Coaches on the hot seat; new coaches who will succeed, struggle

We have 24 new head coaches in Division I-A football. Some will succeed early. Some will struggle early.

Among veteran coaches, there are a number of who enter this season very much on the hot seat.

So with the start of  season just eight days away, it is a good time to look at our coaches on the hot seat, the new coaches who will succeed and the new coaches who will struggle.

This is  just one man’s opinion. If you have others to add to these lists, please do so:

 

FIVE VETERAN COACHES ON THE HOT SEAT

1. Rich Rodriguez, Michigan: The problem for Rich Rod is that regardless of how many games he wins, there are just a lot of people who don’t want him to be the coach at Michigan any more. NCAA investigations at both his current and former (West Virginia) employers don’t help Rodriguez with a proud Michigan fan base.

2. Dan Hawkins, Colorado: When Hawkins came to Boulder from Boise State, folks thought the Buffs would become a Big 12 force again. Instead they are 16-33 in five seasons. Colorado is going to the Pac-10 either in 2011 or 2012. Will Hawkins be the coach?

3. Ron Zook, Illinois: The Zooker got the Illini to a Rose Bowl in 2007 but things have not been good since with seasons of 5-7 and 3-9. He shook up his coaching staff in an effort to get back to a bowl. Another losing season could be Zook’s last in Champaign.

4. Les Miles, LSU: Normally, a guy who is 51-15 with a national championship (2007) doesn’t belong on this list. But the closer you get to the LSU program the more people try to convince me that Miles has to make something happen after going 8-8 in the SEC the past two seasons. He’s picked to finish fourth in the SEC West. A win over North Carolina on Sept. 4 is very important. Miles’ buyout, media reports have said, is about $16 million.

5. Dennis Erickson, Arizona State: Erickson, who won two national championships at Miami, led the Sun Devils to 10 wins and a share of the Pac-10 championship in his first season (2007) in Tempe. The past two seasons Arizona State has won a total of nine games. Erickson shook up his staff bringing in Noel Mazzone to install the spread offense. He needs a winning season.

FIVE NEW COACHES WHO WILL HAVE EARLY SUCCESS

1. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame: Based on what he did at Cincinnati and Central Michigan, Kelly is an offensive genius who really knows how to coach quarterbacks. I think the schedule is set up for 8-9 wins.

2. Lane Kiffn, USC: Depth and recruiting are going to be issues down the road for Kiffin but the Trojans could still win a lot of games this season. In fact, I’m looking at 9 or 10 wins on that schedule.

3. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State: No one questions the offense, which returns a veteran line and a Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback (Christian Ponder). A Sept. 11 trip to Oklahoma should tell us a lot. I have Florida State winning the ACC’s Atlantic Division over Clemson.

4. Skip Holtz, South Florida: Holtz has proven what he can do with a mobile quarterback and he has a good one in B.J. Daniels. Road trips to Florida, Miami and West Virginia will temper expectations but the Bulls can be a factor in the Big East.

5. Butch Jones, Cincinnati: Jones takes over for Brian Kelly, who won a pair of Big East championships.  The Bearcats won’t win the conference again but they will continue to be very competitive with a proven quarterback in Zach Collaros..

FIVE NEW COACHES WHO WILL STRUGGLE

1. Derek Dooley, Tennessee: Dooley inherited a bad situation that has gotten progressively worse with injuries and other issues. The schedule is brutal. Five wins would be a very good season.

2. Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech: Tuberville will try to change the culture established by Mike Leach, which means Tubs will try to run the ball and play better defense. In the short term this has a chance to be ugly until Tuberville can get his recruits in place.

3. Mike London, Virginia: London won a Division I-AA championship at Richmond but begins his time at Virignia with a roster that is very, very thin. The Cavaliers are in the ACC Coastal, which will be one of the toughest divisions in football.

4. Robbie Caldwell, Vanderbilt: Caldwell got the job when Bobby Johnson suddenly retired in July. The Commodores were going to struggle this season regardless of who was the coach. Nine of the 12 teams on the schedule went to bowls last season.

5. Turner Gill, Kansas: The Jayhawks are only three years removed from a 12-1 season and an Orange Bowl appearance. But the former head coach at Buffalo has a lot of work to do to get Kansas back in the mix in the Big 12 North, which is pretty weak this year.

 

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342 comments Add your comment

dawgfan

August 25th, 2010
9:16 am

The only people saying Mark Richt should be on the hotseat are Techies that are bitter about the mockery that he has single handedly made of their joke football program. Whether as an assistant at FSU or the head coach at UGA, Richt has experienced defeat at the hands of the Techies a grand total of ONE time. We’re talking about a coaching career that spans just over two decades and ONE loss to the Joke by Coke. Of course they want this guy gone. He owns them like a two cent mule.

Thanks.

bo

August 25th, 2010
9:16 am

I’m surprised a mature respected sportswriter such as Barnhart would delve in to the world of ‘coaches on the hotseat’.

Purple Drank

August 25th, 2010
9:17 am

Why isn’t Randy Shannon on the hot seat? 21-17 at MIAMI? Oh? He got a new contract? So what!

I’ll tell you why he’s not on the hot seat. Miami’s resident gargoyle president has stripped their priorities down to the framing. She truly doesn’t care if they ever win a game again as long as they don’t shed negative light on UM. As the college football landscape evolved into a big money game, UM didn’t follow along. The shoestring budget used to work. It comes up woefully short now. And there you have miami, no longer an elite team. A team that thinks they are on the cusp but really isn’t even close.

MoDawg

August 25th, 2010
9:17 am

Puffy, with all due respect, Les Miles is simply a very lucky coach not a very good one. The man is not very bright and has worse clock management issues than Richt had his 1st 2 seasons as UGA. His National Championship came with Saban’s players and since then, LSU has gone down hill.

They are a lot like UGA in that they sign some very talented classes and in the past have coached them down. Hopefully, UGA has addressed that with firing the weak links on the defense. Only time will tell. I do agree that if UGA continues to lose to Florida, they will get someone else. GT can beat us once every 10 years and it’s okay, but we started out this decade being competitive with Florida, signing similarly talented players but we have taken a major nose-dive lately. Again, I hope that those days are gone. If not, Richt has MAYBE 2 more years. Just my opinion.

Puffy

August 25th, 2010
9:18 am

Mike Sherman should be on the list instead of Les Miles. Sherman’s gone 10-15 at Texas A & M. 4-8 in 08, 6-7 in 09, I can’t believe Tony put Miles on the hotseat instead of Sherman.

Not a Tech or UGA Fan.....

August 25th, 2010
9:18 am

Correction Mich St not MICH TECH.

UT96

August 25th, 2010
9:22 am

Mike, you couldn’t be more wrong about the Vols. Talent isn’t the issue, depth is, we have only 72 scholarship players. We may struggle this year but 6 or 7 wins is certainly possible. Dooley is an excellent recruiter and will have my Vols ready to compete for an SEC title in 2012. Book it.

Paddy

August 25th, 2010
9:24 am

As one reporter said in his column from the ACC Media days last month. Ralph at Maryland does not seem very excited about coaching anymore. If this writer felt this how do you think his players feel?

bo

August 25th, 2010
9:25 am

“Dooley is an excellent recruiter”

What SEC coach isn’t an excellent recruiter?

Boo Boo's boo's from Sanford Stadium.

August 25th, 2010
9:26 am

UT96… You are correct about Dooley and he really out foxed CMR with Da Rick. But many other coaches are out recruiting Mark Richt and in coaching as well. CMR needs to get on the stick.

Fred

August 25th, 2010
9:26 am

I think most rivals of UGA want Richt to stay as long as possible in Athens. Also MoDawg, listen to any sports station in Atlanta and the bias toward uga is sickening no objectivity at all. Even the contra personalities stay away from criticizing them.

DP

August 25th, 2010
9:27 am

I don’t get Texas Tech and Tuberville. They’re about as good a match as Michigan and Rich Rod. Why would Texas Tech hire a head coach with an established philosophy and force the radical offense of his fired predecessor on him? Tuberville’s brief flirtation with the spread at Auburn was a disaster and he fired the OC at midseason. Why would Tuberville take a job where he had the spread forced on him other than for the paycheck?

DawginLex

August 25th, 2010
9:28 am

If UGA gets rid of Richt, our program will go down not up.

Some idiots are saying hire Chris Peterson from Boise State.

Here is why that would be a dumb move:

No recruiting ties to the southeast
Dan Hawkins
Not used to having to get a team ready to play SEC competition every week, just 1 or 2 tough games a year and then slides by on talent better than the crap they play against.

Bowden won big with Richt. When Richt left, the program went into the crapper. Richt has a problem with florida. Everybody does. He has a winning record against every other SEC school.

Get rid of Richt, and we won’t be as good.

Count on it. Go ahead and call me Patrick but what I am saying is truth.

the real Old Gold

August 25th, 2010
9:28 am

I think Tennessee might be able to pull off a few surprise wins. Maybe not, but just putting it out there.

RxDawg

August 25th, 2010
9:32 am

It’s hard to see Rich Rod coaching Michigan for much longer. He would have to turn things around quickly. His seat has got to be the hottest in the nation.

I think Tommy T will do better than you give him credit for in the Big XII.

I still think Kiffin is just a fall guy at USC.

Canes

August 25th, 2010
9:33 am

Lane Kiffin is one of the worst coaches in college football.

Won 12 game sin 3 years, and lost 21. Never won a Bowl game.

Has sanctions following him now. Lost scholarships at USC because of Carroll, so he’s in a bind.

Kiffin is always on the hotseat.

RxDawg

August 25th, 2010
9:35 am

I agree with others saying not to just write UT off. Maybe it’s just their name working on me. But they still have some talent in rocky top. They still got some recruits that we very much wanted. I’d say they will finish in the middle of the SEC east.

dawgfan

August 25th, 2010
9:38 am

Fred, maybe they don’t think Richt’s first 8-5 season EVER is as big of a deal as you do. That’s why he’s not on the hotseat clown. Plenty negative has been said about UGA recently. Do you read the AJC? But nobody is putting him on the hotseat because he has won 90 freaking games in 9 freaking seasons. Let’s see if big mouth Manboobs can pull that off in the All Crap Conference. Maybe if Richt has a losing season or two you’ll get your wish and he’ll be canned. Good luck with that Techie.

beatdowns galore

August 25th, 2010
9:40 am

After the annual beatdown in Jacksonville the dawgs wont be partying at the UGA and Mark Richt will be doing missionary work in Haiti this time next year. Book it !

how2fish

August 25th, 2010
9:41 am

Not a Tech or UGA Fan…..your right no beating UF would get CMR fired before losing to the Bugs..his record against the Bugs leaves him some leeway..the Gators should be his biggest concern.

cuttysark

August 25th, 2010
9:44 am

Rich Rod at Michigan will find out immediately how hot his seat is after their opening game at the new Big House against UCONN. Dooley will have a tough season in year # 1, then he better start getting some wins or Rocky Top will bounce him out faster than Rich Rod at UM. Paul Johnson should have another good year on the Flats, and for more Georgia Tech Football articles go to http://isportsweb.com. Go Jackets!

MoDawg

August 25th, 2010
9:45 am

Fred, my issue is that Finebaum is on satellite radio now, and is supposed to be NATIONAL. He needs to gain a more national perspective, and hopefully will, in time, but right now, I’d rather listen to my windshield wipers screech across a dry windshield than listen to that blow hard. I know he’s based in Birmingham, but if he wants to play with the big boys, he needs to take notes from Bill King, the morning show, Rivals Radio. Bill shows no bias other than a love for college sports.

I expect local Atlanta radio to hype the local teams, and the better ones in particular. Their listenership pays the bills at the station. Finebaum is a joke! I had high hopes, but have stopped listening. XM must be in bad shape to be reaching like they did with him.

cantondawg

August 25th, 2010
9:45 am

I’m beginning to believe that we (UGA) have some of the dumbest fans in football. I keep hearing how CMR has done nothing at UGA. In nine years, he has won 2 SECC and appeared in another. He has finished top 10 6 times and #2 once and #3 once. He ranks 4th in active coaches winning %. Sure, he’s not won a NC but he has elevated UGA into a top 10 program which it wasn’t before he got there.

XpatHeel

August 25th, 2010
9:49 am

Won’t be surprised to see Fridge retire after this season, and become fishing guide on Lake Oconee.
Miles’ seat won’t be hot after 9/4…it’ll be on fire. Jalapenos and hot wings on fire. Melt the seat on fire. The Heels will expose LSU as very ordinary. The talent aint what it used to be, and Miles is clueless when the clock’s running.

GADAWG88

August 25th, 2010
9:50 am

@jumbotiger… are you speaking of Will Muschamp?

how2fish

August 25th, 2010
9:50 am

beatdowns galore don’t you have some traffic to go play in? The only problem CMR and UGA has is that the two programs currently atop the college football world are both in the SEC and one of them is in the same division. I think we could go 9-3 this year as a new D and QB are a lot to overcome but with the talent in Athens and coming in next year we should be in place to make a run at the Gators and Bama in 2011.You however will continue to live in despair and envy…sorry this side if the grave there is no helping a poor soul like you..give your self to the lord..no one else wants you.Book that.

Dog Power

August 25th, 2010
9:51 am

A lot of rival fans would love to see Richt on the hot seat. 8 wins is the exception, has never gone below that, and will likely be back to his average- 10 wins a season, much to the dismay of UGA opponents.

4th down

August 25th, 2010
9:52 am

would love to see Dooley pull an 0-fer this season.

LSU Fan

August 25th, 2010
9:53 am

MoDawg- Thank you for showing what a complete dumb@ss you are. Why is it that Miles won with Saban’s players but Richt never won with Donnana’s players? The 2002 SECC that Marky won he won with nothing but Donnan’s players.

Now go finish cooking my pizza..

Mobile Dawg

August 25th, 2010
9:57 am

Tony, you are one of the better ones, maybe the best covering College Football. I enjoy your insight.

Paul Finebaum is a piece of work, but I’ve gotta admit he’s a pretty smart guy. A Tennessee man who turned his back on his alma mater for the sake of a dollar. The man makes a great living off the Bama nation. Alabama is a unique situation and he realizes that, he sees it and has capitalized on it. People get hired and fired over here because of their opinion of Alabama. There was a great radio personality here in Mobile who got fired for poking a little fun at Alabama a couple years back. Sponsors threatened to pull out if they didn’t get rid of him. Tony, you’ve been on the Finebaum show, I would like to know a little of your insight as to what really makes him tick. His circle of friends is a pretty diverse one. He does however like to dig at the Georgia fans the last couple of years.

As far as CMR goes, he should probably be on the warm side of the seat. My reasoning, he let this program deteriorate to an unacceptable level over the last 4 years. I know the “record” looked pretty good overall, we even had the high ranking end of 07/beginning of 08, but looking between the lines, most intelligent football fans could see the foundation of the program erode and nothing was done about it until CMR was basically “forced” to make changes thereby saving his own job.

what?

August 25th, 2010
9:58 am

LSU Fan,

The answer is simple:

Richt won ANOTHER SEC title with HIS players. Miles hasn’t.

GatorGuy

August 25th, 2010
9:58 am

Anybody remember UF only winning 8 games two years in a row and then following those two seasons up with a 7 win season under Zook. UGA has never been that bad!

DawginLex

August 25th, 2010
9:58 am

2005 DJ Shockley was richt’s first recruit so i’m pretty sure donnan didn’t have anything to do with that beatdown in the GA dome over LSU.

anotherdawg

August 25th, 2010
10:00 am

I am amazed at the number of people that feel Mark Richt should be fired because of losing to Florida. If you base that as a barometer for the “hot seat”, then you need to fire just about every coach in America. After all, prior to Alabama’s victory last year, no one has had much success. I think you have to look at the big picture in deciding on when to make a change, like when a coach loses control of his players, or his program, or can no longer recruit better players. Mark Richt’s resume speaks for itself. He has won every year, with two SEC championships, and came close to a NC. He has beat Saban twice. His bowl record is 7-2. He has represented UGA with class, and he has made changes to improve his team. If he is on a hot seat, I hope it’s the heated seat in his car, cause it will be a cold day in you know where, before you find a better coach.

Can of W-A

August 25th, 2010
10:02 am

Mobile Dawg

If you’re refering to NM’s firing, that is inaccurate

LSU Fan

August 25th, 2010
10:03 am

what? – Ok you got me. Good point. I will leave now!

PMC

August 25th, 2010
10:03 am

Tony…Virginia would do well to give Mike London some room to breath though. It will take him a while but he is a FANTASTIC coach.

Mike London will be the next great coach at UVA if he gets enough time.

The Most Interesting Man Alive

August 25th, 2010
10:04 am

Funny thing, LSU people are all over Miles with an 8-8 record the last two years after a NC and UGA people still have their love fest with Richt with no NC, 10-6 the last two years and a god awful coaching job in 08 while having 2 top 10 draft picks with one being the overall #1. I bet you McGarrity won’t put up with this mediocrity as he learned at the foot of the master, Jeremy Foley.

RxDawg

August 25th, 2010
10:04 am

Hankie Aron

August 25th, 2010
8:40 am

Just FYI…If Mark Richt gets 8 wins this year that would be the best 10 year span in the history of UGA.

Gimme a break

August 25th, 2010
10:05 am

Anotherdawg- Richt couldn’t beat Florida when Zook was there either.

If Les Miles is 8-8 with a NC just 3 years ago and is on the hot seat then why isn’t Richt on the hot seat with a 10-10 record and not even a conference title in 5 years. Not to mention he’s wasted some of the best talent to ever step on the field in Athens.

I can name 15 coaches I’d rather have.

Why is it

August 25th, 2010
10:06 am

Why is it that you never see UGA guys Tony Barnhart and Chip Towers
in the same room at the same time?

Could they be the same person?

Seriously, its just the same old UGA-SEC blah blah blah
“homer” crap day after day after day.

The Most Interesting Man Alive

August 25th, 2010
10:06 am

But Richt has won a SEC Championship with his players and Les hasn’t so that actually makes sense. Disregard my earlier post.

DawginLex

August 25th, 2010
10:07 am

most interesting dude,

Richt has created his own problem by raising the bar.

Our best coach ever averaged 8 wins per year, had a losing bowl record and won 6 SEC titles in 25 years.

Richt wins 2 SEC titles in 9 years, plays in a league with more teams and better coaches, has a winning bowl record and averages 10 wins per year.

The bar was raised and now everybody wants more or they want to run him.

What a joke.

DawginLex

August 25th, 2010
10:08 am

sorry, our posts crossed in cyberspace

Mobile Dawg

August 25th, 2010
10:08 am

Can, NM was fresh and interesting to listen to. If it smells rotten, it probably is. Are you saying that Alabama supporters didn’t threaten to pull their sponsorships. You know this for a fact?

404

August 25th, 2010
10:08 am

LSU loses to UNC, Miles will get canned. Guaranteed.

MoDawg

August 25th, 2010
10:09 am

LSU Fan, I guess I’m not a “complete dumb@ss”, but thank you for showing me how it’s done.

what? and DawginLex, thanks for having my back!

DawginLex

August 25th, 2010
10:10 am

North Carolina couldn’t beat GT, how are they going to beat LSU?

BNADOG

August 25th, 2010
10:11 am

Tony, how can you put Boise State at #5 in your rankings with their schedule. According to Athlons top 120, Boise State plays:
VaTech #10
Wyoming #83
Oregon State #27
New Mexico St #117
Toledo# 92
San Jose St #110
La Tech #84
Hawaii #94
Idaho #101
Fresno St #59
Nevada # 57
Utah St # 93
Valdosta High School could beat half of those teams

The Most Interesting Man Alive

August 25th, 2010
10:11 am

Don’t disregard it; a lame attempt by a leg humper to copy handles. No title by 2011 and McGarrity will fire him; unless of course all of the Richt lovers continue to buy his bible thumping charade.