CBSSports.com’s Dennis Dodd has unveiled his annual rundown of hot seat rankings for college football coaches today. According to one of his colleagues, Dodd’s ratings should be a wake-up call for those coaches scoring poorly.
Brett McMurphy — also of CBSSports.com — 75% of those coaches given a grade of four or higher (on a five-point scale) over the last four years did… not… return the following season.
So how does Dodd view the temperature of 14 Southeastern Conference captains’ chairs? See below:
Nick Saban, Alabama — 0.0 (Can’t be touched)
John L. Smith, Arkansas — 5.0 (Hot seat! Win or be fired)
Gene Chizik, Auburn — 2.0 (Safe, but you never know)
Will Muschamp, Florida — 2.5 (Safe, but you never know)
Mark Richt, Georgia — 2.5 (Safe, but you never know)
Joker Phillips, Kentucky — 3.5 (On the bubble, feeling pressure)
Les Miles, LSU — 2.0 (Safe, but you never know)
Dan Mullen, Mississippi State — 1.5 (Very safe, change unlikely)
Gary Pinkel, Missouri — 0.5 (Can’t be touched)
Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss — 0.5 (Can’t be touched)
Steve Spurrier, South Carolina — 0.5 (Can’t be touched)
Derek Dooley, Tennessee — 5.0 (Hot seat! Win or be fired)
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M — 2.0 (Safe, but you never know)
James Franklin, Vanderbilt — 1.0 (Very safe, change unlikely)
Now, this is one man’s opinion so we could all quibble with a point or two. I wonder how/why Phillips’ is believed to be that much safer than Dooley and Smith, for example. (Here’s guessing a lot of Kentucky fans are wondering the same.)
But one thing I will point out is that anything is possible in the rough-and-tumble SEC. As Arkansas entered it’s first season of SEC play back in 1992, then-AD Frank Broyles fired then-head coach Jack Crowe after a season-opening loss to The Citadel. One game.
We tend to overreact in these parts and for that reason — while I respect the time Dodd has put into giving all FBS coaches a numeric hot-seat-rating — I still realize that if things go badly enough, anyone in the SEC can go from the cool zone to the frying pan in a nanosecond.
Find an LSU messageboard and read the posts before the BCS Championship Game — when the Tigers were still 13-0 — and after their 21-0 loss to Alabama. The Tigers’ Miles can tell you how things work in the Deep South.