is beyond me. In his three years at the helm, the Cougars have gone 5-32. Wulff's teams have finished in last place in the Pac-10 every year except one. The exception was when they played a winless Washington team and won in double overtime.
This could be the year Wulff breaks out, but don't count on it. He should be gone after this season.
Number 2: Mike Locksley
Locksley has been on the hot seat since day one. In his first season, he was reprimanded due to hitting an assistant coach. In his first two years he has led the Lobos to back-to-back 1-11 seasons.
Fans want him gone, but due to a huge buyout, New Mexico can't fire him. Should he not improve this year, he will probably be gone, if New Mexico is willing to pay.
Number 1: Jim Tressel
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Tressel isn't on the hot seat for his team's performance. It's hard to argue with a 106-22 record and a national championship. Tressel is on the hot seat for his morals. Apparently, he wanted to win bad enough that he lied about improper benefits that he knew his players received.
Tressel is a good coach but some of the talent he recruits (Maurice Clarett, Terrelle Pryor) gets him in trouble. Tressel's seat is boiling hot and he probably won't be around for much longer. Tressel shouldn't be out of a job for long though.