Wednesday, August 10, 2022

2022 Hot Seat Rankings: Eight college football coaches with their jobs on the line this season

These college football coaches better watch their backs throughout the 2022 season … or else

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CBS Sports’ annual Hot Seat Rankings are here, and it’s time ask: Are they a curse or a mere curiosity? When two-thirds of the coaches named eventually lose their jobs, perhaps it’s a bit of both.

Since the end of the 2016 season, 35 names have appeared on our preseason Hot Seat Rankings rated as either 4s (start improving now) or 5s (win or be fired). Of those, 23 have been fired or resigned under pressure (65.7%). In the Power Five alone, the hit rate is 66.6% (14 of 21). Take that to Las Vegas, and they’ll accuse you of counting cards.

That list of 35 includes Kevin Sumlin, who was fired twice in that five-year period from both Texas A&M and Arizona. Randy Edsall appeared four straight years (2018-21) before leaving UConn by mutual decision in the first week of September 2021, days after saying he would retire at the end of the season. Clay Helton appeared three straight years from 2019-21 before becoming the first coach fired last season.

Ed Orgeron appeared in 2018, won a national championship in 2019, reappeared in 2021 and was fired last October. That was less than two seasons after winning it all. Manny Diaz’s hot seat cooled off considerably from 2020 to 2021, yet the candidacy of Mario Cristobal proved too much to handle for his uneven tenure at Miami.

So, take heed. If you need an indicator of the tenuousness of this profession, take this: The 30 coaching changes entering the 2022 college football season are the most in at least 15 years — 2007 when Nick Saban arrived at Alabama.

That suggests a certain amount of stability for this season. There have been 72 FBS coaching changes in the last three years. Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, South Florida, Washington and Washington State have changed coaches twice.

So, what openings might there be entering 2023? Plenty, potentially.

Last year, five of the nine coaches on this short list were fired, while two remain on the hot seat (Nebraska’s Scott Frost, Arizona State’s Herm Edwards), one cooled his seat down (UTEP’s Dana Dimel) and one found his way completely off it (Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh).

Below is our ratings key showing how the 131 FBS coaches sort out. There are eight on the proverbial Hot Seat entering the season with another 16 starting to feel the heat.

5

Win or be fired

2

4

Start improving now

6

3

Pressure is mounting

16

2

All good … for now

28

1

Safe and secure

55

Untouchable

24

That leads us to the annual Hot Seat Rankings and the eight Power Five coaches that need to figure out a way to cool things down before 2022 comes to a close. Check out our complete set of 2022 Hot Seat Rankings for ratings of all 131 FBS coaches entering the season.

2022 Hot Seat: Now or never

Check out the full set of 2022 Hot Seat Rankings for all 131 FBS coaches.

2022 Hot Seat: Getting warmer

Check out the full set of 2022 Hot Seat Rankings for all 131 FBS coaches.

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