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SEC Coaches: Hot Seat Temperature

SEC Coaches Hot Seat Temperature

As we reach the end of the season some programs are heading in the wrong direction. This as always means some coaches are on the hot seat as we enter the end of the season and look forward to the next season. We’ll take a look at the status of each coach as the season comes to a close.

Nuclear Winter (0 Degrees and Below)

Nick Saban

Probably the safest coach in the SEC. Alabama’s Nick Saban continues his success with the Tide. His one loss this season ties his loss total in each of the last four seasons. The last time Saban has lost more than one game dates back to 2014 when they lost in the first round of the CFB.

Even with another loss this season it’s safe to say Saban is going no where.

Ed Orgeron

What began as a rocky career for Ed Orgeron has turned into one of the best coaches in the SEC. Orgeron has increased his win total in each season he’s been at the helm at LSU.

This season is no different. With a potential No.1 seed in the CFB as well as the front runner in the Heisman race, Ed isn’t going anywhere. Baton Rouge has taken to Coach O like a daiquiri on Bourbon Street.

SEC Coaches Hot Seat Temperature
Kirby Smart is 41-11 in his four seasons with Georgia. (Photo by

Kirby Smart

Kirby Smart led Georgia to just 8 wins in his first season but has seen tremendous success since then. Whether or not this is the success the Bulldogs were looking for when they got rid of Mark Richt doesn’t seem to matter.

The Bulldogs have been to the SEC Title game three years in a row now. They’ve made the CFP as well. This year they control their path to the playoff once again by winning out. Smart has found his way in Athens in his first head coaching job.

Dan Mullen

Before Dan Mullen the Gators saw loss totals of four or greater each year since 2012. They amounted as many as seven and eight loss seasons during that time.

Since Mullen has taken over they’re looking at back to back 10+ win seasons. Dan Mullen has proven he’s one of the great coaches in this league and looks very comfortable in Gainesville.

Jimbo Fischer

Jimbo had 10 or more wins in 6 of his 8 seasons with Florida State, including a National Championship. Regardless of what he does in his first few years with the Aggies, he’s bound to have a long leash.

The Aggies won nine games last year but may be looking at less this year. Unless Jimbo’s team can amass some big upsets to end the year, they’ll be looking at eight wins at best. They have played one of the toughest schedules in the country though, and like the direction Jimbo has them going.

Mild Winter (40-50 Degrees)

Mark Stoops

Mark Stoops has yet to decrease his win total each year he’s been at Kentucky. This year will be the exception. This won’t ruffle any feathers though.

He’s coming off a year of five NFL draft picks, tying the program record. His 10 wins last season is tied for second most in program history. He’s on pace for his fourth consecutive bowl appearance, meaning he’s been coach of over 20% of the Wildcats’s bowl games.

Not only has Stoops been the most successful coach in Wildcat history, he’s also fought against all odds this season. Kentucky lost giant chunks from the defense as well as the offense from last season. He’s also been playing a wide receiver in Lynn Bowden Jr. at quarterback due to injuries to the first and second string. The fact that he’s going to make a bowl game is an impressive feat.

SEC Coaches Hot Seat Temperature
Pruitt has calmed the angry fan base in Knoxville and is on pace to make the postseason. (Photo by

Jeremy Pruitt

This one comes as a surprise. What started the season as a hot seat candidate has suddenly turned into a comfortable segue into 2020.

Jeremy Pruitt started the 2019 season about as badly as you could. 1-4 with two losses against two inferior opponents had him barely holding on to the reigns. Winning four of the last five with two favorable matchups left on the schedule has changed the outlook on Pruitt. Unless the Vols lose out, he should be comfortable knowing he’ll get another year.

Gus Malzahn

Gus barely makes the list here as his temperature is at 60 degrees with the potential of quickly rising. The question is constant between if Malzahn’s buyout is too large or if an 8-4 finish is just enough to let him stay another year.

If Malzahn manages to beat Alabama again there’s no question he’ll be coach next season with a 9-3 record and beating the in-state rival. With a loss Auburn might have enough to go on to fire him; right or wrong. Malzahn has lost four or more games in every season but one, pending this season.

Luke Warm (60-75 Degrees)

Barry Odom

Missouri football has lost four in a row. What looked like an excellent season for Odom has quickly turned into a disaster for the Tiger fan base.

At 5-5 they’ll have to pull off a win against Tennessee at home or Arkansas on the road. Missouri has played horribly on the road this year. Odom’s job might come down to whether he can win one of these final games and might even come down to a bowl game.

Matt Luke

Matt Luke’s first stint as a head coach has been overshadowed by his interim year as well his decision to keep the coordinators in his first full year. Luke has managed to keep the Rebels treading water with win totals of six, five and now four.

Many in the Rebel fan base want him gone. The administration, while rocky, feels that he’s making progress in a direction they like. It’s already been established that he will be at the helm entering the 2020 season. His time at Ole Miss might hang in the balance next year if the Rebels get off to a slow start.

Summer Heat (80-90 Degrees)

Will Muschamp

Will Muschamp has yet to prove he can continue the winning ways South Carolina had gotten used to under Steve Spurrier. A seven win year last season mixed with the likelihood of missing a bowl game this season has Muschamps’s job in jeopardy.

South Carolina hasn’t enjoyed large amounts of success since recent history. Missing a bowl game in his fourth season after mediocre success is not doing him any favors. While it seems like he’ll return next season, it’s tough to tell how much longer he’ll be in Columbia.

Joe Moorehead

Moorehead’s first head coaching stint has not gone well in Starkville. He had arguably the best defense in program history last season only to finish a mediocre 8-5.

This season hasn’t gotten any better. Starkville isn’t happy with Moorehead and even winning the Egg Bowl would probably not be enough to retain his job. If the Bulldogs can manage to make a bowl game and especially if they win said bowl game, Moorehead might find himself with another season.

Hot Seat (90+ Degrees)

SEC Coaches Hot Seat Temperature
Derek Mason is 6th all time in wins for Vanderbilt coaches. (Photo by

Derek Mason

A few factors come in to play when discussing Derek Mason that makes his future unclear. Yes, Vanderbilt announced he will be the head coach in 2020. At any other SEC school, Mason doesn’t even finish this season.

But it’s Vanderbilt. The success they endured under James Franklin was a prolific exception to the usual prosperity the Commodore faithful see. Before James Franklin Vanderbilt had seen just one winning season since 1982.

Mason has already taken Vanderbilt to more bowl games than any other coach in Vanderbilt history other than James Franklin. He’s managed to dominate rival Tennessee in recent year. However he has yet to have a winning season. The leash is typically a long one for a Vanderbilt coach, but another 2-10/3-9 season next year might be the end for Mason.

Chad Morris/Barry Lunney Jr.

Brett Bielema left Arkansas in shambles after his firing in 2017. Something Chad Morris was never able to overcome.

The former SMU coach managed just a 2-18 record in his limited time at Arkansas. He was winless in the SEC. He did not defeat a power five opponent. And he had embarrassing losses to the likes of Colorado State, North Texas, San Jose State and Western Kentucky.

Barry Lunney Jr. now takes over as the interim head coach. The former tight end’s coach takes over in his first head coaching gig. It’s unlikely he’ll see any head coaching time with Arkansas next season but does get an opportunity to get his feet wet as a head coach.



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