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

404

August 25th, 2010
10:12 am

Richt’s run has “peaked.”

His record has been going DOWN for the past 3 years,
and 2010 looks no better.

When he cans Bobo in December, it will by him at most 3 more years.

His next stop will be NCState.

Mr. Thomas Anthony "The Taxman Cometh" Jones, SR

August 25th, 2010
10:12 am

Bradley you are wrong again. Mr. Turner Gill will be able to recruit good athletes to Kansas again. The Days of Mr. Gale Sayers are back. Tuberville will do fine at TT.
Derek Dooley would be okay if the school wopuld lety the players what they want. The players take all the risk and do not need nor want meddling coaches, ADs, Presidents and the fools at the NCAA looking over their shoulders. The players just want to prepare to play in the NFL and make some money for their poor families.
Zook and Miles will win big this year! Rodriguez was a Fool from leaving WV. The Mountaineer fans were loyal and we demand that the Coaches be loyal also! Coaches who are loyal to their players should be exterminated.

Can of W-A

August 25th, 2010
10:13 am

NM was too negaive and hostile to EVERYONE ( e.g. calling in-state school Troy a “miserable little program” and Mississippi schools as “backward and racist”). He simply ticked off too many people and wore out his welcome (if he ever was).

LSU Fan

August 25th, 2010
10:13 am

DawginLex

Why does richt get a pass on the 02 SECC with Donnan’s players? I know he has one more than Les but he has also been in the league 5 more years than Les.

So if Les were to say win one this year, although I think next year will be our year, Then he is a more accomplished coach than Richt will ever be.

The Most Interesting Man Alive

August 25th, 2010
10:13 am

Simple question Lex; how many more seasons of not winning the SEC will UGA fans tolerate Richts coaching. My guess is forever; am I wrong?

Mr. Thomas Anthony "The Taxman Cometh" Jones, SR

August 25th, 2010
10:14 am

UT recruits great players and treats them like little children. Grown men do not ned for the coaches and presidents and the NCAA to bother them! Grown men are grown men!

LSU Fan

August 25th, 2010
10:15 am

No MoDawg you are a dumb@ss.

DawginLex

August 25th, 2010
10:15 am

2007 was totally richt. He has proven he can win.

I’m not giving him a pass. I don’t buy the “he won with someone else’s players”. You coach your kids, period.

It is idiotic to not give the coach the credit. It is like the UK basketball idiots who don’t give tubby Smith credit for winning the national title in 1998 even though he has clearly proven he can coach.

The Most Interesting Man Alive

August 25th, 2010
10:17 am

But even in 2007 he choked and came in second in the East. Tubby got fired for one reason; Basketball is king at KY and they couldn’t handle his skin color.

Tide Rising

August 25th, 2010
10:19 am

MoDawg,

I would suggest you quit listening to Finebaum. He is sometimes entertaining but at heart is really just a muckraker who blows with the wind. Plus he’s always going to be an SEC guy and never a national guy as far as following college ball on a nationwide basis(UT grad who broadcasts from B’ham). He’s very pro Alabama right now but that is only because we’re winning at the moment. When we were down and out during the probation years the guy just loved needling Bama fans and was easily the most hated man in the state.

As for Finebaum’s dislike of Richt I think its not as much dislike as the fact that he just doesn’t respect Richt. Until he wins the big one I think he’s going to get continually dissed by Slimebaum.

And he doesn’t do it for ratings-5IML pointed out Georgia is not a big rival of Bama and most instate bama fans pull for the dogs in the east over UT and UF so he’s definitely not playing to Bama fans when he slights Richt. Slimebaum is also a huge unabashed Spurrier fan and I suspect that he just picked up where Spurrier left off with the relentless needling of Georgia. Either that or he’s just mad that Richt may have declined his show or an interview.

DawginLex

August 25th, 2010
10:19 am

I think it depends on how this season and next year go. If the defense gets better, like 2001-2004, UGA will win a lot of games. I’m less worried about the offense than I am the defense.

If the trend continues under Grantham of giving up 30 points a game to rivals in big games, Richt is in trouble. Bobo is next on the hit list though honestly. I could see Richt taking the play calling back real quick.

He has won too much to run him. But that is my opinion. Embarrasing losses shift the pendulum to the run him side.

dawgfan

August 25th, 2010
10:20 am

The Most Interesting Man Alive is a frequent poster on all the Techie blogs. If you’re going to run your fat mouth about Richt and UGA at least have the courage to identify yourself as the bitter sore loser that you so clearly are. Good grief. The cowardice of Tech fans never ceases to amaze me.

I’m sorry Tech fans but Mark Richt simply isn’t going anywhere. How many different ways can we say it before it penetrates your thick skulls? I don’t know what else to say. Perhaps if your joke football program could actually beat the man with any regularity then you would get your wish. Good luck.

bruce mac

August 25th, 2010
10:20 am

MoDawg, Finebaum doesnt’ hate UGA or anyone else for that matter. His shtick is to jump on all teams that struggle to get it going on his show. He crucifies Bama, Auburn et al when they are down and that is what his show is all about. He used to pick CMR as best coach in SEC back when CMR deserved it. The only reason he is on XM now is because Bama won MNC. He will go away when Bama goes away.

@WreckBuZZ

August 25th, 2010
10:20 am

I agree with a couple of the guys on here. Miles is not going to be fired at LSU and there are $16 million reasons why. That’s freakin steep!! Best case scenario for LSU is that RichRod gets canned at Michigan and Les Miles has a good season at LSU to keep him a viable option for Michigan to hire as their next HC.

Then LSU can pick up the phone and call Will Muschamp and Kirby Smart to be their next head coach. I know Muschamp turned down some HC jobs like Tennessee, but do you honestly think he could turn down LSU that sits on a huge recruiting base? Unless he KNOWS Mack Brown is leaving in the next two years, he can’t pass that up unless he’s stupid. Smart would surely jump on that job in a heartbeat.

DawginLex

August 25th, 2010
10:22 am

Tubby didn’t get fired. He was given a mandate to can all his assistants and he refused and just quit and went to Minnesota. The skin color thing is blown way out of proportion. There are a few fringe idiots who did not like him just because of race but for the most part, it was time for him to go. The 2005 loss to Michigan state with Chuck Hayes as a senior tore Tubby apart at the seams.

The Most Interesting Man Alive

August 25th, 2010
10:23 am

I love Satan!

The Most Interesting Man Alive

August 25th, 2010
10:23 am

dawgfan you are wrong on all of your comments except one; the SEC East hope he never leaves. How embarrassing are losses to KY and to Vandy at hallowed Sanford Stadium?

The Most Interesting Man Alive

August 25th, 2010
10:24 am

Nice, imposter but you are wrong and ball-less.

Rip Van Winkle

August 25th, 2010
10:25 am

We lost to Vandy and Kentucky at home? When? Why didn’t someone wake me. I have been asleep since 1980.

DawginLex

August 25th, 2010
10:26 am

Like it or not, KY football is getting better. A case could be made they have done more over the past 4 years than GT. They beat LSU in 2007. They went to 4 straight bowl games and won 3 of them.

When Rich Brooks got there, they had 68 scholarships and some of them were D-2 players. They not recruit much better. They actually have better QB depth than anyone in the SEC with 3 guys who can play now.

UGA should still beat them but the margin has been reduced because of what UK has done.

brokebackvol

August 25th, 2010
10:26 am

Painful words about CDD at Tennessee, but the fans are pretty resigned to a few tough years. Just not sure where the bottom is, but could be this year if the VOLS get pounded as expected by the big guys, and lose to the Wildcats. Anything is possible, but Barnhart – you ruined my day. Big frown for you!

what?

August 25th, 2010
10:27 am

The Most Interesting Man Alive ?….says who? I can think of many other appropriate handles for you and that is not one of them!

JB

August 25th, 2010
10:27 am

Football is fun to us…..but to a lot of folks, it’s a business…..You need revenue and you want to be successful. In sales, you keep your sales up and your boss is always looking for you to increase them. pretty simple stuff. Football has an ingredient regular business doesn’t ( to a degree) Emotion. Enter McGarity. Don’t think for one minute he doesn’t know every short coming of our football program. Don’t think for one minute he doesn’t want to beat his former employer. Don’t think for one Minute Richt doesn’t know that. I don’t think McGarity will overreact . I don’t think he’ll be happy with a poor showings and loses to the Gators the next two years. The next two years in Athens will be big in shaping the future of the Bulldogs. Just one man’s opinion.

5IML

August 25th, 2010
10:29 am

Richt is the best coach UGA has ever had, and it would be a huge mistake to fire him. I think the powers-that-be realize that, even if a few fans don’t. The pieces will eventually come together (once-in-a-lifetime player, favorable schedule) and Richt will win a NC. He will then be universally recognized as the greatest UGA football coach ever.

Mobile Dawg

August 25th, 2010
10:30 am

Finebaum has some great guests on his program at times. My business keeps me in my vehicle quite a bit so I spend a good bit of time listening to the radio. I do tune FB out unless he’s got a guest on. Thing is he could probably have better ratings nationally if he stuck to these types of things.

what?

August 25th, 2010
10:30 am

Most Interesting, I want to have your baby.

LSU Fan

August 25th, 2010
10:31 am

51MIL

Richt has his chance to win one in 2008, it was laid right there in front of him and he choked.

The Most Interesting Man Alive

August 25th, 2010
10:31 am

what?

August 25th, 2010
10:32 am

The Most Interesting Man Alive = Nerd Troll

Spokesman for the SEC East

August 25th, 2010
10:32 am

DawginLex google when the last time UF lost to Ky and Vandy; much less at home. UGA should be spinning in his grave(s).

LSU Fan

August 25th, 2010
10:33 am

*had his chance to win one.

What? Tech rules!

August 25th, 2010
10:33 am

The Most Interesting Man Alive

5IML

August 25th, 2010
10:33 am

Mobile,

Barbara Dooley and Tim Brando are Finebaum’s best guests–unless you count Charles from Reeltown, I-Man, and Peggy as guests.

Tech is the 4th best team in the SEC East

August 25th, 2010
10:34 am

Enter your comments here

what?

August 25th, 2010
10:34 am

The Most Interesting Men Alive = Pajama’s man boobs!!

I am not going to be the head coach at Alabama. I am the head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

August 25th, 2010
10:35 am

BNADOG—–Couldn’t agree more about BSU. No way they deserve top 10 ranking. No way. At least schedule a mid-tier team from a top conference, other than VA Tech. Given their recruiting base and size of the school, they have done some remarkable things, but no way in the top 10.

Another team that legit conferences need to be leary of running the table with no decent games is TCU. Here is their schedule:
Oregon St
Tenn Tech
Baylor
SMU
Colorado St
Wyoming
BYU
Air Force
UNLV
Utah
San Diego St
New Mexico

Vanderbilt could go 10-2 with that schedule.

Kentucky mildcats

August 25th, 2010
10:35 am

Dawginlex,

Kentucky is getting better? Really? Since we went into the split divisions UK has never beaten Florida and I don’t think they’ve ever beat UT either since then. The only thing that makes you think they are getting better is that they are one lucky Georgia mary pass away from having beaten the dogs 3 of the last 4 years. Beating Georgia is hardly the standard for getting better in the sec.

what?

August 25th, 2010
10:35 am

I clean UGA’s man glands.

LSU Fan

August 25th, 2010
10:35 am

But Les has choked every year since Sabans players have left.

5IML

August 25th, 2010
10:36 am

LSU fan,

If given a long enough lease, Richt will eventually win one. I don’t understand UGA’s fans’ impatience.

Kentucky mildcats

August 25th, 2010
10:36 am

That should be one lucky hail mary pass away from beating the dawgs 3 of the last 4.

DawginLex

August 25th, 2010
10:37 am

Google the last 4 game win streak for UGA vs Auburn.
google the last time it was a 5 game streak for UGA

google prior to 1990 about florida football

Gimme a break

August 25th, 2010
10:37 am

5IML- that’s not saying much.

Bobo has to go. When my wife can sit in the stands and call the plays before the snaps I assure you that the D knows what is coming.

RxDawg

August 25th, 2010
10:37 am

I’ll say one other thing about Richt. Not only is he a great coach that wins a LOT, he does it a way that makes every single Dawg out there proud. He’s a classy man in a cut throat buisness. He’s no patsy, he’s just a good man that makes us proud and fields one heck of a football team that has a chance against just about everyone they play. No one out there thinks they have an easy win when UGA comes up on the schedule.

I remember very clearly in the blackout Bama game of 08. That one game told me a lot of things. 1st was that we weren’t as good as we thought we were that year. We overestimated our team due to a handful of big names. But 2nd was in the begining of the second half of that game, I remember seeing Saban on the sidelines. His players were living it up because they had marched into Athens and laid one on us in those first two quarters. But Saban was hoppin mad. He knew what UGA could do. He knew that with just a little bit of a window, Richt and the dawgs could jump back in this thing quick. He absolutely respected us. And for the entire time of Richt’s career, so has every single other team that has played us. Even the mighty Gators.

Dawg posturing

August 25th, 2010
10:38 am

Richt is a good coach. UGA shouldn’t even consider a change. UGA has been at its best position in the SEC due to CMR. Folks seem to forget that UGA has always been at a par with Auburn in the SEC. Tradition has always been Bama, FL (post 1980’s), LSU and then Auburn/UGA/UT (depending on the year). UGA has never and will never be at the top two slots, but CMR gives them the best shot at the next slots.

Paul in RDU

August 25th, 2010
10:38 am

I was surprised to not see the Fridge on the list. However, he’s not really on the hot seat – more like in the coffin. He’s done after this year.
I can’t say I disagree with any of Tony’s picks – although I am not so sure about Skip Holtz for 2010. He’s going to be great in the long run but I don’t think he’s going to have as good of a DL at SF as at ECU. Rich Rod had better win 8 games this year (or just beat OSU) or he is done. If the NCAA puts sanctions on UM or WV, he may be done anyway.

As far as Mark Richt is concerned – no way is he on the hot seat. Now if UGA loses 4 or 5 games with this year’s schedule, he will be on the hot seat in 2011 (albeit with a new OC).

DawginLex

August 25th, 2010
10:38 am

If you don’t think UK football is better, that is your opinion.

I don’t agree.

Most college football experts agree with me.

anotherdawg

August 25th, 2010
10:39 am

Gimme a break, the 2002 game you speak of probably cost us a chance at a NC, as UGA finished at 13-1. In spite of a overall winning record against Florida, UGA has been snake-bit against them lately. Alot of these games were lost because of an interception, a dropped pass, missed field goals, untimely penalties, bad calls, you name it, we’ve done it. And this started when Dooley left, with Goff and Donnan. But, to think we need to fire Richt is a knee jerk re-action. That would be like all of the NFL teams firing their coaches that didn’t win the super bowl.

LSU Fan

August 25th, 2010
10:39 am

But Richt has went 13-1 which is the same record that UF had when they won their title and a better record than when my Tigers won a few years ago. Winning the National Championship will be mythical until we have a playoff.

what?

August 25th, 2010
10:40 am

DawginLex you forgot to mention googling UGA football since 1980.