The Hot Seats
Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC Tags:
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We are deep enough into 2009 now to know what coaches are on the way out, and what coaches are flirting with danger. The following list may not see every coach actually end up getting fired, but if I were the AD, they would be gone...Shoot, Memphis was one day ahead of me in this, letting Tommy West go yesterday.
Gotta go, NOW!!!
Al Groh, Virginia (record at UVA: 59-49, record in 2009: 3-5) - This is by far the most obvious choice. UVA has under achieved for years under Groh, and I think 2009 finally was bad enough to see him take a hike. As an ACC fan, it is time to see UVA be what they can be. They have a beautiful stadium, awesome facilities, and a fertile recruiting ground. This should be a top-25 team year-in and year-out, yet they are nowhere to be found on the national radar. Someobody out there is drooling over this job.
Charlie Weis, Notre Dame (record at ND: 35-24, record in 2009: 6-3) - This has been back and forth all season - until now. By losing to Navy (for the second time in three years), Charlie Weis sealed his own fate. The fact is that this loss will tick-off enough people in South Bend bad enough that there will just be no way to justify keeping him. Sure, ND is about to get out the check-book out in a big, big, big, big way. But hey, so did Alabama and look what it has gotten them. I honestly do not know who will land this job, or if Urban Meyer will even be a candidate. But I do know this: no matter who they get, it will be better than Mr. Weis.
Ralph Friedgen, Maryland (record at UM: 64-42, record in 2009: 2-7) - Friedgen started off hot back in 2001, leading them to a 10-3 record and taking UM to the Orange Bowl. At the time, it looked like Maryland had found one of the top coaches in America as Friedgen had come from a Georgia Tech where he was an offensice coordinator for a high-scoring Jacket program. But in the last five years, Maryand has had four losing records, and Friedgen's 2009 team is his worst yet. I say it is time for new blood in College Park.
Steve Kragthorpe, Louisville (record at UL: 14-19, record in 2009: 3-6) - Bobby Petrino had put Louisville on the football map. Kragthorpe has now come in and taken a washcloth to that map, wiping Louisville right off of it. The Cardinals are terrible, and it is almost strange what a nose dive they have taken. They have gotten steadily worse under Kragthorpe going 6-6, then 5-7, and now 3-6. I'm not sure who is on their wish-list, but it is time to start putting an offer together.
Dan Hawkins, Colorado (record at CU: 16-30, record in 2009: 3-6)- Whenever you are doing the old "coach's-son-will-play" type stuff, you are bound to have trouble. Sure enough, with his son Cody leading the team through the first half of the 2009 season as quarterback, the Buffs went 1-3. The back-up, Tyler Hansen has lost three of the last four - not much better. Hawkins has had his shot, and I just don't see Colorado getting much better. And he should have been smarter than to let Cody get the ball to begin with.
Rich Brooks, Kentucky (record at UK: 36-44, record in 2009: 4-3) - Can anybody remember when UK has ever been any good?? I feel like Kentucky also has the resources to be a good program, but are just missing the right man to get them over the hump. Like UNC, the Wildcats are a "basketball school" at heart, that just so happen to have a 65,000 seat football stadium and play 12 games a year. Sure they love their hoops, but there is no reason they couldn't be pretty darn good at football, too. Yes, I am totally aware they play in the SEC East - I've heard that excuse just once or twice in my life.
Next year, OR ELSE!!!
Steve Spurrier, South Carolina (record at USC: 34-26, record in 2009: 6-4 ) - As I type this, The State (SC) Newspaper reports Spurrier says he wants to stay at least three more seasons. Some will say that he deserves them, and I say "what's the point?" Spurrier's name is bigger than his win total, and the folks in Columbia have supported him long enough, and strong enough. The fact is that the results just aren't there, and the basket of excuses has been turned over and shaken, and nothing else is there to fall out. The Cocks may be young, but Spurrier is in year five, so that is his fault and his fault alone. His career record at USC is 34-26, and if I were the AD at USC, I would be wearing my cell phone out right now.
Tom O'Brien, NC State (record at NCSU: 14-18, record in 2009: 3-4) - Talk about a mis-prediction on my part! I thought with the talent and facilites in Raleigh, O'Brien would come n and get them over the hump to become an ACC chaleenger. Instead, the Pack have looked terrible. I write this with caution as my Tigers have to go into Carter-Finley Stadium Saturday and who knows what may happen. But if you are an NC State fan - and they sell out that 65,000 seat stadium even with a crappy record - you have to be disappointed in the way that the O'Brien era has gone.
Dennis Erickson, Arizona State (record at ASU: 15-10, record in 2009: 5-7) - Erickson took over a 7-6 team and led them to a mark of 10-3 in 2007, tying for the Pac 10 title with USC, and reaching the Holiday Bowl. Things were looking way up in Tempe. But in 2008, the Sun Devils were right back to their old ways, going 5-7 and missing a bowl. In 2009 so far, they are 4-5, and a bowl looks unlikely. Erickson will get one more year, but the morale cannot be good.
Time to start pondering (I believe you should get 4 years, though)...
Rich Rodriguez, Michigan (record at UM: 8-14, record in 2009: 5-5) - We are in just year two here with Roch Rod, so this may be premature...When Rich Rod parted with West Virginia, his alma mater, to come to Michigan in 2008, things were not pretty. A season and a half later, they aren't getting much prettier. After a rough first year saw them go 3-9, a scandal came out that said Rich Rod was over working his players. He came out fine in that, but the on-the-real-field stuff hasn't worked out as planned so far. It looked like Michigan may have turned things around for 2009, as they started 4-0. But they have since lost five of six, including their last three. There are grumbles in Ann Arbor right now, I'm sure.
Butch Davis, North Carolina (record at UNC: 17-16, record in 2009: 5-3) - It isn't that UNC is a complete joke, but more that they were expecting bigger things from Davis. He is in year three, and has a solid quarterback in Tyler Yates. I think it is safe to say that this 2009 version has been a disappointment. Still, I think Davis has made the Tar Heels better than they once were, and one more year may see them take the step toards challenging for the ACC Coastal. Things can get better, but right now there has to be concern over why they aren't winning more.
Mike Sherman, Texas A&M (record at A&M: 9-12, record in 2009: 5-4) - Like Rich Rod, Sherman is just in his second year, but the results so far are not encouraging. I like Texas A&M as they are a military and agriculture school and I met lots of nice fans when Clemson played a home and home with them a few years back. But they have been mediocre forever, and I don't see Sherman turning it around.
Only the idiots in town want him gone, but still....
Mark Richt, Georgia (record at UGA: 90-28, record in 2009: 5-4) - Some will call me insane for putting this man's name on this list, but it isn't me doing it, it is simply the way things are when you are coach of a program with expectations way too high. Please feel free to debate below. Mark Richt has done a good job at UGA, but I think those in A-town want tp see him win bigger hardware. Sure, two SEC titles in nine years is pretty good. But the Bulldogs want to challenge for number 1, and in no season under Richt have they been a SERIOUS national contender LATE into the season (yes, they have been pre-season number one a couple of times, and yes in the win over Hawaii they were damn good, but they were not a threat at any point to win it all). Listen, he has done a good job. But if the Dawgs want to win a national title, I am just not sure Richt can take that next step. Maybe he can, he will certainly be around a few more seasons...
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