These coaches need to start winning early and often in the upcoming season to keep their jobs. Otherwise, they’ll be in collecting unemployment.
CLAY HELTON (USC)
Fans wanted Helton fired last year, but athletic director Lynn Swann kept his word and retained the coach. Swann might not even make it to August as the AD. USC has one of the hardest schedules in the country so chances are Helton doesn’t even end the season if the Trojans stumble just a little.
LOVIE SMITH (ILLINOIS)
It’s year four in the Lovie-era and that’s normally the year the team makes the biggest strides. The excuses run out. Lovie has the players that he recruited for his system and the athletic director has basically said bowl game or bust.
BOB DAVIE (NEW MEXICO)
Bob Davie almost got fired last year. In fact, he got suspended by the school and then came back to lead his team to a 3-9 record for the second straight season. If it weren’t for a bowl game run in 2016, he’d already be gone. It’s truly bowl-or-bust for the former Notre Dame head coach.
TONY SANCHEZ (UNLV)
There’s no doubting that Tony Sanchez has had some bad luck in his run, but at some point the school won’t look at luck. It appeared that UNLV was heading to a bowl last year before their star quarterback Armani Rodgers went out for the year. Sanchez is in year five and despite him being a Vegas high school coaching legend this may be his last chance.
RANDY EDSALL (UCONN)
It’s only year three in the Randy Edsall: Part 2 Experiment. Edsall had UConn in a BCS game a little over a decade ago, before leaving for Maryland, and then returning after he failed there.
Normally they say it takes four years for a coach to get everything in order, so maybe Edsall has another year. However, it’s not just the fact they are losing, it’s the way they are losing. They lost 8 of their 11 games last year by 30 points or more. That will get you fired.
CHRIS ASH (RUTGERS)
Just like Lovie Smith, it’s year four for Chris Ash at Rutgers and it’s time to put up or shut up. Ash is 7-29 in his first three seasons in New Brunswick and after winning just one game last year, his team needs to show some progress.
The problem is the rest of the BIG TEN appears to be better than Rutgers. They’re playing in a division with Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and Ohio State. Get your thank-you cards ready, Chris.
BARRY ODOM (MISSOURI)
Odom’s first three years have been as turbulent as any head coach could really get. He most-likely would’ve fired a few times, but his teams turned the corner and preserved his job.
He’s still just 19-19 since arriving in Columbia and he’s 0-2 in bowl games. He must find a way to take Missouri to another bowl game or this could be the end of his time there.
PHILIP MONTGOMERY (TULSA)
Tulsa lost four games by a score or less last year if they can protect the ball better they should be bowling. Montgomery started his era in Tulsa by achieving a bowl game in his first two years and winning 10 games in year two.
Then, came the downfall. He’s gone just 5-19 since that 10 win season and here comes year five. It’s bowl-or-bust time for Montgomery.
JIM HARBAUGH (MICHIGAN)
I’m not sure how or why he’s on this list. As much as I have issues with the development of his offense and some of his big game struggles, Captain Comeback is still 38-14 at Michigan.
I know he can be difficult, but beware what you wish for Michigan if you do part ways. A win for Harbaugh against Ohio State should guarantee a sixth year for him.
ED ORGERON (LSU)
Orgeron is 25-9 in 2.5 years of being the head man in Baton Rouge, so why is he on this list? Well, it’s not just the home loss to Troy but also the blowout loss to Alabama at home.
He shouldn’t be anywhere near the hot seat but LSU has unrealistic expectations. If Coach O’s team struggles in the big games this year or gets upset at home again to a mid-major, I wouldn’t be surprised if they pulled the plug on the guy.
Will Muschamp (South Carolina), Bobby Wilder (Old Dominion), Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State), Tom Allen (Indiana), Brent Brennan (San Jose State) , Frank Wilson (UTSA), Chuck Martin (Miami OH)