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P5 Coaches on the Hot Seat

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iowabuckeyes's picture
October 30, 2019 at 9:20pm

247 has an article titled "10 college football coaches destined for bigger jobs."  The writer has pegged seven of the 10 as prime candidates for P5 jobs (the list is headed by Luke Fickell, followed by Matt Campbell and P.J. Fleck to both snag higher profile jobs than they have now).

Of course, no one's going anywhere if seats don't free up at the adult table. Rutgers is already open and rife with rumors that Greg Schiano may be coming back. We're 10 weeks into the 2019 season. Here are a few P5 coaches whose seats could be heating up.

High Risk

  • Clay Helton (USC): The Trojans are 5-3 but 4-1 in the Pac-12 South. They have games against #7 Oregon (7-1), ASU (5-3), Cal (4-4), and UCLA (3-5). 8-4 is within reach but would it be good enough to save Helton's job? If he can upset the Ducks Saturday and run the table, he might have a puncher's chance. 
  • Chip Kelly (UCLA): The Bruins are 3-5 but Kelly's team has shown some spunk with two wins over ranked teams. He's only in his second season but rumors of disharmony in the ranks never bode well. Remaining games against Colorado (3-5), #9 Utah (7-1), USC (5-3), and Cal (4-4) make getting to .500 a challenge but 5-7 would be an improvement over last year's 3-9.
  • Derek Mason (Vanderbilt): Mason is 24-40 overall and the Dores are 2-5 this season with remaining games against South Carolina (3-5), #6 Florida (7-1), Kentucky (4-4), FCS East Tennessee State (2-6), and Tennessee (3-5). Finishing 3-9 is not unrealistic but it's easily the toughest job in the SEC and finding someone willing to take it may be easier said than done.
  • Jeremy Pruitt (Tennessee): The Vols are 3-5 with remaining games against UAB (6-1), Kentucky (4-4), Mizzou (5-3), and Vanderbilt (2-5). Three losses to Top 10 teams but also losses to Georgia Southern and BYU. Tennessee is a dumpster fire but he was hired by Phillip Fulmer, who may not be ready to pull the trigger just yet, especially if Pruitt can get to .500. But if he loses to UAB this weekend, he could be a dead man walking.
  • Willie Taggart (FSU): The Seminoles are 4-4. The program is a trainwreck; rumors abound of boosters looking to force a buyout. Remaining games are against Miami (4-4), Boston College (4-4), FCS Alabama State (3-4), and #6 Florida (7-1). Alabama State is the only lock.

Low Risk

  • Lovie Smith (Illinois): The Illini are 4-4 with remaining games against Rutgers (2-6), MSU (4-4), Iowa (6-2) and Northwestern (1-6). Lovie is 13-31 overall but finishing .500 and getting to a bowl is not unrealistic. In any case, beating Wisconsin probably saved his bacon.

Is there anyone I missed (besides Harbaugh, of course)?


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