The college football season is approaching quickly. While there are coaches who have some stability, there are others with some pressure heading into the 2022 season. Here are the college football coaches on the hot seat for 2022.
Florida State: Mike Norvell
Norvell’s tenure at Florida State has not gotten off to an ideal start. He is 8-13 on the job. The silver lining is they went from three wins in 2020 to five wins in 2021. The fanbase expects and wants more out of Norvell and quickly.
The Seminoles have 13 returning starters for the 2022 season. While winning the ACC is probably out of reach, making a bowl game should help his status as Florida State head coach. The schedule won’t be easy, as they play LSU and Florida in the non-conference schedule and have matchups with Wake Forest, NC State and Clemson in three straight weeks. They also play Miami, meaning they play most of the favorites to win the conference. If he misses a bowl game, Norvell’s days as head coach could be numbered.
Georgia Tech: Geoff Collins
Collins has spent three seasons at Georgia Tech and has a 9-25 record. He had the tough task of turning a triple-option team into a more traditional offense. With three wins in each season, the team hasn’t shown great signs of improvement, but the Yellow Jackets have had to deal with injuries.
The 2022 season needs to go well for Collins and it may be difficult, as Georgia Tech has just seven returning starters. Playing Ole Miss and UCF in the nonconference makes things tougher. They’ll need to win some tough ACC games and their best bet is quarterback Jeff Sims drastically improving in a new offense after a good start to his career. The conversion of the offense at the start of Collins’s tenure should give him more wiggle room, but he has to start winning more than three games per season.
Syracuse: Dino Babers
Babers has been at Syracuse for six seasons with a 29-43 record. There have been some good moments though, like when the Orange were able to win 10 games in 2018. What is more concerning though is that the Orange do not have a winning season in Babers’s time otherwise and have not gone to a bowl game since 2018.
Making a bowl game is likely imperative for Syracuse to retain Babers. The potential to do so is there, as the Orange have 16 returning starters and a proven star at running back in Sean Tucker. After going 5-7 last season, the schedule is tougher, so those players will need to show improvement. If they fail to get to six regular season wins, Babers may be on the way out.
West Virginia: Neal Brown
When Dana Holgorsen left the program to coach at Houston, Neal Brown was brought in from Troy to be the next head coach. He has gone 17-18 in three seasons at the helm. In the last two seasons, he has qualified for bowl games, but missing a bowl game this season could derail his progress.
The Mountaineers will likely keep Brown if he makes another bowl game. Having 13 starters back, with eight on offense helps the chances that a bowl streak stays alive. JT Daniels enters the fold at quarterback to also help. Taking on Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech in the nonconference schedule could make things come down to the last few games of the season. It is not likely that Brown is fired, but he may be the most likely to be fired in the Big 12 considering the number of new coaches in the conference.
Indiana: Tom Allen
Allen has been at Indiana for six seasons, two of which resulted in the team having a winning record. After going 8-5 in 2019, the Hoosiers went 6-2 in 2020. Last season unfortunately was terrible, as the Hoosiers limped to a 2-10 record. That puts his record at the school at 26-32.
Indiana is not an easy job and Allen has built up some leeway. He just has to avoid another disastrous season like 2021. The nonconference schedule features some winnable games, but the Hoosiers are predicted to finish near the bottom of the Big Ten. Showing that Indiana is getting back on track is the most important thing for Allen.
Nebraska: Scott Frost
After the success he had at UCF, Nebraska fans likely would’ve expected better out of Scott Frost in his first four seasons at Nebraska. He has a 15-29 record during his time in Lincoln. His best season was in 2019, when he led the program to a 5-7 record. If he doesn’t make a bowl game, Frost is likely going to be looking for a new job.
The Cornhuskers have 10 returning starters, five on each side of the ball. Losing quarterback Adrian Martinez to transfer will make things tough. The schedule provides some opportunities for wins, including North Dakota and Georgia Southern in nonconference games. Winning Big Ten games will be a big challenge, as they won just one last season. The writing is on the wall for Frost. Missing another bowl game makes his seat the hottest by the end of the year.
Arizona State: Herm Edwards
Edwards has a winning record at Arizona State over four seasons and is coming off of an 8-5 season. So why is his name on the hot seat? Players have transferred out amid an NCAA investigation going on at the program. While past assistants have been blamed, ultimately that falls on the head coach.
For the 2022 season, Edwards will have to avoid controversy and win some games. The Sun Devils return just six starters. They might be able to make a bowl game, but it is going to be hard work. Arizona State’s over/under for the season is set at 5.5 games. The situation in Tempe just seems like it is getting worse and Edwards may step down by the end of the season if expectations are not met.
Stanford Cardinal: David Shaw
In 11 seasons, Shaw has a 93-45 record at Stanford. It has been a few years since Stanford has had a quality season (not counting the 4-2 mark they posted in 2020). They last won nine games in a season in 2018 and have had two losing seasons since then. The program has definitely slipped from where Shaw once had them.
Making a bowl game would be a great start to getting back on track. Stanford has 13 returning starters, but just four from their defense, which ranked 106th last season. Getting Notre Dame and BYU in the nonconference schedule makes things more difficult. Shaw has been one of the better coaches in Stanford’s history, but the winning needs to come back.
Auburn: Bryan Harsin
Harsin made a bowl game in his first season as head coach and finished the year at 6-7. So why is he on the hot seat? There was a scandal in early February when there was a rumor of having an affair with a staffer. He survived the rumor. Looking towards the future, the recruiting doesn’t look too good for 2023. If Harsin doesn’t win this season and if they slip down the standings in the SEC West, he could go after only two seasons.
Auburn has 14 returning starters from their team last season. They have a big game in the nonconference schedule against Penn State, but otherwise have manageable games. After that, if they can do what they did last season, which was winning three conference games, they will be bowl-eligible. If they make a bowl game, Harsin buys himself another year, but if they miss, his seat will be getting warmer.
Group of Five
Bowling Green: Scot Loeffler
Loeffler is 7-22 through three seasons with the Falcons. Going 4-8 last season is a sign of progress, along with beating Minnesota, but they can’t backtrack this season.
New Mexico: Danny Gonzalez
The Lobos improved from two to three wins in Gonzalez’s second year, but things look bleak heading into the 2022 season. Just one starter returns on offense, but maybe the Lobos can surprise some people.
Rice: Mike Bloomgren
Getting just 11 wins in four seasons is enough to put anyone’s job at risk. Maybe winning four games last season though is a sign of progress.
Texas State: Jake Spavital
Spavital has won three, two then four games in his three seasons as head coach. The progress to get to four wins at Texas State has been impressive, but like many other coaches, he Spavital needs to keep the momentum going.
Tulane: Willie Fritz
Fritz had a good run with Tulane, but last season was awful. They went 2-10 and now Fritz just needs to avoid finishing that poorly again.
UNLV: Marcus Arroyo
Arroyo has won two games in two seasons with the Rebels. Last season the Rebels were 2-10. Another bad season could be the end of Arroyo’s tenure, as UNLV is searching to make a bowl game for the first time since 2013.
USF: Jeff Scott
In two seasons, Scott has won just three games. The program wasn’t in a great spot when he took over, but he does need to show some improvement in 2022.
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