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We are starting to wind down the 2011 NCAA football schedule, but here at Bankroll Sports, we are starting to get concerned with a lot of head coaches on the hot seat. Check out the coaches that we think are in a heck of a lot of trouble if things don’t turn around for the rest of this season.
Mike Stoops – Arizona Wildcats: The Wildcats have already parted ways with Stoops after the team started off at 1-5 this season. Arizona had lost 10 straight games against FBS schools until it fired Stoops, and then it turned around the destroyed the UCLA Bruins in its next game. And that brings us to…
Rick Neuheisel – UCLA Bruins: Neuheisel should have already been fired this year to tell the total truth. His team was absolutely annihilated in that game against Arizona on national television, and there was an ugly skirmish that took place just before halftime as well. In fairness to Neuheisel, he hasn’t been able to keep a quarterback healthy for the past few seasons, but there is still no excuse. He came to Los Angeles vowing to put the Bruins back on the map and out of the shadows of the USC Trojans. The Men of Troy have been on probation these last two seasons, and UCLA is still irrelevant. The only way that Neuheisel ends up safe is by beating the Arizona State Sun Devils this coming week and getting into the Pac-12 Championship Game. Even then, we’re not totally sure.
Jeff Tedford – California Golden Bears: The Golden Bears were back on the map for awhile, but these last two seasons have been mighty frustrating. The team has never won more than 10 games in a year with Tedford calling the shots, and this is going to be the fifth season in his nine at the post in which this team has finished with a sub-.500 record in the Pac-12 (old Pac-10). Last year’s 5-7 seasons was brutal without a bowl game, the first time that that was the case since Tedford’s first year in 2002. Cal has two home games against Washington State and Oregon State over the next two weeks, and Tedford badly needs to win those two games and get this team back to a bowl game, or his days might be numbered in Berkeley.
Paul Wulff – Washington State Cougars: And the Pac-12 raid continues… Washington State hasn’t really had a good season in quite some time, and Wulff is about out of time to try to turn things around in Pullman. This team has lost four in a row, and without some momentum at the end of the season, we just don’t know if Wulff is going to survive. The Cougs have allowed 42 or more points four times this year and a whopping 21 times since 2008.
Mike Riley, Oregon State Beavers: We feel a bit bad for Riley, because he just doesn’t have the resources that Oregon does up the road in Eugene. His team went just 5-7 last year, and it is 2-6 this season, and things are clearly going in the wrong direction. The truth of the matter is that the Beavers really became relevant in the mid-2000s when they were finishing with nine or 10 wins virtually every year, but that time has come and gone. But, with USC, Stanford, and Oregon so dominating over the past few years, time is running out for basically all of the coaches in the Pac-12.
Houston Nutt – Ole Miss Rebels: Think that Nutt regrets that decision to leave Arkansas to go to Ole Miss? With the Hogs, he built a program that included three SEC West titles and eight Top 25 finishes. Now, he took over at Ole Miss and just was not able to rebuild after the wheels fell off for QB Jevan Snead in 2009. His team is going to miss a bowl game for a second straight year, and with a 1-15 record over two seasons in the SEC looming, the Rebels might be looking to make a change.
Neil Callaway – UAB Blazers: Coaching UAB has to be one of the most difficult jobs in the entire country. The school is tucked away in the middle of nowhere in Birmingham, and there is no way that it is ever going to be able to compete with Auburn and Alabama in recruiting. Since coming to the Blazers though, Callaway is only 16-44 without a bowl game, or a finish in the top half of the East Division in Conference USA. The time is clearly coming for UAB to head another direction.
Ron Zook – Illinois Fighting Illini: The thought was that the Zooker was off of the hot seat when he got the Illini off to a 6-0 start to this season and a Top 20 ranking in the country. However, after three straight losses, we’re just not all that sure. We tend to think that recruiting QB Nathan Scheelhaase will at least earn Zook one more season, but there is a point that this program really needs to improve. The only really notable season was the 9-4 Rose Bowl year in 2007. However, aside from that, Zook only has one other bowl bid, though we’re assuming that the Illini are going to go bowling this year even if they do only go 6-6.
Mark Richt – Georgia Bulldogs: Richt is really at best a fringe candidate to get fired at the end of this season, but if he survived the 0-2 start to this season, he has to be considered relatively safe right now. Richt scored a big, big win over the Florida Gators on Saturday, and that both ensured that the Bulldogs will be bowling and that Richt should be in good shape. If UGA ends up winning the SEC East this year, as it looks like it very much so could, we can’t see how it would fire its coach.