Yahoo mentions 2 SEC coaches among latest hot seat rankings
Coaching changes may not be at a furious pace this offseason, but two notable jobs are in the mix for an opening.
Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports came out with his latest college football hot seat rankings of potential firings. Auburn and Southern Cal are those “marquee” jobs that could be at the top of the list.
It’s often the case that these decisions come down to the state of the university administration, including the president and athletics director, and that remains the case for the two SEC West schools mentioned here.
Outside of university leadership positions, it also typically comes down to contract terms and buyout. Another factor is the performance of offensive and defensive coordinators, or who’s calling plays.
“The old joke in the SEC is that Auburn is always a three-game losing streak away from a coach being in trouble,” Thamel wrote. “A loss to Oregon in the opener would ratchet up the temperature on Gus Malzahn’s seat, as the Tigers opened last season in the top 10 and finished unranked. Malzahn is back calling plays, which helped in the bowl blowout of Purdue and could carry over. Auburn is still shivering in the shadow of Saban’s Alabama empire. Winning the West two years ago seems like eons ago, as Malzahn attempts to navigate one of the nation’s hardest schedules. (Road trips includes Florida, Texas A&M and LSU.) Auburn closes with Georgia on Nov. 16 and Alabama on Nov. 30, both at home. Expect Malzahn’s fate to be a hot topic all November, especially because the president who protected him and gave him his huge contract is gone. If fired, Malzahn will be owed nearly $27 million, with about $13.5 million due in 30 days. The remaining comes over a four-year period. That’s a lot of Waffle House.”
The other coach in danger of losing his job, according to Thamel, is Matt Luke at Ole Miss.
“Matt Luke has filled his role as loyal alum, leading his school through the dark labyrinth of the NCAA sanctions from Hugh Freeze’s era there,” Thamel wrote. “Ole Miss’ bowl ban is lifted and Luke added Rich Rodriguez and Mike MacIntyre as coordinators. This will be the year for Luke to prove he’s more than a caretaker, as he’s 11-13 headed into his third season. There’s no full-time athletic director right now at Ole Miss, nor is there a president. The president hire is reportedly going to happen at some point this fall. The AD hire will follow. Could an AD come in quick enough to execute a search? Luke should be nervous if it does.”