College Football Coaches On The Hot Seat: Week 5 Pressure Cooker Rankings

    The college football coaches hot seat rankings entering Week Five of the 2015 season turn the heat up on Al Golden, Bret Bielema and Charlie Strong.

    October 2, 2015

    E-mail: Rich Cirminiello , Follow: @RichCirminiello

    Top Ten Coaches on the Hot Seat

    With a full month of the 2015 college football season now in the books, which Power Five head coaches are facing the most heat … and the least job stability? Check out the weekly ranking of the college football coaches hot seat.

    10. Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech

    Oh, the dilemma with Beamer. He’s a legend, a Hall of Fame coach who helped put the Hokies on the map. And a beloved figure. But he’s also having a hard time recapturing the glory days, when 10-win seasons and ACC titles were the norm in Blacksburg. Beamer is just 24-19 since the start of 2012. And bad losses, like Saturday’s to an East Carolina team using a backup quarterback, are becoming too frequent at Tech. At worst, a succession plan should be in place for when Beamer is no longer in charge.

    9. Bret Bielema, Arkansas

    Year 3. A time when most coaches in charge of rebuilding projects are expected to take flight. Bielema, though, has been grounded by three consecutive losses and a harrowing first month of 2015. His Razorbacks have lost to Toledo, Texas Tech and Texas A&M, each coming with its own sidebar of aggravation and frustration. Bielema is capable, which he showed at Wisconsin and in the second half of 2014 at Arkansas. But he’s reeling, on and off the field, with road trips still left to Knoxville, Tuscaloosa, Oxford and Baton Rouge. Buffering Bielema is an enormous contract buyout that’d make Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz jealous.

    8. Al Golden, Miami

    The Hurricanes are the last remaining unbeaten team out of the ACC Coastal. But Golden’s situation has improved only slightly following wins over Bethune-Cookman, Florida Atlantic and even Nebraska. Golden, now 31-22, in his fifth year did well to guide Miami out of the Nevin Shapiro mess he inherited, but now it’s time to elevate the program. And in that regard, October is huge because Florida State, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Duke are on the schedule.

    7. Charlie Strong, Texas

    If this was Year 3 for Strong, he might already be packing up his belongings. September was that dreadful in Austin, including the Notre Dame implosion and special teams gaffes in close losses to Cal and Oklahoma State. Strong is benefiting from still being early in his Longhorn tenure. But this is Texas, where expectations are justifiably high. And losing five straight to Power Five programs has heaped an insane amount of pressure on Strong and his staff.

    6. Derek Mason, Vanderbilt

    The Commodores fought valiantly Saturday, almost shocking No. 3 Ole Miss. But moral victories alone won’t change the climate around Mason, who fell to 4-12 and 0-10 in SEC play in his second season. While Vandy isn’t the typical SEC school in terms of patience and passion, Mason predecessor James Franklin did raise the bar in Nashville. Since the Dores have already fallen once to a Conference USA team, this week’s trip to face Middle Tennessee is a crucial one for Mason.

    5. Randy Edsall, Maryland

    For the second time this season, the Terrapins suffered an embarrassing loss, floundering to West Virginia, 45-6. Edsall, now 22-32 in College Park, continues to have problems at quarterback and along the lines, an ongoing theme for the fifth-year coach. He’s not especially popular among fans, and it wouldn’t break the bank to can him. If Maryland winds up being a three or four-win team, a likelihood, it could cut ties with Edsall, who simply hasn’t delivered.

    4. Darrell Hazell, Purdue

    Hazell is learning firsthand just how difficult it is to win at Purdue. And just how good Joe Tiller was in his dozen years in West Lafayette. Hazell has won only five times since coming aboard in 2013. And he’s 0-3 versus FBS teams this year, losing to Group of Five opponents from Conference USA (Marshall) and the MAC (Bowling Green). It cannot be helping the cause that Kevin Wilson has rival Indiana 4-0 for the first time in a quarter-century.

    3. Paul Rhoads, Iowa State

    Rhoads’ Cyclones had a bye in Week 4. The break allowed time to contemplate back-to-back losses to Iowa and Toledo, while looking ahead to the start of Big 12 play. Iowa State hosts the league’s worst team, Kansas, on Saturday in an absolute must-win for Rhoads. The coach is 30-48 in six-plus years, and he’s in danger of this being his sixth losing campaign in a row.

    2. Mike London, Virginia

    London has stared down the barrel before, and has lived to tell about it. But it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which he’s back at Virginia in 2016. Boise State embarrassed the Cavaliers on Friday night, 56-14, in front of a stunned crowd in Charlottesville. And the Broncos did it with a rookie quarterback on the field. London is now 17 games under .500, with his last winning season coming in 2011.

    1. Kyle Flood, Rutgers

    The Scarlet Knights defeated Kansas in Flood’s second of a three-game suspension for inappropriate contact with a professor regarding one of his players. He’ll return for the Oct. 17 trip to Indiana. There’s no telling how much Flood’s troubles, along with an offseason flush in player arrests, will impact recruiting, but it won’t be minor. Plus, without WR Leonte Carroo and DT Darius Hamilton, it’s unlikely Flood will get a boost from on-field results once Big Ten play resumes.


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