College Football Hot Seat Rankings: Mark Richt of Georgia Jumps to Top of List

Tom PerryCorrespondent IOctober 5, 2010

College Football Hot Seat Rankings: Mark Richt of Georgia Jumps to Top of List

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    TEMPE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 20:  Head coach Mark Richt of the Georgia Bulldogs works on the sidelines during the game against the Arizona State Sun Devils on September 20, 2008 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.  Georgia won 27-10.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    A win here and a loss there is all it takes to get on or off the coaching hot seat each week.

    Colorado's Dan Hawkins, a man who appeared destined for unemployment, is 3-1 and has a shot at getting the Buffaloes into a bowl game.

    Colorado's 29-27 home victory over Georgia may be the beginning of the end for Mark Richt, though.

    OK, maybe the beginning started last season and the loss at Boulder has Richt at the tipping point.

    This week's hot seat rankings include three new faces, but the top five are the same, only shuffled around a little. Seriously, does anyone really think Tim Brewster or Mike Locksley won't be in the top five all season?

    Yep, didn't think so.

10. David Cutcliffe, Duke

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    DURHAM, NC - SEPTEMBER 25:  Head coach David Cutcliffe of the Duke Blue Devils cheers on his team the Army Black Knights at Wallace Wade Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    It wasn't that long ago that David Cutcliffe had the people at Duke actually believing the Blue Devils could qualify for a bowl game.

    Wow, that seems like ages ago now.

    Duke is 1-4 after close losses to Wake Forest and Maryland. Next up is No. 13 Miami.

    Cutcliffe may be able to weather the storm, as expectations in Durham are clearly lower for football than basketball.

    But a three-win season may be the best Duke can expect now.

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

9. Ron English, Eastern Michigan

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    ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 19:  Head coach Ron English stands on the field during the game with the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Michigan won 45-17.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Ron English probably survives at Eastern Michigan, but it's becoming clear that he may have to wait until 2011 to get his first victory.

    On the bright side, the Eagles' losses have been much closer this season (if you can overlook the 73 points Ohio State put on them).

    English and the Eagles travel to Vanderbilt this weekend in what will likely be another non-conference loss.

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

8. Neil Callaway, UAB

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    ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 9:  Offensive coordinator Neil Callaway (center) and head coach Mark Richt (right) of the University of Georgia Bulldogs argue with a referee during the SEC game against the University of Mississippi Rebels at Sanford Stadium on Nove
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Neil Callaway, making his first appearance on this list, has been the bad luck coach this season. Three UAB games have been decided on the final play, and only once did it go the Blazers' way.

    UAB has played well this season, but without a few more victories it may be the end for Callaway, who has coached UAB since 2007. In that time he is just 12-27.

    UAB will get a shot at a Conference USA victory when it faces UCF this weekend.

    Hot Seat-ometer: 2 (on a scale of 1-5)

7. Steve Fairchild, Colorado State

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    BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 06:  Head coach Steve Fairchild of the Colorado State Rams walks the field during warm ups prior to facing the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field on September 6, 2009 in Boulder, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Following Colorado State's first scoreless game since 1997, Steve Fairchild said in his postgame press conference that he's not sure the Rams could have ever scored on TCU.

    The Horned Frogs are ranked fifth in the nation, but TCU's defense is not as strong as the past few years.

    CSU actually frustrated TCU quarterback Andy Dalton, but the Horned Frogs turned it up in the second half and rolled.

    Fairchild could get off the hot seat with a few winnable games in the next few weeks against UNLV (Oct. 16), New Mexico (Oct. 30), BYU (Nov. 13), and Wyoming (Nov. 20).

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

6. Mario Cristobal, Florida International

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    GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 21: Coacg Mario Cristobal of the Florida International University Golden Panthers directs play against the Florida Gators, November 21, 2009 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty
    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Another newcomer to the hot seat, but Mario Cristobal probably deserved to be here way before now.

    Cristobal worked with Greg Schiano at Rutgers as the Scarlet Knights underwent a major transformation. But it's Cristobal's fourth season with the Golden Panthers, and he's managed just nine victories (five of those coming in 2008).

    In his defense, Cristobal took over a football team that was arguably the worst in the nation, and he has strong support from athletic director Pete Garcia.

    Hot Seat-ometer: 3 (on a scale of 1-5)

5. Todd Dodge, North Texas

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    Todd Dodge nearly got off the hot seat, but North Texas' mistakes cost the Mean Green again, and they lost to Louisiana-Lafayette 28-27.

    The close loss may be a positive sign for North Texas, though.

    Maybe the Mean Green can get a couple more wins this season and force North Texas to give Dodge one more season.

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

4. Paul Wulff, Washington State

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    PASADENA, CA - OCTOBER 02:  Washington State Cougars head coach Paul Wulff yells from the sideline against the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl on October 2, 2010 in Pasadena, California. UCLA defeated Washington State 42-28.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Image
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Washington State put a little scare in UCLA this past week, but Paul Wulff's teams just never seem to find a way to pull out a win.

    It doesn't get any better for the Cougars, as they host one of the hottest offensive teams in the country in Oregon this week.

    Wulff is another optimistic coach who really believes his team is ready to turn the corner.

    However, the rest of the country sees a program in need of a coaching change.

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

3. Mike Locksley, New Mexico

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    Still no sign of Mike Leach in Albuquerque.

    Apparently Mike Locksley needs to game plan for New Mexico State, which is clearly the Lobos' best shot at a victory in 2010.

    Win or lose Saturday, Locksley won't get off the hot seat until he's canned this year.

    Hot Seat-ometer: 4.75 (on a scale of 1-5)

2. Tim Brewster, Minnesota

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    TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 31:  Head coach Tim Brewster of the Minnesota Golden Gophers walks off the field after being defeated by the Iowa State Cyclones in the Insight Bowl at Arizona Stadium on December 31, 2009 in Tempe, Arizona. The Cyclones defeated the
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Tim Brewster actually believes his team is much better than its 1-4 record, but to even have a slim chance of saving his job he must guide the Gophers to a 5-3 record in the Big Ten.

    Good luck, coach.

    Brewster may be the ultimate optimist, but Minnesota officials are probably gauging interest and evaluating possible replacements behind the scenes.

    It's not a matter of if he'll get fired anymore, but rather a case of when Minnesota pulls the plug on Brewster.

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

1. Mark Richt, Georgia

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    TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 22: Head coach Mark Richt of the Georgia Bulldogs looks on during the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium September 22, 2007 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Georgia defeated Alabama 26-23 in overtime. (Photo by
    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    Entering this season, Mark Richt was well aware of the diminishing support for him and his staff at Georgia.

    The veteran coach needed a much stronger start to 2010 to calm down his detractors. Instead, a 1-4 start, including an 0-3 start in the SEC, has just amped up the Richt haters.

    Even with super wide receiver A.J. Green back in the lineup, the Bulldogs fell at Colorado Saturday 29-27.

    It's unclear today if Richt has enough magic to save his job, but it's not looking good for the once popular coach.

    Hot Seat-ometer: 6.5 (on a scale of 1-5)