With the bowl season now underway and the 21 FBS Head Coaching Jobs that opened all filled we can take a look at the Post 2018 College Football Regular Season Top 10 Coaches on the Hot Seat.
We have a lot of opinions on the 21 FBS Head Coaches hired in this cycle which we believe to be….
The Worst Group of Head Coaching Hires
….in our lifetime of watching college football which goes back 40+ years to the 1970s and here at Coaches Hot Seat now encompasses the last 12 seasons since we cranked this website up in January 2007.
Before we get to those Top 10 Hot Seat Coaches we first must say that it really is too bad the Damn Fools running college football which is primarily….
The Power 5 Conference Commissioners + the Notre Dame AD
…are willing to shutdown the top teams in college football each year for 30+ days when this past Saturday – December 15 sports fans in America…think the 75%+ of the Americans that do not now watch the sport….could have watched what would be the…
Biggest Day in Sports in America Each and Every Year
….if college football had an 8-Team College Football Playoff which in 2018 would have produced the below 4 On-Campus College Football Games if the sport had the following qualifying for the CFB Postseason:
Keep the College Football Season just as it is right now including keeping all the Conference Championship Games just adding 1 Quarterfinal Round of 4 On-Campus Games on a Saturday in the middle of December
5 Power Five Conference Champs IF LESS than 3 losses (if Power Five Conference Champ has 3+ losses they will have to be selected as a Wild Card for the 8-Team Playoff)
2 Wild Card Teams (More if there is a Power Five Conference Champ with 3+ losses which may or may not be selected as a Wild Card)
1 Group of Five Conference Team IF in the Top 12 of Final Rankings
Losers of Quarterfinal Games then slotted into NYE 6 Bowl Games or other bowls if appropriate around the first of January
Here are those 4 College Football On-Campus Games for 2018 which would create the Biggest Day in Sports in America Each and Every Year which this year would have been played on Saturday – December 15:
UCF at Alabama
Washington at Clemson
Ohio State at Notre Dame
Georgia at Oklahoma
For now at least the Damn Fools still have the wheel of FBS College Football but not forever because the Meaningless Bowl Exhibition Games will not forever define and even control FBS College Football….No….that will not exist forever and the National Champion of FBS will be settled on the field of play without ceding all of December to the NFL and that will be a glorious day and it will be a True Blue American Day because in America…Real Americans settle Championships on the field!
On a more serious note the website The Athletic has written a serious of stories in the last few weeks about a growing movement within collegiate athletics to an 8-Team College Football Playoff with some of the 5 Power Five Conference Commissioners leaning towards 8 Teams and some holding onto the current 4-Team set-up because for now….it benefits them which is incredibly short-sighted and brings to mind the vision of the Late Great Mike Slive who headed-up the SEC as Commissioner for years and saw that the 4-Team Playoff….much like the 8-Team…would benefit not only college football as a whole but the SEC as well and which Mike pushed until the College Football Playoff was a reality. Beyond Mike Slive having great vision and looking ahead while not constantly worried about now but instead focusing on the future where America is always unfolding into to Mike was a Helluva guy who is terribly missed in college athletics.
In the last year of his life on Earth President John F. Kennedy in 1963 traveled to Europe and delivered one of the great speeches of his Presidency at the Assembly Hall in Frankfurt, Germany which is often overlooked because there are so many other speeches Kennedy made that evoked themes that have come to define what America has become in the Post World War II period. We often quote a line from this Kennedy speech in Germany to our friends, co-workers and anyone else that will listen to us on “Change” that is in our opinion the very definition of what has made America so great today:
“But Goethe tell us in his greatest poem that Faust lost the liberty of his soul when he said to the passing moment: “Stay, thou art so fair.” And our liberty, too, is endangered if we pause for the passing moment, if we rest on our achievements, if we resist the pace of progress. For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
Mike Slive was born in 1940 around the same time as many of our Dads and lived through World War II and saw America become the world’s lone superpower not by looking to the past or trying to hold onto the present, but by doing what Americans have always done, by looking forward into the future. If college football is going to achieve its full potential in the life of America it needs to bring everyone in the country along so that like every other NCAA sport the Champions and Top Teams around the country that have earned the right to earn a National Championship on the field of play have that opportunity in the Postseason and that’s just what an 8-Team Playoff would do for college football.
The opportunity to make college football everything it can be in is in the hands of people that often live in the past, that look to a time that is gone and never coming back, instead of looking to the future and embracing change because after all Kennedy was right and every Real American knows it:
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
Let’s get to Top 10 Hot Seat Coaches as of middle of December 2018 with no doubt some changes coming as the bowl season unfolds and with that let’s bring out the Great Johnny Cash to give these Hot Seat Coaches Hell!
Thank You Johnny!
1. Clay Helton, USC – The most disturbing thing about the USC football team this past year is how little the Trojans looked like the Trojans under Pete Carroll who were surging in all areas heading into Year 3 when this Trojans team under Helton looked towards the end of the 2018 season….
Not In Great Shape
Almost Un-Coached at Times
….and we cannot help but wonder how USC could be getting worse under Helton the longer his tenure at the school?
Clay Helton took over the USC football program during the 2015 season from Steve Sarkisian and if one looks at the Trojans recruiting the last few seasons under both Sarkisian and Helton according to 24/7 Sports USC by all rights should have had a team playing for a National Title this season:
USC 24/7 Team Recruiting Rankings
2014 – #10
2015 – #2
2016 – #10
2017 – #4
2018 – #4
Average #6 Recruiting Class the last 5 seasons!
And yet in 2018 USC played 7 FBS teams with .500+ records and their record in those 7 games was:
1 – 6
Oh….USC also lost to a 3 – 9 UCLA team!
Consider this for a moment…USC over the past 5 seasons averaged recruiting the….
#6 Recruiting Class in America
….and the Trojans went 1 – 7 against .500+ FBS teams + the loss to UCLA in 2018!
That is nothing short of STUNNING!
This is USC Football Dammit which we have been watching both in person and on TV since the mid-1970s and we are not going to tolerate this Embarrassing Horseshit nor should USC fans and alumni!
Looking ahead to the 2019 season we haven’t a Damn Clue why Clay Helton hired Kliff Kingsbury as his offensive coordinator when Kingsbury proved he is a…
College Football Program Killer
…at Texas Tech where Kingsbury Totally Damn Failed winning an average of….
5.83 wins a season
…where Bozo the Clown could win 6 games a season!
In our opinion USC does not have the defensive depth to handle the pressure that will put on it by the offense that Kingsbury runs which wears out and eventually destroys the defenses on the teams he coaches and with that in mind let’s look at USC’s 2019 schedule:
At Notre Dame
At Arizona State
Whatever the Hell Clay Helton has planned for 2019 it better Damn be good because there’s a decent chance the Trojans start 0 – 6 or 1 – 5 and if that happens USC will have an interim coach when Arizona comes to the LA Coliseum on October 19.
Oh…USC’s 24/7 Team Recruiting Ranking as of right now….and remember we are talking about USC Football now….is…
Personally….we are pulling for Clay Helton to turn this thing around at USC but honestly we don’t think he has it in him to be the head coach at a place like USC. Some people can handle jobs like Alabama, Texas, Ohio State, Florida State…and USC…and some can’t. Let’s see if Clay can and….
Great Luck Clay!
2. Chris Ash, Rutgers – To understand the Total Disaster that has been Chris Ash’s time as head coach at Rutgers where he has posted records of…
Overall: 7 – 29
Big Ten: 3 – 24
….you have to understand that in the two seasons that the previous Rutgers head coach, Kyle Flood, led the team the Scarlet Knights in the Big Ten Conference the Knights won…
….that’s in 2 seasons….and in 3 seasons Chris Ash has won…
Oh….in Chris Ash’s THIRD season on the job his Rutgers football team put up a record of…
1 – 11!
For some reason the words of former Athletic Director at Florida Jeremy Foley are ringing in our ears right now…
“Anything that will have to be done eventually….should be done immediately!”
Eventually Chris Ash will be fired at Rutgers and he should have been fired after this season….in our humble opinion.
Let’s look at Rutgers 2019 schedule:
At Penn State
That looks like between 1 and 3 wins to us for Rutgers in 2019 and the reality is we here at Coaches Hot Seat may care more about Rutgers football than the people running Rutgers Athletics because for Damn sure we would not tolerate this kind of losing….not for a Damn second!
3. Randy Edsall, UConn – After the Total Disaster that was Bob Diaco as the head coach at UConn for 3 seasons when Diaco posted records of….
Overall: 11 – 26
AAC: 6 – 18
….we haven’t a Damn Clue why UConn brought back Randy Edsall after he left out the back door not even saying goodbye to his players at UConn to take the Maryland job but Edsall was brought back and the last 2 seasons he has posted records of….
Overall: 4 – 20
AAC: 2 – 14
….and still we cannot understand…
Why was Randy Edsall hired at UConn?
There’s no good answer to that question and when you look at UConn’s 2019 schedule one can see only more Total Disaster ahead!
That looks like THREE wins max to us and if UConn only wins 3 games in 2019 one has to assume the Huskies will have a new head football coach a year from today….right?
4. Lovie Smith, Illinois – Much like Randy Edsall as UConn we haven’t a Damn Clue why Lovie Smith is the head football coach at Illinois who in 3 seasons on the job has posted records of…
Overall: 9 – 27
Big Ten: 4 – 23
….and remember now…Lovie Smith took over a .500 football program at Illinois and has turned it into…
A Complete Freaking Disaster!
Consider this STUNNING Number for a moment…
Illinois has played 22 FBS teams under Lovie Smith with .500+ records and the Illini’s records in those games is…
1 – 21!
1 of Lovie Smith’s 9 wins at Illinois is against a FBS team with a .500 or better record and even more AMAZING the Illini have lost…
6 games to teams with sub-.500 records!
Oh….the Freaking Damn Moron who is the AD at Illinois…
…just gave Lovie Smith a 2-year contract extension at $5M a season!
Geez…there are so many Stupid People working in college athletics today that cannot see what is right in front of them or as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote and was said by Sherlock Holmes which sums up a lot of college football administration today:
“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”
Sherlock Holmes, The Boscombe Valley Mystery
5. Gus Malzahn, Auburn – There are so many people with their hands in the pot at Auburn it’s always hard to know what’s going on across The Plains but over a decade ago we were in Auburn for a football game and a well-known Auburn alum told us over lunch at a diner in Opelika, Alabama (next door to Auburn) that (paraphrased since so long ago but this Auburn alum is still around and he would say the same thing today!)….
“What mainly drives Auburn is what’s happening at Alabama and if Alabama is doing well then that just puts that much more pressure on the head coach at Auburn. Also there are a lot of politics at Auburn that a head coach, athletic director and president at Auburn University need to understand is something that can be managed…for awhile at least…but that eventually the politics will get them unless they have the power to ignore what the folks with the money want which is not really possible.”
Translation for what’s going on at Auburn in 2018: Alabama is rolling under Nick Saban and has been for a decade now and unless the Auburn head coach is able to keep up with Bama he is going to be under pressure and make no mistake about it…
Gus Malzahn needs to win 10+ games in 2019 to be the head coach of the Auburn Tigers one year from today!
In our opinion it was a BIG mistake for Gus Malzahn to not take the Arkansas job which is not only home for Gus but it would have gotten Gus away from the pressure of coaching at Auburn when Nick Saban is across the state coaching Alabama and it would have gotten Gus to a place where 7 to 8 wins a season would have kept him off the Hot Seat.
This is Auburn Football which we have been watching play on TV and in person for 40+ years now and with the resources at Auburn there’s no reason for the school to be so far behind Alabama even if Nick Saban is in T-Town.
Consider Gus Malzahn and Nick Saban’s overall records in the last 6 seasons which is how long Gus has been at Auburn:
Last 6 Seasons
Gus Malzahn: 52 – 27
Nick Saban: 77 – 7
Also consider this….Gus Malzahn has been the head coach at Auburn for 6 seasons and he has lost…
4+ games in 5 of those 6 seasons
5+ games in 4 of those 6 seasons
Oh…Gus Malzahn is making $7 Million Dollars A Year…..losing 5 games in 2018 and in 2018 the Tigers played 8 FBS teams with .500+ records and Auburn’s record in those games was:
4 – 4
For someone being paid $7 Million Dollars A Year!
Auburn plays Purdue on Friday December 28 in the Music City Bowl and that is a Purdue team that finished the season at 6 – 6 even if they did beat Ohio State and we have some news for Gus Malzahn….
Lose to Purdue and you will replace Clay Helton on the Hottest Seat in America going into the 2019 season in the #1 Hot Seat Slot!
The good news for Gus Malzahn is that word from our Arkansas-alum buddy in Ft. Smith, Arkansas who we have known for decades and who has known Gus for decades and likes the guy told us recently….
“If Gus can win at least 7 games at Auburn next year and our coach (Chad Morris) has another disaster of a season Gus must might be able to come home to Arkansas after all.”
Let’s look at Auburn’s 2019 schedule:
At Texas A&M
That looks like another 7 – 5 to us for Auburn in 2019 and if that happens Gus Malzahn will not be the head coach at Auburn a year from today….Hell…anything less than 10 wins and Gus will be gone…but maybe Gus will be the head coach at Arkansas a year from today….which is very doable in our opinion.
More on Chad Morris in a moment.
6. Willie Taggart, Florida State – The Late Great Johnny Carson who took over the Tonight Show from Jack Paar in 1962 when he was only 37 years old had a saying about being ready in life when your chance on the big stage came along….
“Talent alone won’t make you a success. Neither will being in the right place at the right time, unless you are ready. The most important question is: “Are your ready?”
…and let’s just face FACTS here….
Willie Taggart was NOT ready to take over or handle the Florida State job and it showed on the field in 2018 with the Seminoles finishing with a record of 5 – 7 but even worse in the 10 games it played against FBS teams with .500+ records FSU’s record was…
3 – 7
This is Florida State Football and when we say that it means…
This is the Florida State Football program that Bobby Bowden built and Jimbo Fisher revived and that Willie Taggart will either get back on track in 2019 or FSU will have a new head football coach a year from today…PERIOD!
An FSU-alum who a couple of us first met when we were serving in the US Navy in Jacksonville, Florida in the late 1980s and who took us to several FSU football games in Tallahassee called us in August after a business trip to Tallahassee where he checked in on what was going on in Fall Camp for FSU football and he says:
“It’s just all fluff. There is no football being coached or practiced at FSU and I would be stunned if they win 6 games this season.”
Our buddy in Jacksonville was right and it’s going to be very interesting to see how Willie Taggart responds which is a guy we first ran across when he was on Jim Harbaugh’s staff at Stanford and frankly we like Willie but come now…
We are not going to tolerate Mediocre or Worse Football at Florida State and that’s why Willie is going to need 8+ wins in 2019 or he will be gone and it doesn’t get any clearer than that!
Let’s look at Florida State’s 2019 schedule:
Boise State (Jacksonville)
At Boston College
At Wake Forest
We would be stunned if FSU won more than 7 games in 2019 and if that’s the case….one of the best jobs in college football will come open in late November 2019!
7. Kalani Sitake, BYU – No one needs to tell us what BYU Football was in the past and still can be today and certainly the 3 year run of Kalani Sitake as the head coach of BYU producing this record…
19 – 19
…is not the BYU Football we grew up nor the BYU Football we are going to accept!
No one at Coaches Hot Seat is a Mormon, but we do have plenty of Mormon friends in Utah and around America and if you have Mormons as friends you know they don’t tend to complain much but we can tell you they are not happy with the current state of their football program at BYU and either Kalaini Sitake is going to get things fixed in Provo or BYU will be forced to find another head coach that can get it done.
Let’s look at BYU’s 2019 schedule:
At South Florida
At Utah State
At San Diego State
Geez….that’s a pretty tough schedule and we gotta think Sitake is going to need 8+ wins in 2019 to keep his job and 8+ wins with that schedule would be pretty impressive!
8. Chad Morris, Arkansas – It’s hard to know just how bad the Arkansas Football program was when Bret Bielema left but a friend of ours that works on the academic side of the University of Arkansas sent us a note after Bielema was fired and before Morris was hired that said…
“Maybe the next coach won’t allow the football team to be such sloppy pigs. I know we are the Razorbacks but it was just f-ing ridiculous how undisciplined Arkansas was under Bielema!”
Certainly Bret Bielema’s records at Arkansas over 5 seasons of…
Overall: 29 – 34
SEC: 11 – 29
…were bad enough to get both Bielema and former AD Jeff Long fired but could it have been so bad in Fayetteville that it was the poor Leadership and Coaching of Bielema that led to new head coach Chad Morris posting a record of….
2 – 10
….in his first season on the job at Arkansas?
Maybe…or maybe Chad Morris is just an Average Coach who is now sitting on an overall record of…
16 – 32
….in 4 seasons at SMU and Arkansas and from what we saw of the Razorbacks in 2018 which was a good bit….
We didn’t see a Helluva lot!
As mentioned above Gus Malzahn might just become available at the end of the next football season to return to Arkansas if Chad Morris cannot get things rolling and with that in mind let’s look at the 2019 schedule for the Razorbacks:
At Ole Miss
San Jose State
With 4 Cupcakes on the Arkansas 2019 schedule which is just how folks in SEC Country love their competition = Easy As Hell and Cupcakes Galore…we don’t see why Arkansas doesn’t win at least 6 games in 2019 and if the Hogs don’t win at least 6 games in 2019 Ole Chad Morris is going to find his rear-end on fire because after all….
This Is Arkansas Football!
9. Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech – Virginia Tech was able to get Marshall on their schedule for a make-up game because of the washout of a game earlier this year because of a hurricane to get to 6 – 6 on the season but come now…
The Hokies played 8 FBS Teams in 2018 with .500+ records and their record in those games was….
3 – 5
…and in case some of the folks haven’t been paying attention out there and didn’t get to see Virginia Tech play this season…
Something stinks in Blacksburg and it stinks bad!
We know what Justin Fuente is capable of doing which is a lot but in our opinion he is no more leading the Virginia Tech football program or is capable of leading the Virginia Tech football program right now than the Pillsbury Dough Boy which may mean he is being distracted by something….maybe something personal….or he just forgot how to Lead and to Coach but something’s wrong with the Hokies football program and in our opinion the problem goes deep….very deep!
With Justin Fuente now having lost…
4+ games in ALL 3 of his seasons at Virginia Tech
….and sitting on records of…
Overall: 25 – 14
ACC: 15 – 9
…2019 will be a critical year for Fuente where either the Hokies will continue their downward trend after winning 10 games in 2016 or they will recover and become a power again in the ACC and with that in mind let’s look at Va. Tech’s 2019 schedule:
At East Carolina
At Notre Dame
At Boston College
At Georgia Tech
That looks like 7 – 5 to us unless the Hokies get some problems fixed in the offseason and at a place like Virginia Tech going 7 – 5 in your FOURTH year on the job….
Will get your ass fired!
10. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State – All of Mike Gundy’s having his name out there for every decent job opening in FBS football the last few seasons came home to roost in 2018 with Oklahoma State being very lucky to finish at 6 – 6 and a Damn Pitiful 3 – 6 in Big 12 Conference play and against FBS teams with .500+ records the Cowboys were….
3 – 5
Yes…Oklahoma State was Damn Lucky to win 6 games in 2018 and one has to wonder if Gundy has lost it with all the rattlesnake rodeo and other Meaingless Horseshit that has nothing to do with winning football games at OSU or maybe there’s something else going on but just our opinion having watched a lot of the Cowboys games in 2018…
Gundy doesn’t look very interested in our humble opinion
…on the sidelines and when the Head Coach is tuned out guess what…
The Coaching Staff and Whole Damn Team tunes out!
Luckily there is something that can focus the mind for Mike Gundy and that is getting his ass fired at his alma mater next season which another 6 or even 7 win season would do and with that in mind let’s look at Oklahoma State’s 2019 schedule:
At Oregon State
At Texas Tech
At Iowa State
At West Virginia
Anyone else get the feeling that Mike Gundy will be coaching for his job and career as a head coach when the Cowboys travel to Norman to play Oklahoma on November 30, 2019?
That Tulsa job probably open up next season so you could just slide over to Tulsa from Stillwater so all might not be lost Son!