Time to look at an early update of coaches who, at the start of the season, were firmly planted on the hot seat and whether they are still there or not.
Bobby Hauck (UNLV) – OK for most programs, a win over Central Michigan isn’t something to hoot and holler about. In the desert it’s different. It is starting to look like Hauck has the Rebs going in the right direction. Which is good because if he doesn’t win at least two more games this year, he’ll be cashing out his chips as head coach (a horrible, horrible Las Vegas-y pun…I am ashamed of myself).
Tim Beckman (Illinois) – Holy crap. Illinois is 2-1. The Fighting Illini are 2-1. Oskee Wee Wee indeed. Beckman was gold when he was in the MAC but struggled early on at Champaign. If the Illini can be bowl-eligible this year (and that’s the real test), then Beckman has saved his job for a while.
Ron English (Eastern Michigan) – Two seasons ago, many thought English had done the impossible…turning around the Eastern Michigan football program. But now it feels like a bit of a mirage as they are back in the depths of the MAC basement (well, officially not yet but probably soon to be). He may end up being one of the very few in-season coaching changes. Poor guy. I had him pegged to get at least a Conference USA job by next season. Not happening now.
Lane Kiffin (USC) – One of the most polarizing coaches in all of football, Monte’s son is in big-time trouble. Yes they just beat Boston College but there is almost no excuse for the loss to Wazzu two weeks ago (even with head coach and dating master Mike Leach at the helm). Kiffin will have to damn near run the table to save his job. My guess is no matter what happens, the Trojan brass have tired of Lane-o and he will be gone by January.
Gary Pinkel (Missouri) – Ok Missouri is 2-0. However, they have the meat of the SEC schedule coming up. Don’t count on them suddenly becoming a contender in the SEC East. However, they now have a better chance at bowl-eligibility that would surely save Pinkel’s job. His tenure here also helps him…a lot.
Mack Brown (Texas) – Talk about shitting the bed. This team has become a rudderless ship. Firing Manny Diaz was probably a good idea, but he almost seems like a bit of a scapegoat at this point. The defense is horrible, but it’s not like the offense is on fire. If Texas doesn’t at least have a winning record in Big XII play this season, I can see the entire coaching staff being fired, not just Brown.
Paul Pasqualoni (Connecticut) – Not on anybody’s radar at the start of the season, Signore Pasqualoni (sounds like a good Italian restaurant name or a Chef Boyardee knockoff) has a tough job ahead of him. UConn has been horri-awful this season (I love that Shaq quote). I can’t see them being even competitive in the AAC at this rate. Just like in Texas, cleaning house and a fresh start might be the only way to go.
Randy Edsall (Maryland) – All of a sudden, the Terps look like a force to be reckoned with. An excellent start to the year has all but assured Edsall at least another season in College Park. This week starts the first of a few tests: a home game against West Virginia. Win this and they are 4-0 and close to guaranteed to be bowl-eligible.
Bo Pelini (Nebraska) – I thought his job was rock solid at the start of the season. I (along with many others) were wrong. The Huskers have looked not so good to start the year and may have thrown themselves down the ladder into the overcrowded middle class of the Big Ten. I wouldn’t be surprised to see only 7 or 8 wins out of this team, despite having Taylor Martinez as your QB.
Rich Ellerson (Army) – It’s not like Army was supposed to have a special season this year. There were supposed to be struggles just to make a bowl game this year. Ellerson has given them a bit of hope after giving Stanford a run for three quarters this past weekend. Their schedule isn’t overly difficult and there is a distinct possibility they could be playing for bowl eligibility when they face Navy to finish the season.
Now, some quick scheduling info. Again, Sportsnet chooses not to show the ESPN Thursday nighter so they can show a Jays game. I don’t understand it either since the Jays are brutal. Anyway, you can see the Clemson-NC State game on the sports pack along with Texas Southern-Jackson State (some SWAC action) as well. Friday night has a massive game with huge BCS consequences as Boise State takes on Fresno State (which can be seen on the sports pack as well). Basically, the winner almost eliminates themselves from a chance at a BCS bowl unless we get the insanity we had last year with Northern Illinois. More extensive (and nicer looking) schedule to come out tomorrow.