With just a week left in the regular season, the coaching carousel has started to spin faster.
Five coaches are already out — Idaho's Robb Akey, Kentucky's Joker Phillips, Western Michigan's Bill Cubit and Tennessee's Derek Dooley all were fired. UTEP's Mike Price opted for retirement.
[Related: Tennessee's options to replace Derek Dooley]
So, how many more could be on their way out?
Here's a look at coaches still facing the firing squad:
Gene Chizik, Auburn (3-8): Remember when Auburn won a national championship and had a Heisman Trophy winner two years ago? Man, those were good times. But now the times are sad and dark and filled with 38-0 losses to Georgia. Not sure what happened to Chizik's magic (actually, it's playing for the NFL's Carolina Panthers), but his stock at Auburn is depleting steadily and a beatdown at the hands of rival Alabama might be enough to usher him out the door.
Ron English, Eastern Michigan (2-9): In four years with the Eagles, English has yet to have a winning season. The 6-6 campaign last year seemed to signify that things were turning around, but Eastern Michigan is now 2-9 and headed for the same record English had during his second season. MAC school's aren't afraid to switch coaches, seems like at least one hits the brick every year, so don't be surprised to see English on his way out.
John L. Smith, Arkansas (4-7): Smith signed a 10-month contract with Arkansas and it's been a rough time since for the Razorback faithful. Smith has stressed that he wants to come back and continue coaching, but that's not going to happen. Arkansas went from a potential national championship contender to one of the most disappointing teams this season. All Smith can do now it "SMILE!"
Skip Holtz, South Florida (3-7): It wasn't so long ago that Holtz was considered one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the country, but that feeling has soured quickly in South Florida. Holtz was 8-5 in his first season with the Bulls, which included a bowl win, but since then it's been ugly. The Bulls have won just one conference game in each of the last two seasons and Holtz doesn't appear to have any answers to get them out of the hole. If he survives the firing season, it would be surprising.
Frank Spaziani, Boston College (2-9): Spaziani has had two winning seasons and two losing ones during his time with the Eagles, but this year's 2-9 campaign has been the worst of all. Spaziani was on shaky footing to start the season following a 4-8 season a year ago, and the Eagles struggles this year haven't won Spaziani any fans.
DeWayne Walker, New Mexico State (1-9): Head coaching has not been kind to Walker. He's 10-38 with the Aggies and even though they looked like they had turned a corner with a 4-9 record a year ago, they seemingly regressed this year. The problem with New Mexico State is that it's not exactly a desirable job, especially now that the team has no conference affiliation. With the WAC dissolving, NMSU is going independent, which should be an interesting venture and one not many coaches would want to take on.
Randy Edsall, Maryland (4-7): Edsall was on the hot seat coming into this year and things haven't changed much with another losing season. In Edsall's defense, he's had horrible luck with injuries, especially at quarterback, and that might be enough to buy him another year to turn things around. The Terps announced Monday that they were switching from the ACC to the Big Ten. Edsall better get the football team on track, or he won't be involved in the transition.
[Related: Chaos in the BCS as top two fall]
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa (4-7): Late last month, Ferentz got the dreaded vote of confidence from his athletic director despite a disappointing season. Iowa is 15-11 in the past two seasons and seems to be falling behind where other programs have been surging forward. Of course, there have been major injuries, but the thing that will probably keep Ferentz safe is his buyout. Ferentz has a reported 10-year, $40 million contract that runs through 2020 and if he gets fired, the university owes him 75 percent of his guaranteed salary over the life of the agreement. So, for now, Iowa might want to take its chances and stick with him.
Jeff Tedford, Cal (3-9): It's been seven years since a Tedford-led Cal team has finished first in the Pac-12 (Pac-10). Since then, the highest the Bears have gotten has been fourth, with a fifth, seventh and eighth-place finish mixed in. This year's 3-8 record is the worst in Tedford's 11-year tenure, which might actually buy him another year. The Bears have suffered some major injuries to key players and Tedford's buyout might be a little more than Cal can handle right now.
Danny Hope, Purdue (5-6): At the beginning of November, Purdue's athletic director issued a statement saying that he expected more from the Boilermakers in the final month of the season. Basically, he wanted a bowl game. Purdue has fought to put itself in a position for a postseason berth and a win over Indiana this weekend should be enough to spare Hope for at least another year.
Jon Embree, Colorado (1-10): There's been a lot of debate as to whether Colorado is the worst major conference football team in the country. It's not just the Buffaloes' record, but the way they've been manhandled week-after-week-after-week. The Buffs aren't competitive and haven't been in quite some time. Colorado faithful clamored for a former Buff to run the program and now they might be regretting their decision. Embree will probably survive this season, but expect major changes on his staff and a short leash in 2013.
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