Overtime Heroics Offseason College Football Hot Seat Report

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With the regular season ending, the College Football Hot Seat Report has turned into the Coaching Carousel Report. There’s a lot to discuss so lets get into this round of the College Football Hot Seat report.

Job Openings Yet To Be Determined

Georgia Tech, Colorado, South Florida, Florida Atlantic, Western Michigan, UAB, Stanford, Tulsa, UNLV, Liberty, Cincinnati

Firings/Resignations This Week

David Shaw/Stanford

Shaw resigned, effective immediately, at the podium after another loss this season to BYU. The final score was 35-26 and finishes this season at 3-8 and an overall record of 65-40 in 12 seasons as head coach. This was not unexpected by Shaw, who has been under pressure all season. It is believed that he was given the option to resign due to his years of service to the university. Stanford will struggle to bring in new talent with the NIL era and high academic standards that the university sets forth every year. It was simply time for a new voice in Stanford and it’s doubtful that Shaw will be unemployed for very long.

Tim Lester/Western Michigan

This one came as an absolute shocker and not a name many had on their college football hot seat. Lester has parted ways with the school on Monday morning. He finished with a 37-32 overall record and 26-20 record in the MAC. Many fans of the program were expecting Lester to have success immediately after taking over for PJ Fleck, who is now that head coach at Minnesota. Sometimes athletic directors believe that the coaches have peaked and maybe that is the situation here or, on the flip side, the AD already has a big name in mind for this program. MAC jobs are definitely stepping stone jobs to a bigger programs but with ESPN giving them all mid-week coverage in the final month of every season, these jobs are definitely more desirable now.

Willie Taggert/Florida Atlantic

Taggart was on our College Football hot seat “Seat Warming” part of this article towards the end of this season. This one is a bit surprising as he was only in the 3rd season at Florida Atlantic. He finished with a 15-20 record and 5 wins each of his three seasons. Taggart has jumped around to multiple head coaching positions all over the country in his career. This would appear to be his final opportunity as a head coach with the increasing pressure that comes with college head coaching jobs. His overall record is 71-80 now and that will be a hard sell to any AD with the increased expectations to succeed quickly now.

Philip Montgomery/Tulsa

Montgomery has been fired after 8 seasons at the helm of the Tulsa program. He finishes his tenure with a 43-53 record in those eight seasons. He had four bowl game appearances and had one AAC Championship appearance in 2020 against Cincinnati. Reports out of Tulsa was that the athletic department thought the program was “getting stale” and not increasing the value of the program. This will be an interesting hire for them as this is definitely a mid-tier program and most likely will not attract a major name.

Marcus Arroyo/UNLV

Arroyo was fired Monday afternoon after a 5-7 season this year and a 7-23 record overall. You can look at this firing from two different perspectives. The first is why would they fire someone who won 5 games this season of the 7 total he has won at the school? Or is it because they lost 6 of 7 to finish the season. Its believed to be the latter. They are bowl eligible as an alternate based on APR score if a bowl eligible team denies an invitation.

Hirings This Week

Matt Rhule/Nebraska

The Huskers get the first major Power 5 hiring of the offseason by hiring former Temple/Baylor/Panthers HC. Rhule is a fantastic hire for this program. Rhule is known for taking beaten down CFB programs and bringing them back to life. That’s exactly what he will need to do here. While Michigan and Ohio State dominate the East Division of the Big Ten, no team has really grabbed ahold of the reigns in the West Division. Rhule has the opportunity to make a name for himself (again) and really dominate a rich recruiting area in Oklahoma and Texas.

Luke Fickell/Wisconsin

Shortly after Nebraska hired Rhule, the Badgers grabbed a superstar coach of their own in Luke Fickell. Fickell took over for Tommy Tuberville in Cincinnati after his time as an assistant at Ohio State. Fickell brought the Bearcats to not only relevance, but national prominence with an appearance in the CFB Playoffs in 2021. Not only was he winning football games but he was producing NFL talent as well with 9 players drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft. This is a grand slam hire for Wisconsin, especially since the rumor around college football was that Notre Dame offered him the job after Brian Kelly left for LSU and he turned it down. This is exactly the type of coach that Wisconsin needs to get back to contending for Big Ten Titles.

Kenny Dillingham/Arizona State

The Sun Devils decide to go the coordinator route with the hiring of Oregon offensive coordinator and former ASU alum Kenny Dillingham. This will be the first time in Arizona State history that an alumnus will be at the helm of the program. Dillingham takes over for the fired former NFL coach Herm Edwards. Dillingham states that this is his “dream job” as he is a Scottsdale native for many years. He is also now the youngest FBS head coach at 32 years of age. He will be bringing back the interim coach in Shaun Aguano for the coming season and will have to face the impending NCAA infractions that occured under Herm Edwards tenure. Its always a risk to hire someone this young with no head coaching experience but being an alum should help the fanbase embrace the hire.

Hugh Freeze/Auburn

Auburn has decided to hire Hugh Freeze as its next football coach replacing the fired Bryan Harsin. Freeze returns to the SEC where he was resigned from Ole Miss during the 2016 season after an NCAA investigation found that he was committing infractions including using an escort service during recruiting visits. Ole Miss had some wins vacated along with probation, postseason bans, and revoking of scholarships. He was later hired by Liberty University and put up an impressive 34-15 record in 4 seasons. It appears that Freeze has learned from his mistakes at Ole Miss and has now been given a second chance at Power 5 football. Freeze will be bringing back Interim Coach Carnell Williams on his staff, which is a start in the right direction for his tenure. With Nick Saban potentially nearing the end of his career at Alabama, Freeze has a unique opportunity to take control of the SEC for years to come.

Undecided Fates Of Hot Seat Coaches

Jimbo Fisher/Texas A&M

 The Aggies finally got a signature win on the season and played spoiler to the LSU Tigers winning 38-23. They not only eliminated LSU from any chance at the College Football Playoff but Jimbo may have saved his job, for at least the short term. The Jimbo Fisher buyout is massive ($85 Million) but it showed his team is capable of winning against a top 5 caliber team. I wouldn’t say he is completely safe, but I do think he will be asked to give up play calling duty so he can focus on all aspects of the program going forward.

Which legendary NFL defense would love to resurrect?

1985 Chicago Bears

1985 Chicago Bears

1976 Pittsburgh Steelers

1976 Pittsburgh Steelers

2000 Baltimore Ravens

2000 Baltimore Ravens

2002 Tampa Bay Bucs

2002 Tampa Bay Bucs

1986 New York Giants

1986 New York Giants

2013 Seattle Seahawks

2013 Seattle Seahawks

Tom Allen/Indiana

In the week leading up to Indiana’s rivalry game against Purdue, it appeared that Tom Allen would survive regardless of the outcome this weekend. However, a few things happened in the past several days that have changed my mind. First, the Big Ten Network showed the pre-game speech that Allen gave, and the players had their head down and were not interested in what he had to say. In fact, some were even rolling their eyes. Second, the coaching decisions he made in the game were very questionable. He continued to kick field goals (down 2 scores), while driving the ball down the field.

Third and most importantly, we saw Nebraska and Wisconsin hire big name coaches to massive contracts. The arms race is real in the Big Ten and Indiana may need to make a move of their own to prevent them from getting away from relevancy, if they haven’t already. His buyout is $20 Million, and the university just paid off a buyout from the basketball program with Archie Miller. Football is not the same priority as basketball in Bloomington so it will be interesting to see where the athletic department decides to go with Tom Allen.

Ken Niumatalolo/Navy

I think Niumatalolo has done enough at the end of the season to save his job, and they have their biggest game of the season yet to play. Navy will play Army in the annual Army/Navy Game. If Navy can win this game he should be OK for at least one more season. If they cannot win, then all bets are off.

Neal Brown/West Virginia­

Great finish to the season for West Virginia by defeating OK State 24-19 in Stillwater. With West Virginia hiring a new AD any day now, it’s a bit cloudy as to what direction they will take for the future of the program. It appears Brown could have one season to make an impression on the new AD, but they could also bring in their own hire as well.

Pat Fitzgerald/Northwestern

Reports out of Evanston seem to have Fitzgerald as safe. This might be his one free pass but also wouldn’t be surprised if they fire him as well. As mentioned above, the Big Ten coaching hires are getting better with each hiring. Northwestern has a big decision to make this coming week.

Jeff Hafley/Boston College

Hafley finishes the season by losing 6 of the final 7 games. This week losing to Syracuse, at home, 32-23. Their lone win during that stretch was against NC State and they only won that game by one point. The athletic director gave him a “vote of confidence” midway through the season, but they have been abysmal since that public announcement. He deserves to be fired with the body of work this season.

Let us know which coaches are on your college football hot seat in the comments below!

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