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25 College Football Coaches Who Need To Win This Year


It’s time to put up or shut up for these college football coaches that are in desperate need of some wins come fall.

  1. SCOTTIE MONTGOMERY (EAST CAROLINA) – Montgomery is entering year three and most coaches get four years but the problem is the team hasn’t improved at all under Montgomery and it’s the way they are losing. Last season the Pirates lost to a FCS team at home by 20 and also lost other games by 47, 36, 30, 42, & 57! A few weeks back they canned their athletic director which normally means the coach is next. It’s bowl game or bust for Montgomery.
  2. ED ORGERON (LSU) – Coach O won 8 games last year in his first full season in Baton Rouge and the Tigers finished 3rd in the SEC West but lets be honest when that’s not going to cut it especially when you analyze the schedule and realize they lost to the Sun Belt’s Troy at home in Baton Rouge. Mix that in with a 30 point loss to Mississippi State and you can see why I have him this high on the list. Matt Canada came over from Pitt last year and is known as one of the best OC’s in the game. The Tigers gave him a million a year to call plays last year and well this year Coach O fired him. Hmmm? I’m thinking 9 wins and no losses to mid majors and Coach O sticks around.
  3. BRAD LAMBERT (CHARLOTTE) – The 49ers have been patient with Lambert who’s now in his 7th season as the 49ers head coach. I know he broke in the football program entirely but still his record is 17-41 and he’s coming off a 1-11 season. He needs to get 4 or 5 games this year or he’s done.
  4. BRIAN KELLY (NOTRE DAME) – Kelly went 10-3 last season so I know you’re thinking well how the hell is he on the hot seat? It’s South Bend and not only are the alumni tough on any coach they demand consistency. Notre Dame was 4-8 in 2016 and well they’ve lost a ton of pieces in the offseason including the defensive coordinator who really made a big difference for the Irish. Oh and did I mention the schedule is brutal for a team that’s rebuilding with games against Michigan, Stanford, @ Virginia Tech, Florida State & @ USC. It could be a tough tough season for Kelly. I think 8 wins is the magic number for Kelly to save his job.
  5. KLIFF KINGSBURY (TEXAS TECH) – Some say it’s a miracle Kingsbury is still the head coach of the Red Raiders. Last year his seat was incredibly hot and Texas Tech came up with a 6-7 season after a bowl game loss. That means it has been three years since Texas Tech has had a winning season. Need I say more? They need a winning season.
  6. LOVIE SMITH (ILLINOIS) – Lovie Smith is just 5-19 in his two seasons at Illinois. I understand he walked into a bad situation but the team has got to win more than two games this season so the fans can see some type of promising future with this team. Last year they won their first two games to open up the season and lost every other game so they are on one of the nation’s longest losing streaks. They should start off 2-0 but after that you’d be hard pressed to find the wins on the schedule. If they can just be more competitive for Smith and maybe steal a game or two in the Big 10 then Lovie sticks around for a 4th year.
  7. PAUL JOHNSON (GEORGIA TECH) – The Yellow Jackets were 5-6 last year and considering how many games they were winning for majority of the game and lost then you’d understand why I have Johnson this high on the list. So very questionable coaching calls have occured in some of those losses. I know they won 9 games the previous year so Johnson might have more than a year but let him really under achieve this year and I could see the Yellow Jackets pulling the plug. Bowl game or bust for Johnson.
  8. DANA HOLGORSEN (WEST VIRGINIA) – Holgorsen is coming off a 7-5 season which isn’t terrible but the people in Morgantown seem to have a unrealistic fanbase. Holgorsen won 10 games two years ago. With Will Grier returning I think Holgorsen is going to need something better than a 7-5 season. They open up the season in a neutral site game against Tennessee and play at NC State a few weeks later. Those will be critical games for Holgorsen. Anything better than 7-5 and I think Holgorsen stays.
  9. CLAY HELTON (USC) – I know they just gave Helton an extension but come on in this the USC fanbase we’re talking and now it’s even worse because Chip Kelly is over on the other side of town so I could certainly see USC pulling the plug on Helton if he struggles a bit this year. What’s the magic number for Helton to preserve his job? I’m guessing 8 or 9 wins.
  10. KALANI SITAKE (BYU) – Sitake is entering his 3rd season in Provo and BYU is known to be a patient school but after Sitake’s first season going 9-4. He Followed it up with a 4-9 season and once again it’s not just the record its who and how they lost. Losing to awful ECU team by 16 points is a awful loss and when you add that to other losses by 27, 34, 25 and a rivalry loss to Utah and I think you get a 3rd year coach who needs a winning season. It’s bowl game or bust for Sitake.
  11. MIKE JINKS (BOWLING GREEN) – Jinks is just 6-18 in his two seasons as head coach of the Falcons including last year’s 2-10 season. Bowling Green had been one of the better MAC programs for the past decade or two before the arrival of Jinks. Which means he needs to get the ball moving here. I think it’s bowl game or bust for Jinks in his 3rd year.
  12. BARRY ODOM (MISSOURI) – Odom salvaged last year after a 1-5 start to the season with a nice 7-6 comeback year. In mid october Odom was already being penciled out as the head coach in Columbia. Now comes year three in the Odom era and he’s still just 11-14 as a head coach which really makes this year critical for him. Luckily his star QB Drew Lock decided to return to the team after flirting with the NFL draft. I think Odom needs another bowl game season to stick around.
  13. STEVE ADDAZIO (BOSTON COLLEGE) – Addazio somehow has managed to have back to back 7-6 seasons despite his teams having moments of looking absolutely awful. The brand of football is ugly even when they win. If Addazio can keep the 7-6 seasons coming I think he sticks around. A 5-7 season and he might be done.
  14. EVERETT WITHERS (TEXAS STATE) – Withers enters year 3 with Texas State and after two seasons he’s just 4-20 as the head coach at TS. Year 3 normally breaks in your players that were recruited for your system. If they can just show some signs of life I think Withers is back for a 4th year. The magic number is 4 wins I’m thinking. Anything less and he may be done.
  15. MARK DANTONIO (MICHIGAN STATE) – Dantonio saved perhaps his job with a nice surprising 10-3 season including a huge win over rival Michigan. Only problem is he may have to do it again with all that happened with Michigan State athletics this offseason. Dantonio can’t afford a bad season. Anything better than .500 and I think he stays.
  16. MIKE NEU (BALL STATE) – Mike Neu might of been a good QB for Ball State but he certainly hasn’t been much of a coach for the Cardinals. Neu is just 6-18 as head coach of the Cardinals and coming off a 2-10 season. Neu’s team was pretty injured all season so perhaps their is some hope in Muncie, Indiana. If Neu can just hit 4 or 5 wins I think they keep him around for another year.
  17. TONY SANCHEZ (UNLV) – Sanchez is entering is 5th season in Vegas and well after a 5-7 season where the Rebels almost went bowling their is some hope. Last year they had the bowl game in their sights and they choked this year it’s put up or shut up. Bowl game or bust for Sanchez.  
  18. DEREK MASON (VANDERBILT) – Mason enters his 5th season in Nashville and well he’s just 18-31 as a head coach which means this year could be a make or break it year for Mason. I’m thinking bowl game or bust but if he can knock off Tennessee for a third straight year I could see him sticking around Vandy for another year.
  19. DINO BABERS (SYRACUSE) – Year 3 with Orange will need to be the year the Orange finally get over the hump. Babers has a couple nice wins against Virginia Tech and Clemson over the past two years but zero bowl games and a combined record of 8-16. I don’t care how many good teams you beat. 8-16 in two seasons is just not going to cut it making this a huge game for Babers. I say bowl game or bust for Babers.
  20. CHUCK MARTIN (MIAMI OH) – Martin is entering his 5th year in Oxford and well It’s time to get this thing together. Last year the Redhawks really underachieved going 5-7 and missing out on a bowl. Now it’s bowl game or bust for Martin who coming into the season is a total of 16-33 as the head coach.  
  21. PAT NARDUZZI (PITTSBURGH) – Narduzzi enters year 4 in Pittsburgh and yeah I think it’s safe to say it’s been a up and down run for him as coach of the Panthers. Which is why this season is so very important for Narduzzi. Narduzzi is 21-17 overall as head coach of Pitt but coming off a 5-7 season. Mix that with several key players transferring this offseason and I think Narduzzi has got to get his team to a bowl game this year.
  22. TOM HERMAN (TEXAS) – I’m not really saying Herman is on the hot seat after a 7-6 year one but at the same time this could be something similar to what happened to Charlie Strong if Texas doesn’t have a better year. The talent is all over the roster now it’s time for Herman to live up to the hype. Anything better than 7-6 is needed.
  23. JIM HARBAUGH (MICHIGAN) – The pressure is sure building. Harbaugh is 0-3 against Ohio State and coming off his worst season in Ann Arbor with a 8-5 season. He could sure use a win against Ohio State this year and a double digit win season but it’ll be tough. The Wolverines open up the gates at Notre Dame.
  24. CHRIS ASH (RUTGERS) – Ash walked into a really tough situation so I’m sure they’ll give him the benefit of the doubt but the fact is he’s just 6-18 as the head coach of Rutgers. Although I saw some big improvements from the team competitive wise last year and if they can keep making strides in that direction Ash should be safe. However a 1-11 season or something like that could call for his job.
  25. MIKE MACINTYRE (COLORADO) – MacIntyre is probably safe for this season considering two years ago he was the national head coach of the year. His Buffs took a gigantic step back last year with just a 5-7 season. Sure, he was replacing a ton but it’s now time for Macintyre to get the Buffs back into a bowl game.

Colby Dant is a stand up comedian and The Sports Gambling Podcast's official college football and basketball expert. Unfortunately he's also a huge Jets fan.

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