Even though it is only March, there is already some buzz around college football about head coaches at some prestigious programs who could be coaching for their jobs next fall. College FootBlog takes a look at five coaches that will have a lot of eyes on them during the 2010 season.
Unfortunately for Richt, the SEC, more than any other BCS conference, is a “what have you done for me lately?” league. Despite a stellar record of 90-27, since taking over for the Bulldogs, to fans and boosters in Athens, Richt still has not been able to win the ‘big one,” and a repeat performance of last season’s 4-4 conference record could send him job hunting next January. Of all the coaches on this list, Richt makes the least sense, but ask Ohio State’s John Cooper if a great overall record is enough to keep a job at a bigtime college football program.
“The Old Ball Coach” has made a very small splash since returning to the SEC five years ago. Long gone are the days of his “fun ‘n gun” offenses he had when he led the Florida Gators to their first National Championship. The Gamecocks expected big things from Spurrier, and although his overall record since taking the helm in Columbia, his SEC record is a very unimpressive 18-22 in his five-year tenure. He could be one more .500 season away from a forced retirement.
Hawkins has faced criticism since his arrival at Boulder, and the rumblings from boosters and fans only intensified when he named his son, Cody as the starter at quarterback for the Buffs. Many thought last season would be his last at CU after his team produced a dismal record of 3-9. In Hawkins’ time there, he has managed a 16-33 record and a 10-22 record against Big 12 opponents.
Like Hawkins, many were surprised that Zook still had a job this January. Zook brought his excellent recruiting skills with him to Champaign, but other than his first third full season there, his Illini teams have never finished better than 8th in the Big Ten. Take away his lone winning season in 2007, and Zook’s record is an absolute train wreck at 12-35. A slow start in 2010, and Zook could easily be replaced during the season this fall.
After a good start in 2009 with a 4-0 record, including a thriller against rival Notre Dame, Rodriguez’ squad managed just one more win the rest of the season. The Wolverines lost back to back games by 25 points versus Penn State and Illinois, and many folks in Ann Arbor were calling for his head before Thanksgiving. Rodriguez has fallen victim to the same stubborn attitude that Bill Callahan brought to Nebraska.
In Callahan’s case, he immediately instituted a West Coast offense with old school, smash-mouth option-style personnel. Rodriguez, on the other hand, immediately forced his spread option offense on a group of athletes who had come to Michigan because of Lloyd Carr’s pro-style attack. Callahan wore his welcome very quickly in Omaha. Rodriguez could easily follow suit.
Let the Les Miles rumors begin!