Mark Helfrich's seat appears to be getting warm.
Mark Helfrich, Oregon's head coach in his fourth season leading the program, is starting to face some serious criticism from his fan base. The Ducks, which entered the season ranked in the top 25, suffered their third loss of the season Saturday night, falling to Washington State, 51-33. Oregon is now 2-3.
Many fans are now calling for Helfrich, who's 35-11 through three-plus years, to be fired.
Helfrich, 42, was Oregon's offensive coordinator for four seasons before taking over for Chip Kelly, who left for the NFL. He's since led the Ducks to one Pac-12 championship and went to the national title game in the 2014 season.
The 2015 season was disappointing, though, as Oregon went 9-4, and the 2-3 start to 2016 has his job security potentially in question.
John Canzano, a columnist for The Oregonian, said this week's game was a must-win.
I haven't joined the "Fire Helfrich," crowd. Not after a 2-2 start and his $17.5 million contract. But I could be brought there if 2-2 becomes 3-9. Or even if this season ends 6-6 or 7-5 and next season feels about the same. Oregon is paying too much on the coach, and building with great ambition, to accept mediocrity.
The issue for Helfrich isn't brains. He's a smart guy. The issue is whether he's just not cut out to be a leader of a top program, and a guy capable of commanding a room. He's understated. He's guarded. I've wondered for a while how that plays with recruits.
If that game was a must-win, what is this week's contest against Washington?
Helfrich has to turn things around - fast.