Yes, it is that time already and I am talking about coaches on the hot seat. It is a bit unfair to try to project certain coaches futures, well unless you despise a few programs that is (Michigan already on Urban).
A few programs are on the downslope and it could get ugly if a few of these teams fail to post a winning season because the coaches will be held accountable.
So, without further ado, here is my list of the 20 coaches that are on the hot seat for next season.
Hopefully, Mrs. Dooley doesn’t read this because she won’t be a big fan. Dooley and the Vols are rocky bottom these days after failing to play in a bowl game for just the third time since 1989!
Tennessee is accustomed to winning SEC East division titles and they have been struggling miserably to stay healthy, let alone gain any confidence offensively.
Tennessee doesn’t land the five-stars like they were accustomed to when Fulmer could have run for president in the late '90s, but they haven’t gone broke, either. They have had some underrated NFL running backs and a few key pieces defensively that many BCS teams wished they had.
However, the dismissal of Janzen Jackson seemed to put this team back a few slots on defense, and they are catching zero breaks offensively.
If everybody would just stay healthy for most of the season, they would be much better off, but Dooley has quite the uphill battle.
They eventually need to defeat their rivals (0-4 and outscored by 59 points to UF and UGA) or else the Vols will be searching for answers, and that includes a new coach as well.
Oh yes, despite just coaching for one season the Terps seem to be a little on the edge. It doesn’t help they passed on a few other coaches but hindsight is always 20-20. The Terps must sneak into a bowl game or else they may be in need of another coach.
The ACC is vastly improved, but they must go to Morgantown in a brutal out-of-conference game next season to face West Virginia.
Clemson, North Carolina and Virginia will be tough road games in the ACC, but Florida State and Georgia Tech at home won’t be easy, either.
If he were to fall short of a postseason two seasons in a row (2-10 is as bad as it gets), there is a chance Terp Nation will kick him to the curb sooner than later.
Since taking over for Tom O’Brien in the 2006 Meineke Car Care Bowl, he has dominated in the ACC like most of the faithful wanted.
Boston College had previously gone to 12 straight bowls and they could be on the verge of staying home for the holidays two years in a row.
The schedule is brutal once again, as the non-conference does no favors outside of a game against Maine. There is Northwestern and Notre Dame on the schedule, but the ACC is rapidly improving thank to the usual consistency of Virginia Tech and the emergence of Clemson.
If another losing season occurs in Chestnut Hill, then there would be no move other than to part ways.
The Oregon State Beavers were once known as one of the top three programs in the Pac-12, based on their consistency of winning eight or nine games a year on top of playing in a mid-tier bowl.
Also, Riley is 72-63 through 11 seasons, though he has been abysmal going just 8-16 the past two seasons. The Beavers have a brutal non-conference slate next season that includes BYU (Provo) and Wisconsin (Corvallis).
Though they avoid USC, they have Stanford and Washington and get the Ducks at home. That could be five losses right there (13 games throw in Nicholls State) without knowing how improved UCLA (Mora Jr.) or Washington State (Leach) could be.
It is never a joy to see classy guys like Riley be forced out. However, he will no longer be a part of this program if he cannot find a way to improve upon their 99th-rated scoring offense and more importantly get back in the bowl conversation.
The Dukies are miserable right now, and many thought Thaddeus Lewis was going to get them bowling a few years ago, but the change at quarterback was not successful. However, the QB position was arguably the least of their worries along with their solid receivers.
It was the defense once again as they had a miserable season ranking 92nd and allowing 425 yards per contest.
Posting a 15-33 record isn’t completely awful for Duke standards, but they have been so close lately that the expectations are only getting higher. After their 5-7 record in 2009, most thought that the world would finally rotate in favor of Duke.
However, the struggles are once again piling up, and it is unfortunate that a former successful SEC coach may not have enough ammo in the tank to survive.
Many believe he will indeed be gone by this time next season, but going 19-43 through five seasons is not ideal.
Idaho certainly does NOT have the type of budget to bring in a prime-time coach, but they would like to get the third bowl appearance in the Vandals program history.
Entering his third season, Enos is on the verge of getting kicked out the door after two disappointing seasons.
The Chips were in heaven with Dan LeFevour since they went to two bowl games with him. They have a chance to go bowling next season, but that might be the only thing keeping Enos from leaving Mount Pleasant next season.
Coach Hauck was the genius who led FCS Montana to a ridiculous 80-17 record through seven seasons, but his tenure is not starting out well in Vegas.
They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but clearly 4-21 is not forgettable for the hometown crowd since many thought they would be bowling by now. Time is running out, despite what Hauck has accomplished in the past.
The Hoosiers were expected to land hot-shot prospect Gunner Kiel, but now he may be changing his mind to Notre Dame after his recent weekend in South Bend. Maybe Wilson needs the top quarterback recruit in the country to save his job.
Without the studs, it is truly hard to win games in the Big Ten due to the grind that it brings every weekend. Plus, going 1-11 is not exactly a great start and if he posts a similar record in 2012, let us just say he won’t be as beloved as Tom Crean.
The Red Raiders were pumped with the move of good ole Tommy, who once led the Auburn Tigers to a 13-0 season (2004).
Tuberville’s Red Raiders appeared in a bowl game (TicketCity) last season, which was their 11th straight bowl. A 5-7 season this past season was not what Lubbock had in mind, and this of course is including an upset over the Oklahoma Sooners on the road, where Oklahoma has only now lost three times the past decade.
Tech was often non-existent in other crucial games such as home tilts against Oklahoma State, where they were blasted by nearly 100 points.
Throw in the fact he went 2-7 in the Big 12 and things will heat up hurry in the state of Texas. Though he is not scorching yet, he will be if he can’t take a solid squad to a bowl game next season.
The Warhawks took on Iowa and Florida State this season, but many thought that would help them in the long run.
Instead, it was the start of a long and painful season. Going 4-8 after a 5-7 season is not exactly what the program was expecting, but they may be looking elsewhere if this were to happen again next season.
After defeating his father and his own alma mater (Notre Dame), many thought that the Bulls were destined for their very first BCS bowl. And the result ended up being the same that we have seen every season seemingly.
Expectations are huge in today’s sports and many were banking on the Bulls to become a national contender after their upset over the Irish.
BJ Daniels has a ton of talent, but he battled through some injuries and the offense was very inconsistent.
USF won just one game in the Big East, and another losing season could put Holtz in danger territory.
Through three seasons at Wes Point, life has been all but dandy. The Cadets are longer a walk in the park, but are they really improving?
Coaches say you either improve or get worse as a team and Army is still on the fence right now. If we to look at this past season, it is an emphatic WORSE.
Going 3-9 after a 7-6 season, which included a bowl victory, does not make you feel happy around the Holidays.
His contract ends after next season, and it may take bowl trip to save his job, or else Army will start to seriously question its program's future.
The Aggies have been reeling for quite a while and it was never safe place to coach in Las Cruces. Through three seasons, the former UCLA defensive coordinator is 9-29!
Four WAC wins in three seasons is not good enough unless your expectations are depressing. New Mexico State has been a doormat since becoming a FBS program, and they need to do something to change that.
Despite a few NFL stints, Marrone has had two miserable seasons out of three years. The Orange were once a prestigious program that was accustomed to playing in mid-tier bowls and they are currently just hoping to get over the hump.
‘Cuse was brutal this past season (5-7), but failing to appear in the postseason in BCS programs is asking to get fired. Marrone came into the 2011 season with high expectations since they were coming off an 8-5 season and a thrilling bowl victory.
In the two losing seasons for Marrone, he has won just two Big East games. As great of a job as he did in 2010, two losing seasons wipe it out and then some. One more losing season in a watered-down Big East and it could be time to pack up.
Since being named the Pirates head coach, Ruffin McNeil has gone back and forth between contenders and pretenders.
Dominique Davis was expected to go bonkers for McNeil and ECU, but instead he had way too many lapses. The 25 TDs was solid, but 19 INTs is way too many, even in a pass-happy offense.
McNeil went to a bowl game in his first season, but it was still a losing season at 6-7. This past season, the expectations were not too high, but a bowl was pretty much a foregone conclusion.
Instead, ECU went 5-7 by being on the losing end of a few nail-biters. McNeil better be on the winning end of those close games, or else he might be hasta la vista.
Maybe this is a bit of a stretch, but there are so many non-BCS teams that are on the brink of falling off the map. Middle Tennessee is one of those teams, because they once flashed brilliance and have struggled ever since.
Through six seasons, Stockstill is 26-19 in the Sun Belt, but he is just 35-40 overall. They have been dominated in the non-conference slate and are coming off a miserable 2-10 year.
Losing 10 games is hard to do from a losing perspective, but they need to avoid getting blown out. The final six games were blowouts, as the Blue Raiders lost by an average of 27.5 points per game.
If the team starts out slowly, we could be in store for another massacre in the final month of the season.
The Knights were coming off a tremendous bowl victory over Georgia in the Liberty Bowl that capped off an 11-win season. Jeff Godfrey was returning at quarterback and some were expecting another double-digit season.
Instead, the wheels came off towards the end of the season. They hung around in nearly every single game, but they were unable to finish them off. This is not the NHL, where you get credit for playing in overtime or close losses.
Overall, having six of the seven losses come within one possession makes it even more grueling knowing what could have been. Although his contract does not expire until the 2014-2015 season, O’Leary quickly needs to regroup before it is too late.
Jerry Kill always comes off as a class act because he does everything the right way. He did a fine job with Northern Illinois, but his first season with the Gophers did not go quite as planned.
Sure, a few only had them winning three or four games, but that is not tolerable in BCS conferences. This was once a respectable program that went to bowl games every season and with 35 bowls, it is a tough pill to swallow when you are home for the holidays.
Hopefully they will develop a few more consistent playmakers on both sides of the ball to avoid the basement in the Big Ten. If not, The Gophers will be wondering if they can ever become relevant in the Big Ten and will have no choice but to make a change.
Mack brought in two prized coordinators and it seems like it will pay off in the future, but not so much improvement was made this past season (Holiday Bowl will be huge if they lose).
Though his contract won’t expire until 2016 barring a buy-out,this prestigious program is still on the fence with their quarterback woes. Garrett Gilbert transferred out of Texas and it looks as if Case McCoy is the future of the team. Is that a good thing at the moment?
They had some issues with their young receivers either not developing or staying on the team, but the running backs proved to be impressive when healthy. The defense was stout against the run, but Manny Diaz’ defense will always be fierce.
Plus, they are expected to bring in the best recruiting class in the country. That is the good news, but you don’t win championships on paper and can Texas really afford to just sit back and have another 7-6 or 8-5 season?
Mack is arguably the safest guy on this list, but he needs to get back to posting double-digit seasons before it is too late.