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7 College Football Coaches Whose Jobs Are on the Line in 2014

Sean FryeFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2014

7 College Football Coaches Whose Jobs Are on the Line in 2014

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    The coaching carousel of college football is ever-present. It's a "What have you done for me lately?" world, and if you haven't done much, you're probably on the hot seat.

    Bad years for guys like Paul Rhoads, Tim Beckman and even Will Muschamp have forced them squarely onto the chopping block in 2014 in what will almost surely be a do-or-die season for their head coaching careers.

    With that, check out the seven CFB head coaches whose jobs will be on the line next season.

Paul Rhoads

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    Orlin Wagner/Associated Press

    The Big 12 is one of the more complete and ruthless conferences out there.

    Texas just saw the resignation of Mack Brown, a coach who saw the fans revolt against him despite competing for a national title just a few seasons ago.

    That means never winning more than three games in Big 12 play throughout your tenure isn't good enough to make it.

    Well, that's the mark Paul Rhoads has posted at Iowa State. If he doesn't turn it around in 2014, Rhoads could see his tenure end with the Cyclones.

    Rhoads is coming off a year that saw ISU go just 3-9 overall, 2-7 in the conference and miss a bowl for the first time in three seasons. That's certainly not good news for a coach in his fifth season.

    If Iowa State doesn't shape up and make a bowl in 2014, there's almost no doubt that Rhoads will be gone at season's end.

Dana Holgorsen

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    At the end of West Virginia's stay in the Big East, it won the Orange Bowl and was considered an elite team in the nation.

    Two years into their tenure in the Big 12, the Mountaineers under Dana Holgorsen have taken a huge tumble and are now at the basement of the conference.

    WVU's spiral downward was punctuated last season by a loss to the Kansas Jayhawks that gave Charlie Weis his first Big 12 win.

    Now Holgorsen finds himself squarely on the hot seat in Morgantown.

    Holgorsen is known for his high-octane offenses, but last year's unit struggled after losing Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey to the NFL draft.

    If he can't find the same type of groove that those guys provided, Holgorsen may be joining the unemployment line soon.

Tim Beckman

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    Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

    Tim Beckman hasn't sniffed even the faintest scent of success since taking over for Illinois. He's won just six games in two years and just one game in Big Ten play.

    Now Beckman is firmly on the hot seat, but the Fighting Illini have Beckman's back for now. According to WCIA-TV's Matt Wettersten, Mike Thomas, the athletic director at Illinois, announced back in early December that Beckman would return after another disastrous year.

    Nevertheless, fans of the Illini are clamoring for a better product on the gridiron than what Beckman has delivered. If he fails yet again in 2014, he'll almost certainly be gone.

Norm Chow

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    Eugene Tanner/Associated Press

    The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors have struggled mightily under Norm Chow in the two years during which he's been the head coach.

    In his first year, the team went 3-9. Last season, 1-11. Chow is also just 1-15 in the Mountain West Conference.

    Hawaii has struggled to rebuild since June Jones left to take over at Southern Methodist University. Chow has almost proven at this point that he is not the guy to resurrect a slowly dying program.

    2014 is a do-or-die year for Chow in his first gig as a head coach in college football. If he can't muster at least four wins, the Rainbow Warriors will likely say "aloha"which also means "goodbye" in Hawaiianto Chow.

Will Muschamp

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    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    Last year was rough in Gainesville, Fla. Will Muschamp went just 4-8 overall and 3-5 in the SEC in 2013. The eight losses included a late-season one to FCS foe Georgia Southern that eliminated the Gators from bowl eligibility.

    It wasn't all Muschamp's fault. The Gators dealt with so many injuries that it was inhuman.

    Ultimately, however, it's still Florida. Muschamp should be able to recruit well enough to have the depth to deal with injuries.

    2012 is the only season under Muschamp when Florida won double-digit games. That may be the mark he has to reach in 2014 in order to keep his job.

Sonny Dykes

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    Eric Risberg/Associated Press

    It may be unfair to judge Sonny Dykes on just one season at Cal, but 1-11 is a tough mark to overcome.

    The Golden Bears limped their way through the 2013 season, with their only win coming against FCS team Portland State.

    Dykes' on-field failures were such an eye-opener that the editorial board at The Daily Californian, the student paper at Cal, wrote an article suggesting that athletic director Sandy Barbour was on the hot seat partly because of her hire of Dykes.

    The Pac-12 saw a resurgence of talent all around last year, with UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State all seeing the same type of success that the Oregons and Stanfords of the conference are used to.

    If Cal can't keep up with an increasingly tough conference, Dykes may be out of luck.

Paul Johnson

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Bill Shanks of The Telegraph wrote in December that Paul Johnson's Georgia Tech program has "stagnated."

    That couldn't be truer.

    After going 10-3 in 2009, Johnson's second season at the helm of the Yellow Jackets, he's only won eight games once while winning seven or fewer games in three of the last four years.

    Last year, the Yellow Jackets went 7-6 for the second straight season.

    Johnson did well in his first few seasons at Georgia Tech, but those were mostly with his predecessor's players. Now that the program has completely come under Johnson's umbrella, it has faltered and at times looked out of place in a competitive ACC.

    The option offense is out of style and can't compete with the air-raid style that is sweeping the nation. If Johnson doesn't find a spark soon, his flame could be extinguished at Georgia Tech.

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