NCAAF Head Coaches Need Thick Skin - and a Moving Company on Speed Dial

October 24, 2017 by Dave Congrove

First Gary Andersen, then Tyson Summers - two coaches shown the exit before the calendar even got flipped to November. Andersen was given 2-1/2 years and 30 games at Oregon State, while Summers was on the job for just over a year-and-a-half and 18 games at Georgia Southern. A head coaching job is so tenuous that you can find prop bets on who's next in-line to get fired, right alongside the college football betting odds offered by sportsbooks.

It's a far cry from 1992 at Virginia Tech where Frank Beamer had just finished his 6th season with a 2-8-1 record and, despite an overall mark of 24-40-2, was retained as head coach. The next season, Beamer would take the Hokies to the first of 23 straight bowl games in his tenure. He's a top candidate to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame's next announced class. Justin Fuente has continued the tradition with a 24th straight bowl game last year, and this year's team is already bowl eligible at 6-1.

Currently, 51 of 130 FBS teams are led by a head coach who was hired in 2016 or 2017.

Butch Jones at Tennessee is currently sitting in the hottest of hot seats and you can now wager on who will lead the Volunteers in 2018. Former Oregon and Philadelphia Eagles' head coach Chip Kelly tops the betting list of candidates, followed by Jeff Brohm and Bobby Petrino. Brohm is in his first season at Purdue after leaving Western Kentucky, while Petrino is in his 4th season at Louisville. Somehow, Lane Kiffin is 13th on the list, but that will never happen since Kiffin already wore out his welcome in Knoxville when he was the head coach for one lone season in 2009.

While Anderson and Summers have already lost their jobs, neither was on the wagering list at the start of the 2017 season. In most circles, Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin was the best bet, followed by Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech, Brian Kelly at Notre Dame, and Jim Mora at UCLA. Butch Jones was 5th.

As the 2017 season has progressed, one would think that Mora has ascended the ranks and Kelly isn't in the discussion at all. Kingsbury is still feeling the heat, while Sumlin may want to leave on his own terms after some of the racist hatred he has endured from a small, but large enough, faction of ingrates.

Two other head coaches who were on the hot seat just a few weeks ago - Rich Rodriguez at Arizona and Todd Graham at Arizona State - have probably saved their jobs for now with their recent performance.

No head coach seems to be safe at Kansas where David Beatty is in his third season and has a 3-28 record. Even worse is that only 1 of those wins came against a FBS program. The Jayhawks have lost their last 2 games to Iowa State and TCU by a cumulative 88-0.

Kilani Sitake's second season at BYU has been a complete disaster. A 1-7 start comes on the heels of a mediocre (by BYU standards) 2016 mark of 9-4. The Cougars are currently ranked 114th in the Congrove Computer Rankings of all 130 FBS teams.

Others on a short leash could include Bret Bielema at Arkansas, Scottie Montgomery at East Carolina, Pat Narduzzi at Pittsburgh, Mike Riley at Nebraska, David Bailiff at Rice, Paul Haynes at Kent State, and Mark Hudspeth at Louisiana-Lafayette.

We shall see how it all plays out, but one thing is certain when it comes to the coaching carousel - 'round and 'round it goes and where it stops nobody knows. These days, college football head coaches need thick skin - and a moving company on speed dial.