Two weeks of college football are in the books, and the potential coaching carousel is starting to take shape.
Last week, I looked at five coaches whose seats were starting to heat up after the first full week of play.
Two of those coaches—Tennessee’s Butch Jones and Texas Tech’s Kliff Kingsbury—are not being profiled again here. Jones still has plenty of work to do, but his Vols are 2-0 after blowing out Indiana State, while Kingsbury’s Red Raiders were off this week. Neither is totally safe, but there are at least eight coaches that are worth spending more time on.
After two weeks in the books, here are eight coaches whose job security are in serious question. Revisit Week 1’s rankings here.
8. Rich Rodriguez – Arizona
2017: 1-1 (last week: 19-16 loss vs. Houston)
2016: 3-9 (1-8 Pac-12)
Career: 157-114-2, 37-30 at Arizona (18-26 Pac-12)
Rich Rod was a phenomenal coach at West Virginia, and while his flame out at Michigan was pretty jarring, it was easy to see that as an example of a coach making a jump to a poor fit that he should have resisted.
Through three years at Arizona, Rodriguez looked to have almost totally rehabbed his image as a coach, topping off with a Fiesta Bowl berth in 2014. However, the Wildcats slid down to 7-6 the next year, and was horrid last season, at 3-9 and 1-8 in league play. The lone conference win came against rival Arizona State in the final week of the regular season. I’ll touch on the Sun Devils in a bit.
The biggest issue for Arizona may be Rodriguez’s unique contract. According to USA Today, Rodriguez is the No. 41 highest-paid coach at just over $2.8 million. However, not factored into that number is the equity he has in a major booster’s company, which could make him one of the highest-paid coaches in the country, depending on how the market fluctuates. From Bleacher Report:
An Arizona donor has helped pad this deal further, offering up equity to Rodriguez, basketball coach Sean Miller and athletic director Greg Byrne. This “major university benefactor”—as outlined by the Board of Regents—has offered 500,000 units of a master limited partnership. Each unit is currently valued at $35.36 for a total of $17,680,000.
Rodriguez was granted 175,000 units of the 500,000, which equates to $6,188,000 right now. The only caveat for him to cash in on such options is that he has to stay at the school for eight years to receive this payout, whatever it becomes. If the price of the unit goes up in that time, his payout will go up; if the company struggles and the units drop in value, his payouts decrease.
It is unclear what the stipulations are from the program side, but any contract of that size complicates matters.
7. David Beaty – Kansas
2017: 1-1 (last week: 45-27 loss vs. Central Michigan)
2016: 2-10 (1-8 Big 12)
Career: 3-23 (1-17 Big 12)
David Beaty was handed a very difficult situation. Kansas has not had a winning season since 2008, and hasn’t won even five games since 2009. Beaty wasn’t going to turn that program around in a year or two, but things don’t seem to be getting any better on the field in year three.
Central Michigan is not supposed to be a MAC contender this season, finishing fifth in the MAC West preseason poll back in July, ahead of only Ball State. The Chippewas blasted Kansas in Lawrence last weekend.
For a bit, it looked like recruiting may be the saving grace for the Jayhawks. Beaty had one of the country’s best 2018 classes early in the recruting cycle, but a number of those players have decommitted and flipped, and the recruiting efforts have stalled. Kansas has not received a commitment since June.
It may be unfair to dump Beaty given the situation that he was handed, but on its face, it doesn’t really seem like the situation has changed very much.
6. Todd Graham – Arizona State
2017: 1-1 (last week: 30-20 loss vs. San Diego State)
2016: 5-7 (2-7 Pac-12)
Career: 89-56, 40-27 at Arizona State (25-20 Pac-12)
One would assume that one of the Arizona schools would thrive with the other struggling, but instead, the Sun Devils and Wildcats have strangely tracked each others’ success.
Arizona State had fairly decent expectations in 2016, with an extremely talented set of skill positon players, but fell apart midway through the season. After starting 4-0, the Sun Devils were blown out by USC, recovered to beat UCLA by a field goal, and then lost their last six games, with the capper coming against rival Arizona, which also had a dreadful season.
Graham was the consummate college football careerist, jumping from Rice to Tulsa to Pitt to ASU in the course of seven years. After posting back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2013 and 2014, things have really stalled out.
5. Steve Addazio – Boston College
2017: 1-1 (last week: 34-10 loss vs. Wake Forest)
2016: 7-6 (2-6 ACC)
Career: 38-39, 25-28 at Boston College (10-22 ACC)
The ACC has developed into one of the strongest conferences in college football, and the ACC Atlantic is a monster, with Clemson, Florida State, and Louisville jockeying for position at the top of the league.
That makes things very tough for the division’s also-rans: Boston College, NC State, Syracuse, and Wake Forest. For each of those schools, the match-ups against the other three are vitally important.
Boston College committed the cardinal sin of losing a home game to one of these ‘beatable’ division foes, and it lost it badly. Wake Forest has been improved over the last two years, but the Demon Deacons won’t be beating many Power Five programs on the road by 24 points.
Boston College has fielded a pretty terrible offense for most of Addazio’s tenure, and it continued this weekend. The Eagles averaged four yards per pass attempt, 3.5 yards per rush, and turned the ball over four times. That’s not going to get it done.
4. Brian Kelly – Notre Dame
2017: 1-1 (last week: 20-19 loss vs. Georgia)
Career: 231-89-2, 60-32 at Notre Dame
There are worse things for a coach to do than to lose to a brand-name SEC program by a point at home, especially when the stadium resembled something more like a neutral site game. However, Saturday’s Georgia game presented a huge chance for Brian Kelly to put last season’s 4-8 mark behind him, and land a real signature win. Instead, the Fighting Irish fell to a freshman quarterback making his first career start.
The post-game press conference, in which Kelly was incredibly testy with a reporter and cut off her question, doesn’t help matters. Kelly’s reputation with the national media seems to fall every week, as he is constantly short with people after games.
Kelly has a trip to Boston College this week which is a nice bounce back spot, but if Notre Dame doesn’t get back to eight or nine wins and challenge the tougher teams on its schedule, that could be in for him.
3. Scottie Montgomery – ECU
2017: 0-2 (last week: 56-20 loss to West Virginia)
2016: 3-9 (1-7 AAC)
Career: 3-11 (1-7 AAC)
The best thing you can say about ECU’s Week 2 loss at WVU is that it probably isn’t as embarrassing as Week 1’s blowout loss to James Madison.
The Pirates actually managed a respectable 470 yards of offense, but were outgained by 144, committed eight penalties for 103 yards, and lost the turnover battle 2-0.
The defense was incredibly poor, surrendering a pretty astounding 14.3 yards per attempt to Mountaineers quarterback Will Grier, who also tossed five touchdowns.
2. Kevin Sumlin – Texas A&M
2017: 1-1 (24-14 win over Nicholls)
2016: 8-5 (4-4 SEC)
Career: 80-39, 45-22 at Texas A&M (21-19 SEC)
Winning always beats losing, but beating an FCS team by just 10 on the heels of one of the most embarrassing blown games in recent memory probably didn’t do much to take the bad taste out of the mouths of Aggie fans.
It is of vital importance for Sumlin to figure out the quarterback situation for this season after the injury to Nick Starkel, though he didn’t exactly set the world on fire at the Rose Bowl. Kellen Mond was given the start against Nicholls, and was pretty mediocre, completing 12-of-21 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. Jake Hubenak was a bit more efficient at 12-of-15 for 93 yards.
A good for Kevin Sumlin: he has plenty of opportunities to turn this thing around, as big win chances are plentiful on an SEC West schedule. The bad: that still means he has to play Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Florida in a crossover game, and even South Carolina, the Aggies’ permanent crossover rival, looks quite good. He could be out at some point in October if things keep trending downward.
1. Tyson Summers – Georgia Southern
2017: 0-2 (last week: 22-12 loss to New Hampshire)
2016: 5-7 (4-4 Sun Belt)
Career: 5-9 (4-4 Sun Belt)
Last week, Summers came in at No. 3 in these rankings. His spot was less predicated on a loss to Auburn, as the Tigers are a very good team, and more based on what looks like a bad cultural fit and a quick plummeting from atop the Sun Belt.
And then the New Hampshire game happened.
In just a few years, Georgia Southern went from FCS power that was beating teams like Florida to struggling FBS program losing to a lower division team.
GS manged 226 yards on the ground, but only four yards per carry and one score, and the balance that Summers wants wasn’t there either. Quarterback Shai Werts was 11-of-22 for just 93 yards and an interception.
Sumlin and Kelly are going to be the biggest focus of most hot seat articles this year, but Summers could be the most likely to get dumped around the middle of the season, if not sooner.