Well folks, it has finally happened. The man who should have been fired about 2 years ago has finally buckled. This week, Butch Jones got fired from the head coach position of Tennessee. Next year I am going to have to find a new name for this hot seat, but I am going to finish out the year strong in a tribute to Butch.
Tier 1: Championship of Life Tier
Butch Jones getting fired leaves only 1 member standing on this tier: Nebraska coach Mike Riley. It’s a wonder he hasn’t been fired yet. They are most likely just waiting till the end of the season, but this week will be brutal for Huskers fans. They have Penn State this week at Beaver Stadium. Penn State has all but been eliminated from playoff and Big Ten contention, but they are still a program with a lot of pride to play for and will hope to pummel Nebraska into oblivion. If Riley survives another week they will face an underrated Iowa team. This will be a tough way to finish the Riley era.
Tier 2: Score Touchdowns Tier
First up here is Bret Bielema. There is a very new development in his case, the AD at Arkansas has been fired. That AD, Jeff Long, had been the one who is yet to fire Bielema despite a constant outcry for it. It is very possible that the new AD will come in will immediately fire Bielema. If he survives, Arkansas plays Mississippi State this week in a game that will guarantee them to not make a bowl game and will most likely be the last straw for the new AD. Goodbye, Bret.
Next up is recurring coach Jim Mora from UCLA. If future first round pick Josh Rosen didn’t play outstanding this week, UCLA crumbles, but as first round picks usually do, he played great, and UCLA got a win. They have a rivalry game this week against USC, and when they lose, that will guarantee that their best possible record is 6-6 which is absolutely unacceptable at UCLA and Mora will be gone soon.
Tier 3: Leadership Reps Tier
I have decided to replace both coaches on this tier as Missouri is playing great, and Rutgers is also playing well, just not producing results.
The coach I will replace Odom with is Kliff Kingsbury. While Kingsbury’s Texas Tech squad is 5-5, just as Odom’s Missouri squad is, Texas Tech is trending downward as opposed to Missouri’s upward trend. Kingsbury is 29-31 overall at Texas Tech so far. In the state of Texas, the most fertile recruiting ground in the country, that is unacceptable. Mike Leach has shown that it is possible to have much more success at Tech than Kingsbury is having. If Texas Tech wants to improve, they need to hire a new coach, hopefully this time, one with experience.
Last coach on the hot seat this week, and replacing Chris Ash, is Illinois coach Lovie Smith. Even though Smith is a former NFL head coach, and only in his second year, his seat has to be heating up. In his first year he went 3-9 and this year he is doing even worse. After starting 2-0, Illinois has lost 8 straight. Those 8 have included an 11 point loss to Rutgers, a 19 point loss to Purdue, and a 10 point loss to a team who was winless in Big Ten play, Indiana.
They close out the season against 2 more ranked teams, Ohio State and Northwestern. Illinois will most likely finish 2-10, a regression from Smith’s first year. Illinois hasn’t won more than 7 games since 2007, so it might take time, but a regression from year 1 to year 2 is unacceptable for Smith. His seat will be on fire next year.