SB Nation projects how 7 SEC hot seat coaches finish the season
The season began with two clear coaches in the SEC squarely on the hot seat, but as the season has progressed, that list has seemingly grown each week.
Tennessee’s Butch Jones and Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin were the preseason favorites, but they’ve been joined by several other coaches around the league. SB Nation took a look at coaches across all power conferences and made projections on the rest of the season and odds of missing a bowl game.
Tennessee is 3-3 in Jones’ fifth year and projected to only reach 5.6 wins with a 48 percent chance of missing a bowl game.
“Jones has done a good job rebuilding the talent base,” SB Nation wrote. “But he has compounded that with bone-headed coaching decisions and clumsy media gaffes. The job of rebuilding the roster is done, and so should be Jones’ tenure, even if it likely won’t end this week. Tennessee needs someone who can develop the talent into wins.”
In his fifth year, Arkansas’ Bret Bielema is 2-4 and projected to win 4.7 wins this season with a 76 percent chance of missing a bowl.
“The big news of the last week is that Bielema’s buyout is about $5M, not the previously reported $15M,” SB Nation wrote. “We don’t believe AD Jeff Long wants to fire Bielema, but if Arkansas misses a bowl, Bielema will likely be 12-28 in SEC play during his tenure. We don’t think the expectations at Arkansas should be sky high, but a .300 winning percentage in SEC play is poor.”
The disappointing loss by Auburn at LSU ramped up Gus Malzahn on these kinds of lists. Auburn is 5-2, but projected to get 8.3 wins with a 20 percent chance of 7-5 or worse.
Jim McElwain at Florida is another coach who has slipped in recent weeks. The Gators are 3-3, and SB Nation believes his magic or luck has run out. He’s pegged to reach 5.6 wins, and odds of a 5-6 season at 65 percent.
Kentucky’s Mark Stoops is a surprise coach on this list, but it’s widely believed that the Wildcats aren’t as good as their 5-1 record, though they should have beaten Florida. SB Nation pegs UK at 7.1 wins, just two more than the 5-1 record it stands currently.
Missouri’s Barry Odom is off to a 1-5 start, and only projected to reach 3.7 wins.
Sumlin has somewhat rebounded from a tough early loss against UCLA as the Aggies stand at 5-2, but only projected to reach 7.1 wins.
“This might be a situation where both the school and the coach want to make a move,” SB Nation wrote. “If Sumlin can get the Aggies to 8-4, he will probably be safe. The current projection of 7-5 might be a bit dicey, however. And what if Sumlin decides that he’d like one of the Arizona jobs or UCLA? He’s an excellent recruiter, which is a major requirement to go up against the Trojans in the Pac-12 South.”