Who are the ten coaches on the hot seat after Week 6 of the college football season?
College Football Coaches Hot Seat Top 10: Week 6
We went a weekend without any head coaches getting fired. Even crazier, the teams that got rid of their former head coaches over the first half of the year – Georgia Tech, Colorado, Wisconsin and Nebraska – all won on Saturday.
A slew of coordinators were let go, but it was relatively quiet as we get to the midway point in the season.
Which coaches are on the hot seat and need a win in a big, big way?
First, the five coaches who aren’t going to get fired but could use something positive over the next few weeks. Then it’s the danger zone – the five coaches who have to win soon or else there might be big problems.
Starting with the five who need to come up with a victory in a tough situation …
Five college football coaches who won’t get fired and aren’t on a real hot seat, but could use a big win this week
5. Jeff Tedford, Fresno State
Up Next: San Jose State
The Bulldogs lost starting quarterback Jake Haener against USC, but that’s not the reason they lost to a mediocre UConn team and couldn’t do anything in a 40-20 loss to Boise State.
Tedford was wildly successful at Fresno State in 2017 and 2018, left after a bad 2019, and now he’s back and his team has yet to beat an FBS squad.
It had Oregon State dead until it didn’t in the 35-32 loss, and there hasn’t been anything fun since.
Almost the whole Mountain West is clunking, but after this week’s game against San Jose State – the best team in the conference – there’s no reason not to go on a big run over the second half of the campaign against a light slate.
Then again, Fresno State lost to UConn.
4. Thomas Hammock, Northern Illinois
Up Next: at Eastern Michigan
The former NIU running back star had a rough start going 5-7 in his first season before a winless 2020, but it all came together last year going 9-5 with a MAC title. Just when it seemed like the Huskies were going to be a perennial conference powerhouse again, they fizzled.
They’re 1-5 and have yet to beat an FBS team after getting rocked by Toledo 52-32. To make things worse, three of the next four games are on the road and they probably won’t even get to a bowl game. Coming up in a few weeks is a key battle against …
3. Tim Lester, Western Michigan
Up Next: Ohio
Western Michigan isn’t quite there among the most disappointing teams of 2022, but it’s getting close.
The parts are there to win the MAC title, but it’s not going to happen. And why? Because Western Michigan doesn’t win MAC titles lately.
Lester has been solid with no losing seasons in his first five runs, but has yet to take the team to a MAC Championship and has just one bowl win in three tries. Being 2-4 is bad enough, but losing at home to Eastern Michigan by 22 doesn’t mean things are going well.
After dealing with Ohio this week are three road games in the next four. One of his losses this year was one of the lone bright spots for …
2. Mel Tucker, Michigan State
Up Next: Wisconsin
Michigan State has to be ready for the long haul no matter what after tying Tucker in with a 10-year, $95 million contract last year.
After a strong 11-2 2021 and a 2-0 start this season everything seemed fine, and then came the loss to Washington that was even uglier than the 39-28 final score. After that, it was if the team forgot how to play college football at times in losses to Minnesota, Maryland, and Ohio State.
The team is still trying, but the results aren’t there. Now at 2-4, Tucker has to deal with his alma mater – Wisconsin, and then at Michigan, at Illinois, and he still has at Penn State to deal with. He has to win two of those four – and beat Rutgers and Indiana – just to go bowling.
1. Brent Venables, Oklahoma
Up Next: Kansas
Well that turned fast.
The Sooners didn’t have starting quarterback Dillon Gabriel, but when you’re known for being a defensive wizard of a head coach and your team give up 41 to Kansas State, 55 to TCU, lost 49-0 to Texas, the fan base will get grouchy.
Here’s the wilder part about what happened over the last three weeks – Oklahoma right now might be the worst team in the Big 12.
There’s still plenty of time to turn this around with Kansas up next, at Iowa State, Baylor, and at West Virginia, but forget about the Big 12 Championship or anything big – OU might not go to a bowl.
NEXT: 5 College Football Hot Seat Coaches Who Need To Win Now, Or Else
College Football Hot Seat Coaches: Win NOW, Or Else
These five coaches will likely hang on to their respective jobs with an okay final record, but they all need to put together a strong string of wins NOW.
5. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
Up Next: at Maryland
Okay, fine, he’s not going to get fired if Northwestern loses to Maryland. He’s almost certainly not going to get fired no matter what this season – that’s what happens when you make two Big Ten Championship appearances since 2018.
But how much longer does the guy who IS Northwestern football get a free pass?
The Wildcats are winless in their last 11 games played in the United States.
Home losses to Duke, Southern Illinois, and Miami University were all painful, the loss to Penn State was in a monsoon, and then came last week’s 42-7 loss to Wisconsin when the team had absolutely no spark.
That’s four home losses in the last five games played after starting out with a win over Nebraska in Dublin, and there’s an honest shot the team will be double-digit underdogs the rest of the way.
4. Jeff Hafley, Boston College
Up Next: at Wake Forest
Just 14-15 in just over two years, this is when it needs to kick in.
There’s no shame in losing to Clemson 31-3, especially coming off a clutch win over Louisville to get off this list. But now Hafley needs his Eagles to go on a run.
Losing to Wake Forest would almost ensure a losing season with at NC State, at Notre Dame, and Syracuse to close the season out after going to UConn and hosting Duke.
Speaking of losing to Boston College …
3. Scott Satterfield, Louisville
Up Next: Pitt (Oct. 22)
A win was sorely needed, but taking out Virginia on the road is hardly a big deal this season.
Whatever – the Cardinals will take it.
Now the program is at a crossroads. It’s 3-3 and Satterfield is 21-22 since 2019. Worse than that, he’s 13-17 in his last 30 games.
Pitt, Wake Forest, James Madison – all are tough, and all are home games. No pressure, but Satterfield’s Cardinals might have to sweep to get to six wins and a bowl game with at Clemson, NC State, at Kentucky to close.
2. Jeff Scott, USF
Up Next: Tulane
Scott’s USF team has been competitive at times.
Last week gave Cincinnati a ride in a 28-24 road loss, but that’s just it – it was a loss.
The team is playing better, but it still has yet to beat an FBS team this season and now Scott is 4-23 as the team’s head coach with just one conference victory.
To be very, very fair, there was the distraction of Hurricane Ian and the aftermath to deal with in the Tampa area. Even so, football-wise the Bulls need a win at home over Tulane, because three of the next four games after that are on the road.
Most of the remaining games are winnable – if not all of them – and the team really is playing better, but the wins have to start coming.
1. Bryan Harsin, Auburn
Up Next: at Ole Miss
Vanderbilt almost certainly won’t go bowling, and it’ll take a big upset or two for Missouri to get a fun exhibition. 11 SEC teams are almost certain to get bowl eligible, and Auburn is – to be kind – a bubble team.
Here’s the positive. It’s the SEC. One win over Ole Miss this week, and even a simple step like a two-game winning streak to give the base hope of a bowl appearance might change the narrative.
Here’s the negative: at Ole Miss, Arkansas, at Mississippi State, Texas A&M, WKU, at Alabama. At 3-3 and with an offense that can’t score more than 17 points in a game over the last four, find the three wins out of that slate.