Now that Herm Edwards is out at Arizona State, who are ten other coaches on the hot seat after Week 3 of the college football season?
Herm Edwards Fired: College Football Coaches Hot Seat Top 10
It was an interesting idea.
Forgetting for a moment that Arizona State had then-offensive coordinator Billy Napier there for the taking – but he left for Louisiana to cut his teeth as a head coach – the call of Herm Edwards to take over the head coaching job was a bold move.
He’s a pro head coach, he’s got limitless energy, and he seemed like his style, personality, and skills would turn Arizona State into something special.
In a perfect world, ASU was hoping to catch the Pete Carroll-lighting-in-a-bottle that USC captured once upon a time.
But a mediocre 26-20 run, potential NCAA violations, and worst of all for this season, a 1-2 start with a home loss to Eastern Michigan – after coming in as a 20-point favorite – were enough to make an early change before the team had to deal with Utah, USC, and Washington over the next three weeks.
With Edwards done and Scott Frost out at Nebraska, who are the other coaches in need of a quick turnaround?
Hot Seat is defined a bit differently here. There are coaches who need a win soon or they’ll probably get fired, and there are coaches who appear to be a bit more secure, but could use a bit of a boost with a good winning run.
Starting with the latter, here are five coaches who almost certainly won’t get canned, but could desperately use something splashy …
5. Brady Hoke, San Diego State
Up Next: Toledo
Hoke’s team went 12-2 last season, it would’ve won the Mountain West championship if it wasn’t gutted by COVID before the title game, and it went on to finish in the top 25.
Now there’s a brand new stadium, the school is this close to getting a very important call from the Pac-12 – or possibly the Big 12 – and all of a sudden, the program has fallen into a slump.
From the Matt Araiza scandal, to the embarrassing loss to Arizona to open Snapdragon Stadium, to the 35-7 loss to Utah on Saturday when there weren’t any answers whatsoever offensively, it has been a rough run.
The Aztecs will be fine – the Mountain West is awful – and they’ll get to a bowl game, but a home win over Toledo this weekend would help before going to Boise State.
Speaking of the Mountain West …
4. Jay Norvell, Colorado State
Up Next: Sacramento State
Norvell left Nevada for a better gig and better facilities, and he brought over a slew of parts from his old job to Fort Collins. It isn’t working so far in his first season..
Getting rocked by Michigan is one thing, but losing by 15 at home to Middle Tennessee is another, and only coming up with seven points against Washington State made things worse.
The Rams will beat Sacramento State this week. They’ll win that, but after starting 0-3, a winning streak is a must before a tough finishing kick.
3. Neal Brown, West Virginia
Up Next: at Virginia Tech
Brown hasn’t been awful in his first 3+ years, but even with the blowout win over Towson he’s just 18-20 so far. The close loss to Pitt to start the season could’ve gone either way, but the 55-42 loss at home to Kansas wasn’t okay, even if this isn’t the Kansas everyone knew and loved over the last several years.
There’s no break the rest of the way – West Virginia will probably be the underdog in each of the remaining nine games, with the possible exception of a home date with Kansas State.
It’ll take something special to get to a bowl game.
2. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
Up Next: Miami University
He’s a made man who bleeds Northwestern purple, and he’s not that far removed from winning two Big Ten West titles in three seasons. However, he’s now 4-11 in his last 15 games, and very soon the Big Ten schedule is going to drop like a box of hammers to make that a whole lot worse.
The excitement was there after beating Nebraska in Dublin, but that wore off after fumbling away a loss to Duke, and then came the inexcusable home gaffe to Southern Illinois.
He’ll never, ever get fired from Northwestern, but with the loss the program is careening towards its third losing season in four years.
1. Chip Kelly, UCLA
Up Next: at Colorado
Wait … isn’t UCLA 3-0?
Yeah, but it has hardly been a smooth run.
The Bruins beat Bowling Green 45-17, but it needed to go on a second half run after a tough start. Last week it took a miraculously bizarre special teams gaffe by South Alabama to survive 32-31.
Losing at Colorado this week would be disastrous – that’s not going to happen. However, Washington, Utah, and at Oregon follow, and that’s going to be tough.
The Bruins will turn in a good season overall, but this is when Kelly was supposed to have everything humming, and UCLA doesn’t appear to be there quite yet.
NEXT: 5 College Football Hot Seat Coaches Who Need To Win Now, Or Else