As the midpoint of the season nears, it’s clear which college football head coaches have put themselves on the hot seat. Who needs to step up most in Week 6?
It’s hard to believe that Week 6 of the college football season has arrived so quickly. By the end of October, nine weeks will be in the books and the college football landscape will have a much clearer picture. There also might be a coach or two on the hot seat that may have been fired by then.
As this week in college football rolls around, everyone knows who exactly is fighting for their jobs. The bad teams have established themselves and those that are teetering will soon be right there as well.
Some coaches that are on the hot seat have an off week so they are exempt from the list until the next one. Those coaches are Larry Fedora and Clay Helton. As for Week 6, here’s who needs to step up and secure a win.
5. Bobby Petrino: Louisville
The Louisville Cardinals have been awful this season in a dumpster fire season for the ACC. Last week, the Cardinals lost at home to Florida State, who has also been an equal dumpster fire thus far.
Petrino’s squad is coming off of an underwhelming 8-5 season last year and thus far hasn’t shown much competitiveness, save for a couple of wins over Indiana State and Western Kentucky, the latter of which was a close one.
Petrino’s been with the Cardinals for a long time and has certainly had his fair share of polarizing moments. It might just be a down year for the program but it could also signal the time for a change and that would likely depend on how much fire they show the rest of the year.
This week, the Cardinals host Georgia Tech. They’re still looking to pick up their first conference win of the season and losing yet another would make what has felt like a long season thus far feel even longer.
4. David Beaty: Kansas
When Kansas won two straight games in blowout fashion, it was a step in the right direction for David Beaty. His program finally won a road game and they were taking care of opponents they were supposed to.
That let the hot seat talk simmer for a couple of weeks. However, winning two games doesn’t mean that he is exempt from being in that discussion and that he gets a free pass for the rest of the season.
The fact of the matter is the Jayhawks are going to have to win more than two games for Beaty to keep his job. For a coach that has only won five total in his fourth season with the program, a couple of more would be needed at least.
After making a statement leading into conference play, the Jayhawks have fallen flat on their face and are back to being a punching bag. It’s not a complete surprise, but they have suffered two straight blowout losses.
In other words, it was two steps forward and two steps back for Beaty. He can take on losses, as he’s done that plenty already. He needs competitive losses but more importantly wins. It could get ugly on the road for Kansas against West Virginia this week.
3. Lovie Smith: Illinois
After a bye week last week, the Illinois Fighting Illini had a week of rest to get ready to host Rutgers. This game should be a layup for Smith’s Fighting Illini and the win they need to get back on track after dropping a couple in a row.
They’ve shown promise thus far this year and making it to a bowl game should be considered a must if Smith wants to keep his job for next season. Rutgers is as bad as it gets in college football and shouldn’t pose much of a challenge.
Which means that if they pull the upset and win on the road, then you can pretty much can Smith right on the spot. If Illinois loses to Rutgers, it is a guaranteed offense worthy of a firing immediately.
There are some tough battles ahead for Illinois and the program might be a bit more forgiving if they lost to a Purdue or Wisconsin coming up. There is absolutely zero forgiveness for dropping a game to Rutgers.
The Fighting Illini are probably kicking themselves for not being 3-1 right now after dropping a game to USF. Nonetheless, they have to find a way to scratch off four victories the rest of the way and that’s going to be difficult.
2. Chris Ash: Rutgers
A coach that is hoping for patience is Chris Ash. The Scarlet Knights dropped yet another game last week when they were defeated by Indiana. Surprisingly, it wasn’t a blowout and they only lost 24-17.
That alone has to be a moral victory for Rutgers right now. Realistically, they know that at best they might be able to steal maybe one more win this season or live with the fact they only beat North Texas.
This is a terrible football program and Ash or anyone that coaches it is going to need a long time to turn it around. He’s still in his third year with the program and maybe can convince them there will be progress in a fourth.
This all comes down to whether or not Rutgers is willing to be patient with their head coach. If they can recognize they’re in a brutal division and that this is a rebuild meant for the long haul, then Ash should stay around.
If they feel that it won’t be able to get off the ground with him at the helm, then they might pull the plug on him sooner rather than later. A road game against Illinois awaits Ash this week.
1. Randy Edsall: UConn
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights would probably love to play UConn right about now. They might prove that they aren’t the worst team in college football. Yes, the UConn Huskies might very well be the worst program at this moment.
The 2018 version of the team might be one of the worst ever in college football history. That’s say something and it’s saying that Randy Edsall could soon find himself out of a job if his historically terrible defense doesn’t turn things around.
Giving up 650-plus yards a week is a guaranteed way for a program to lose every single time they take the field and the Huskies have shown zero improvements on that side of the ball. Last week, Cincinnati embarrassed them.
This week, it’s the Memphis Tigers that will be the recipient of getting to face a bad defense. Jay Norvell is a creative mind when it comes to dialing up plays on offense and they could put up some serious numbers.
This is where things could really go from bad to worse. If they Huskies give up over 600 yards of offense again, the program might have to be reactionary and make a move right away to try and stem the bleeding. Edsall needs a miracle in his 13th year as head coach.