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10 College Football Coaches Who Will Begin 2014 Season on the Hot Seat

Sebastian LenaAnalyst IJanuary 8, 2014

10 College Football Coaches Who Will Begin 2014 Season on the Hot Seat

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    The end is near for Muschamp.
    The end is near for Muschamp.Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    Nobody feels the pressure in college football more than head coaches.

    If a team wins, the players will usually get the majority of the credit. But if the team loses, the blame typically falls squarely on the head coach.

    Then again, that tends to come with the territory.

    However, sometimes the head coach truly is to blame. Sometimes, the coach is the only thing holding a team back from reaching its true potential—see Gene Chizik.

    When this happens, these head coaches usually find themselves on the hot seat.

    Here’s a list of 10 head coaches who will find their seat a lot warmer entering 2014.

Mark Helfrich (Oregon)

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    Believe it or not, but Helfrich will be on the hot seat in 2014.
    Believe it or not, but Helfrich will be on the hot seat in 2014.Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

    Career Record: 11-2 (1 year)

    2013 Record: 11-2

     

    The Skinny

    Mark Helfrich’s name on this list might come as a surprise to many. It’s not very often that a coach can win 11 games and be considered on the hot seat.

    But that’s exactly the predicament the 40-year-old finds himself in.

    The Ducks raced out to an 8-0 record and held the No. 2 ranking for much of the 2013 season. However, the team slipped up against Stanford, 26-20, and then again versus Arizona, 42-16.

    In fact, had it not been for a remarkable, late touchdown grab by Josh Huff, Oregon could have been losers in three of its final four games.

    Still, the losses against the Cardinal and Wildcats showed a lack of focus and poise from a team that had thrived on it for much of the last five seasons.

    Given his lack of head coaching experience, Helfrich’s tenure will be heavily scrutinized. The pressure will certainly be on in 2014.

    It’s time for Helfrich to prove that this past season wasn’t a fluke—or a matter of benefitting from Chip Kelly’s players—and that he can succeed on his own merits.

     

    Seat Temperature: Warming up

Bret Bielema (Arkansas)

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    Bielema only has himself to blame for his shortcomings.
    Bielema only has himself to blame for his shortcomings.Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Spor

    Career Record: 3-9 (1 year)

    2013 Record: 3-9

     

    The Skinny

    Following a 3-0 start, the Razorbacks must have been feeling good about their hire of Bret Bielema

    However, things changed after the team suffered a fourth-quarter collapse in Week 4 against the Rutgers. That seemed to set the trend for the rest of 2013, as Arkansas lost each of its final nine games.

    While it’s only been one season for Bielema, there’s no excuse for how bad the Razorbacks were. In fact, the three wins were the fewest in school history since 1992.

    The chances of Arkansas firing Bielema mid-season are relatively slim. Besides, you can only know so much about a head coach in less than two years.

    But if he doesn’t show much improvement, don’t be surprised if the Razorbacks decide to cut their losses and find a more suitable replacement.

     

    Seat Temperature: Warming up

Brady Hoke (Michigan)

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    Hoke needs to show he can keep the Wolverines focused.
    Hoke needs to show he can keep the Wolverines focused.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Career Record: 26-13 (3 years)

    2013 Record: 7-6

     

    The Skinny

    The Wolverines were a mess in 2013.

    After beginning the season with national title aspirations and a 5-0 record, the team dropped six of its final eight games. That includes a 31-14 shelling at the hands of Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

    It’s not like Michigan’s wins were all that impressive either. The team nearly lost to lowly Akron and Connecticut and needed three overtimes to defeat Northwestern.

    A lot of that fault has to be credited to Brady Hoke.

    For a Wolverines football program that expects to win nine or 10 games every season, 15 wins in the last two years simply isn’t going to cut it.

    Hoke took a step in the right decision, announcing the decision to not retain offensive coordinator Al Borges, via Mgoblue.com. However, it'll take a lot more than that. 

    Fans don’t want free donuts to show up at home games, Brady. They want a competitive football team.

    One more season like this and Hoke is out.

     

    Seat Temperature: Simmering

Bo Pelini (Nebraska)

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    Will Pelini be able to break through in 2014?
    Will Pelini be able to break through in 2014?Eric Francis/Getty Images

    Career Record: 57-24 (6 years)

    2013 Record: 9-4

     

    The Skinny

    Bo Pelini has won at least nine games in each of his six seasons coaching at Lincoln. Yet somehow, the 46-year-old finds himself constantly on the hot seat.

    A reason for that could be due to some of the underwhelming performances he’s delivered in recent years.

    Given the talent the Cornhuskers have had, the team should be doing a lot better than they have. Instead, Nebraska has dropped seven games in November over the last four seasons while going 1-3 in bowl games during that span.

    Simply put, Pelini doesn’t have what it takes to finish off seasons strongly.

    The win against Georgia, 24-19, in the Gator Bowl will certainly extend his stay in Lincoln.

    But if he doesn’t display the ability to win big games, Pelini will be exiting stage right sooner rather than later.

     

    Seat Temperature: Simmering

Randy Edsall (Maryland)

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    Edsall must turn it around quickly.
    Edsall must turn it around quickly.Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

    Career Record: 13-24 (3 seasons)

    2013 Record: 7-6

     

    The Skinny

    After winning just six games in his first two seasons, there was no doubt that Randy Edsall was on the hot seat entering 2013.

    Initially, the 55-year-old made a valiant effort to save his job, leading the Terrapins to a 5-1 record after six games. However, the team only won twice in its final seven games.

    That includes an inexcusable loss to mid-major Marshall in the Military Bowl.

    Winning seven games and making a bowl game definitely saved Edsall’s job. But a vicious second-half collapse will have him right back on the hot seat to begin the 2014 season.

    It’s sink or swim for Edsall.

     

    Seat Temperature: Boiling

Charlie Weis (Kansas)

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    Weis is running out of time to show that he's the man for the job at Kansas.
    Weis is running out of time to show that he's the man for the job at Kansas.Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Career Record: 4-20 (2 years)

    2013 Record: 3-9

     

    The Skinny

    When the Jayhawks hired Charlie Weis, they thought they were getting the same coach who turned around a dwindling football program at Notre Dame in the mid-2000s.

    Instead, Kansas got a head coach that has helped continue one of the worst four-year stretches in program history.

    In Weis’ first year at the helm in 2012, the team finished 1-11, losing its final 11 games. That served as the Jayhawks’ fewest wins since 1988. 

    After the team won two of its first three in 2013, many thought Weis had finally turned the corner. However, Kansas wound up losing eight of its last nine. 

    Now, Weis is staring at a total of just four wins in two years.

    If he can’t turn things around in 2014, the Jayhawks might not wait till the end of the season to see how many losses he can pile up.

    Weis must win and win now.

     

    Seat Temperature: Boiling

Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech)

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    Beamer's time in charge may be coming to an end.
    Beamer's time in charge may be coming to an end.Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Career Record: 224-109-2 (27 years)

    2013 Record: 8-5

     

    The Skinny

    You have to give Frank Beamer credit for remaining at the helm as long as he has. In fact, the 67-year-old is currently the longest tenured head coach in all of college football.

    However, that could all change soon if Beamer doesn’t turn the Hokies luck around soon.

    After recording eight consecutive 10-win seasons from 2002-11, the team has won a combined 15 games over the last two seasons. Furthermore, Virginia Tech has dropped three of its last four bowl games and is just 1-5 in six BCS appearances.

    Although the loss to Alabama can be easily forgiven, the same can’t be said about shortcomings against Duke—which seemed a lot worse at the time—Boston College and Maryland.

    There’s no doubt Beamer has earned his keep, capturing eight conference titles. But there comes a point where enough is enough.

    No amount of respect can save Beamer’s job if he leads the Hokies to yet another underwhelming season.

    Ask Bobby Bowden and Mack Brown how that ends up.

     

    Seat Temperature: Boiling

Dana Holgorsen (West Virginia)

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    Holgorsen (right) better win soon if he hopes to remain in Morgantown.
    Holgorsen (right) better win soon if he hopes to remain in Morgantown.Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    Career Record: 21-17 (3 years)

    2013 Record: 4-8

     

    The Skinny

    Dana Holgorsen began his career with much success, leading the Mountaineers to 10 wins and a victory in the Orange Bowl.

    But that team was led by quarterback Geno Smith and wide receiver Tavon Austin among other playmakers. Even the water boy for that squad could have led West Virginia to 10 wins in that season.

    Since then, Holgorsen has won seven and four games respectively.

    A decrease in wins in not exactly the direction that will keep a head coach’s job intact. Especially when those four wins in 2013 were the fewest in school history since 2001.

    Furthermore, the Mountaineers are just 6-12 in Big 12 play over the last two seasons.

    A win over Oklahoma State in 2013 showcased Holgorsen’s potential. But losses to Kansas and Iowa State—teams with a combined 6-18 record last season—to wrap up the season certainly did him no favors.

     

    Seat Temperature: Sizzling

Norm Chow (Hawaii)

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    What happened to Chow?
    What happened to Chow?Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

    Career Record: 4-20 (2 years)

    2013 Record: 1-11

     

    The Skinny

    Just 10 years ago, Norm Chow was one of the most sought after names in coaching circles around the country.

    Back then, he led USC’s explosive offense as the offensive coordinator. Not surprisingly, he drew interest from the NFL soon after.

    After flopping with the Tennessee Titans, Chow dropped back to the college level for a couple of years before landing his first head coaching gig with the Warriors.

    Unfortunately, it’s been no walk in the park for the 67-year-old. 

    In his first season in 2012, Chow led Hawaii to a 3-9 record. That served as the programs worst record since 2000.

    Things only got worse this season, with the team waiting until the season finale to win its first game. The 1-11 mark ranks as the Warriors second-worst record in school history and its fewest wins since going winless in 1998.

    Luckily for Chow, it’s near impossible for Hawaii to get any worse in 2014.

    However, if he doesn’t show significant improvement, it might not even matter.

     

    Seat Temperature: Sizzling

Will Muschamp (Florida)

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    Muschamp only has himself to blame.
    Muschamp only has himself to blame.Michael Chang/Getty Images

    Career Record: 22-16 (3 years)

    2013 Record: 4-8

     

    The Skinny

    Talk about a tale of Jekyll and Hyde.

    After leading the Gators to an 11-2 record in 2012 and an appearance in the Sugar Bowl, Will Muschamp watched the team struggle its way to a 4-8 mark last season.

    To make matters worse, Florida lost each of its seven final games. That includes losing a contest to an FCS opponent for the first time in school history—a 26-20 loss to Georgia Southern.

    Not only did the Gators fail to qualify for a bowl for the first time since 1990, but the team also finished with the fewest wins in school history since going winless in 1979.

    Given the success of 2012, paired with a rough string of injuries, Florida has decided to give Muschamp another season to prove his worth.

    However, expect the program to be quick to cut ties with the 42-year-old if he continues to turn one of college football’s national powers into a national laughingstock.

     

    Seat Temperature: Sizzling

     

    All stats and rankings used in this article are courtesy of CFBstats.com.

    For complete coverage and everything college football, you can reach Sebastian on Facebook, on Twitter and via email at Sebastian.LenaBR@gmail.com.

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