After seven weeks of college football, these are the coaches who might be in trouble midway through the season.
It has been a few weeks since we visited the college football hot seat landscape. After the craziest weekend of the season thus far, there’s no better time to check in with the coaches that have a lot of work to do to salvage their jobs.
A few of the coaches that have appeared on this list, like Steve Addazio, Todd Graham, and Kevin Sumlin, have helped themselves out with big wins.
Others continue to struggle, and could be on the way out very soon. Revisit our last edition of the Hot Seat Rankings here:
9. Lovie Smith – Illinois
2017: 2-4 (last week: 35-24 loss vs. Rutgers)
2016: 3-9 (2-7 Big Ten)
Career: 5-13 (2-10 Big Ten)
It is only year two for Smith, so he probably won’t face real pressure until 2018, but things don’t seem to be progressing very well for the Illini. Saturday was almost definitely the team’s best shot at a third win in 2017, and it got soundly beaten by Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are improving under Chris Ash, but are still one of the conference’s weakest teams, making an 11-point home loss for Illinois look pretty rough.
8. Jim Mora – UCLA
2017: 3-3 (last week: 47-30 loss at Arizona)
2016: 4-8 (2-7 Pac-12)
Career: 44-27 (26-23 Pac-12)
Mora opened the season with a signature win—the epic comeback against Texas A&M—and has one of the nation’s most exciting quarterbacks at his disposal, but the team appears to be destined to be a middle-of-the-pack Pac-12 program for the foreseeable future. There is a distinct chance that the Bruins miss a bowl for the third straight year, based on the upcoming schedule.
7. David Beaty – Kansas
2017: 1-5 (last week: 45-0 loss at Iowa State)
2016: 2-10 (1-8 Big 12)
Career: 3-27 (1-20 Big 12)
Time marches on for Beaty and the Kansas Jayhawks. This weekend, they met with one of the main peer programs in the Big 12: Iowa State. Unfortunately, Matt Campbell and the Cyclones look to be hitting their stride, beating Oklahoma on the road and blanking the Jayhawks, while Kansas looks doomed to finish with a single-win year. Beaty was handed a very difficult job, but can he keep it if he only manages three wins in as many seasons?
6. Scottie Montgomery – ECU
2017: 1-6 (last week: 63-21 loss at UCF)
2016: 3-9 (1-7 AAC)
Career: 4-15 (2-10 AAC)
After picking up a narrow win at UConn a few weeks back, ECU has fallen back into the loss column pretty hard. USC, Temple, and UCF each beat the Pirates by an average of 32 points. This once-strong Group of Five program is just not competitive with a number of AAC teams that used to be peers at best.
5. Mike Riley – Nebraska
2017: 3-4 (last week: 56-14 loss vs. Ohio State)
2016: 9-4 (6-3 Big Ten)
Career: 111-95, 18-15 at Nebraska (11-10 Big Ten)
Nebraska filled its vacancy at athletic director over the weekend, tabbing Washington State’s Bill Moos for the job. Odds are that Moos will want to make his own mark on the football program. The poor start to the season for the Huskers, including this weekend’s blowout loss to Ohio State, make that easier. Riley may not be let go until after the season, but his long-term prospects in Lincoln aren’t good.
4. Brett Bielema – Arkansas
2017: 2-4 (last week: 41-9 loss at Alabama)
2016: 7-6 (3-5 SEC)
Career: 95-54, 27-30 at Arkansas (10-25 SEC)
By year five, Arkansas had to assume that Bielema would have the Razorbacks rolling, like he did Wisconsin half a decade ago. In 2017, the best Hogs fans can hope for is that this is yet another slow start that will finish with a big November run to a middling bowl. Even that has to be getting old. With back-to-back blowout losses and an upcoming trip to what will be a hungry Auburn, things are not getting easier for Bielema.
3. Barry Odom – Missouri
2017: 1-5 (last week: 53-28 loss at Georgia)
2016: 4-8 (2-6 SEC)
Career: 5-13 (2-10 SEC)
With an internal hire like Barry Odom, the hope is that the new head coach can pick up where his predecessor left off and keep momentum going. Gary Pinkel did a fantastic job with Missouri football, especially after the move to the SEC, when the Tigers captured two SEC East crowns. A fall may have been inevitable, but Odom’s tenure has seen Mizzou fall all the way to the SEC’s basement.
2. Tyson Summers – Georgia Southern
2017: 0-5 (last week: 35-27 loss vs. New Mexico State)
2016: 5-7 (4-4 Sun Belt)
Career: 5-12 (4-6 Sun Belt)
There isn’t much more to say about the struggles that Summers has had at GS. The Eagles have failed to pick up a win this season, and while they could pick off a Sun Belt opponent or two down the stretch, expectations are way higher for the former FCS powerhouse.
1. Butch Jones – Tennessee (Last Week: 9)
2017: 3-3 (last week: 15-9 loss vs. South Carolina)
2016: 9-4 (4-4 SEC)
Career: 83-51, 33-24 at Tennessee (14-21 SEC)
It’s really hard to see how Butch Jones bounces back at this point. Tennessee failed to really capitalize on the window it had last year, with a senior star-laden team, and has fallen farther than expected in 2017, sitting winless in SEC play three games into the conference season. Pair that with his recent lashing out at the media and a deeply unhappy fan base, and Jones has everything stacked against him. Tennessee has Alabama this weekend. Good luck with that, Vols.