College Football Coaches on the Hot Seat Include Dana Holgorsen, Alex Grinch

    After a month of play, we're seeing some college football coaches on the hot seat. Today, we look at who might be looking for employment soon.

    After a month of college football, we’re already seeing some fanbases cheer their coaching staff while others want their head coach gone yesterday. It’s not a fun place to be in for anyone, but it’s a reminder that college football is a business.

    Win, or you’ll be shown the door, and today, we look at the coaches sitting on the hot seat.

    College Football Coaches on the Hot Seat

    It’s never fun to see a team struggle, and fanbases can quickly turn on a coach if they’re not achieving the results they want. These coaches have shown some success in the past but are currently riding the struggle bus.

    Dana Holgorsen, Head Coach, Houston

    Outside of Houston’s 2021 run at an AAC title, Holgorsen’s accumulated a record of 17-21. The play on the field hasn’t matched the excitement brought to campus, and it’s becoming evident on the field (and off too).

    You could also put Doug Belk’s name on this list as the Coogs have one of the worst defenses in college football this year. The defense has shown flashes but ultimately hasn’t done enough to help an offense that mostly hasn’t lived up to expectations.

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    The part that drives the fanbase the craziest is Holgorsen’s comments after games. A team that’s lacked discipline many times during his tenure has also looked extremely unprepared for their opponent. Throw in the lack of accountability that Holgorsen seems to take when it happens, and it’s easy to see why his seat is heating up.

    Alex Grinch, Defensive Coordinator, USC

    If you’re making a list of college football coaches on the hot seat, then Alex Grinch should be high on that list.

    Grinch has been one of the more overhyped coordinators by some in the media for a while, but the results aren’t justifying it. Lincoln Riley’s teams continue awaiting the arrival of a defense that can elevate them, and it’s becoming obvious that the Grinch won’t get them there.

    USC’s scoring points at a blistering pace thanks to Caleb Williams, but the offense is the only reason they’re winning games. It’s also not because of a lack of talent. A lack of discipline and constant missed tackles continue to plague Grinch’s defenses, and at a certain point, it’s on the man in charge.

    Look at Arizona State. Last week, they put up 353 yards and 28 points in a 42-28 loss to the Trojans. Just one week earlier, they committed 8 turnovers, produced just 230 yards, and scored 0 points against Fresno State.

    If the Trojans make a run at the College Football Playoff, then his job should be fine until the offseason. All it’s going to take is one game where the offense isn’t up to par and the defense can’t help to send him packing.

    Jeff Hafley, Head Coach, Boston College

    It’s tough to put Hafley on this list mostly because everyone knows the level of difficulty to win at Boston College. After a 3-9 finish in 2022, the Eagles started the 2023 season 1-3. Simply put, his seat is hot, but he’s fighting an uphill battle every year.

    Yes, losing to Northern Illinois in Week 1 didn’t help his case. Those are games that you have to win at Boston College. The struggles against Holy Cross the week after didn’t do Hafley any favors either.

    The formula for winning is taking care of business against those types of teams, and finding a way to stun one team or make a few games closer than anticipated. They didn’t do the first part, but they did manage to put a scare in Florida State. However, once again, Boston College got in its way in that one.

    Anyone taking this job will experience a struggle, but it’s hard to propose positivity to boosters by saying that a 6-6 season is good year in and year out. Eventually, the boosters and the fanbase want more. Welcome to the business of college football.

    Pat Narduzzi, Head Coach, Pitt

    Every coach makes mistakes in their career, but Pat Narduzzi made one that still doesn’t make any sense. After winning the ACC in 2021 with one of the best performances from a Pitt offense ever, Narduzzi decided to make a change.

    Instead of going with an offense that scored at a blistering pace, Narduzzi wanted to get back to his old-school ways. Not only has that limited the Panthers offensively, but it’s going to hit their recruiting efforts too.

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    No offense, but kids don’t want to play in an offense that’s slow and outdated. You can use it in certain instances, but the entire offense can’t be about that life. You’re also gambling on your quarterback to make smart decisions, which Phil Jurkovec is not this year.

    In the past, Narduzzi’s quarterbacks didn’t throw a ton, took care of the football, and watched their defense shut down their opposition. Lately, they haven’t done the first two, and it puts the defense in a tough spot.

    Shooting yourself in the foot isn’t a wise strategy, and Narduzzi’s stubbornness is the most to blame for Pitt’s 1-3 start. His job probably isn’t in jeopardy yet, but it’s not looking good.

    Dave Aranda, Head Coach, Baylor

    Aranda was considered one of the best coordinators in college football before he took the head coaching job at Baylor in 2020. So it wasn’t a surprise to see Baylor’s defense take strides and lead them to a 12-2 season in 2021.

    Since then, however, the Bears have struggled in the win column, going a combined 7-10 in 2022 and so far this year. Baylor’s offense has been average at best this year, and the defense appears to have taken a step back.

    Normally, a Bears team taking a step back isn’t cause to sound the alarms, but losing to inferior opponents does that in a hurry.

    Baylor started the 2023 season by getting run over by Texas State, choking in the clutch against a Utah team without Cam Rising, and then getting bulldozed by Texas two weeks after that.

    Aranda may not be out the door after this year, but he’s challenging that thought with his team’s play. Something’s got to give, and it’s on their leader to figure out how to fix things.

    Tom Allen, Head Coach, Indiana

    If you’re in Year 7 of your tenure and you need overtime to beat Akron, it might be time to go. Tom Allen has done a good job at times of making Indiana a solid team, but it’s been years since the Hoosiers were at that level.

    Since the 2020 season when they finished 6-2, Allen’s team has produced a cumulative 8-20 record. They might have found something in Tayven Jackson at quarterback, but it hasn’t proved to be enough.

    Indiana’s not an easy job to win at, but eventually, the fanbase gets tired of losing. If the Hoosiers don’t make a bowl game this year, Allen most likely get shown the door.

    Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss

    Let’s start with this: Lane Kiffin is one of the most entertaining personalities in college football. His comments and social media presence make him an adored person in this sport. However, eventually, that charm will wear out with the fans, and could find himself on the list of college football coaches on the hot seat quickly.

    Since his arrival in Oxford, Ole Miss is 5-7 against ranked teams 7-11 versus the SEC West. He’s 0-4 against Alabama after a 24-10 loss this past week, and he’s 1-2 against their upcoming foe in LSU.

    His seat might not be scorching, but it will get hot quickly if the struggles continue. This was about as good of an opportunity to beat Alabama, and the Rebels played an absolute dud of a game.

    After a 10-3 season in 2021, Ole Miss is just 11-6 in their past 17 games. Winning in the SEC isn’t easy, but it feels like Kiffin’s entered underachieving territory now. Winning cures everything, but not winning enough comes at a cost.

    Scot Loeffler, Head Coach, Bowling Green

    It feels like an eternity since Dave Clawson and Dino Babers were producing 10-win seasons for the Falcons. Since Babers left after the 2015 season, the Falcons have gone 23-59, including 14-32 under Loeffler.

    Bowling Green went 6-7 last year, so he showed that he can get this team to a bowl game. It’s just that the 2023 season gives the fanbase vibes from the 2019-2021 seasons. Their 1 win came against Eastern Illinois, but have been largely uncompetitive in the 3 losses.

    It’s not easy to win at Bowling Green, but any regression raises concerns about the future. So Loeffler’s seat is warm, but it will get hotter if he can’t turn this ship around in a positive direction.

    Thomas Hammock, Head Coach, Northern Illinois

    Maybe the 2021 season was a fluke. Northern Illinois finished 9-5 that year under Hammock and finished 7-3 in 1-score games. In the other 3 seasons, the Huskies finished 8-22.

    Since that surprising 2021 season, Northern Illinois has been 3-7 in 1-score games and finds themselves 1-3 through the first month of the 2023 season. It started well but hasn’t been since then.

    At first, it appeared that the Huskies were on the right track when they upset Boston College on the road in Week 1. Since then, they’ve struggled mightily on offense with losses to Southern Illinois, Nebraska, and Tulsa.

    A beauty and a curse of a team’s previous success is that the fanbase doesn’t forget. They’ll talk about those previous teams forever, but they also compare every team to those squads whether the current team wants them to or not.

    Dana Dimel, UTEP

    Let’s start here: Dana Dimel put in the time to make the 2021 season happen (7-6 finish), but it’s been a struggle outside of that year. The lack of wins makes him just one of the college football coaches on the hot seat, but there could be time for him to fix things.

    Excluding that one year, the Miners are 11-38 under Dimel, and a 1-4 start to the 2023 season isn’t exactly cooling his seat. A loss to newcomer Jacksonville State to start the year hurt, but they bounced back with a win over Incarnate Word. They’re currently riding a 3-game losing streak where they’ve been outscored 114-45.

    Bonus: Brian Ferentz, Offensive Coordinator, Iowa

    This one should be obvious. There aren’t many offensive coordinators who could struggle this much and keep their jobs.

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