Summertime means polls and predictions. I ranked the topfive coaches in the SEC last month but now its time to talk about the fivecoaches on the hottest seat in the league. There is no such thing as jobsecurity in todays college football and with the conference expanding it isonly going to get tougher the next five years. In the old days you would have afive year plan, but with the escalating salaries for coaches and the constantpressure of the fan base and the internet that plan is now reduce to threeyears.Urban Meyer used to talk about momentum when he wascoaching at Florida. He always said once you have it, you never want to let itgo, but once you lose momentum it is hard to get back. Think about all thecoaches who have been on the hot seat the last ten years. Very few if anyhave survived and unless you have a great agent or contract you cannotwithstand the pressure of the hot seat. By the way Meyer talked momentum,while my old coach Steve Spurrier told me that every coach was hired to befired! Anyway here are the five guys closest to the hot seat in the SEC.This list is in no particular order. -Joker Phillips, Kentucky . Phillips had one simple plan tofollow in Lexington and he could coach their forever. Go to bowl games! Wildcatfans are the most underrated football fans in the country. Sure its abasketball school, but they always show up for football. The fans are loyal andlike to travel (see hoops team) so you have to go to a bowl game duringDecember. Rich Brooks found the formula and Phillips Joker missed the bowl gamelast year, but he did beat Tennessee which eased some of the pressure.-Derek Dooley, Tennessee- Dooley inherited a mess but thereality is he has no quality SEC wins. Just one over a rival (Florida, Georgia,Alabama) would back people off the ledge. The loss to Kentucky really hurt himand he may just be the wrong place at the wrong time. To be fair he beat LSUtwo years ago before his team ran on the field. He also won his bowl gamebefore his team ran on the field! Last year he lost to Kentucky, which isunthinkable at Tennessee. Especially since it was not a good Wildcat team.Negative fans will say poor coaching; positive fans will say bad luck. All ofthem will agree that winning season and a quality rivalry win is important.-Gary Pinkel, Missouri. Missouri has been very solid thelast decade in the Big 12. Pinkel who was high on the hot seat once before,turned his career around with Brad Smith. Recently he had some off the fieldissues but survived it at least for one season. But being in the SEC addspressure and 8-4 in the Big 12 could be 5-7 in the SEC. If things get sidewaysquickly in year one dont be surprised if the schools brain trust looks forsomeone familiar with SEC competition. -Mark Richt, Georgia. He started last year on the hot seat,but won the East and beat Florida which got him an extension. Mike Bobo andTodd Grantham deserve a lot of credit, but the program is Mark Richts and hestill recruits among the nations best. He did lose his last two games and ifthe Dogs get upset at Missouri, his seat will heat up. I like Georgias teamand roster, but I am not convinced they have the swagger to be an elite team. Ibelieve that comes from the head coach. I dont know what the financial meaningof an extension is but if Georgia goes 8-4 in a down SEC East, Richt will be introuble. Gene Chizik, Auburn. I like Gene Chizik and putting him onthis list one year removed from a National Title seems silly. However Auburnfans are not very patient and while them were still celebrating the titleduring the 7-5 season. When they looked up Chizik won his bowl game and fansthink 10 wins is back in the picture for 2012. They cannot go backwards andChizik will be a victim of his own success. He has changed the staff and thatshould keep the focus off him and on the players.Ok youre asking me why not Will Muschamp? Its only yeartwo and there is no way he can lose his job based on performance on the field.However another 6-6 season with no quality wins and year three will have himnumber one on the hot seat list. He has recruited well and endeared himselfto athletic director Jeremy Foley. I think James Franklin is on the list ofcoaches who could move up to a bigger job, but if he keeps putting his foot in his mouth he could push himself onthe hot seat. Every coach wants to be evaluated on his performance on thefield, but guys make mistakes and sometimes good coaches (Bobby Petrino) losetheir job. I think there are a lot ofcoaches with job security in the SEC (Saban, Miles, Spurrier) and guys who arenew with job , so they have some security (Sumlin, Freeze,Franklin).But what does the future bring with a new look conference and high expectations at everyprogram? In the SEC I think every coach feels like he is on the Hot Seat.
Summer means "Hot Seat" coaches in the SEC
June 8, 2012, 1:56 am