Results from last week: Mike Leach and his high scoring offense put up 57 points . . . . sorry, my mind is getting geared up for the football season, make that 57% of the votes for a very convincing win. Jim Mora had a stronger showing than I expected collecting 30% of the votes, while Rich Rod lagged behind with 10% and Todd Graham continues to be overlooked collecting a whopping 2% of the votes.
This Weekend's Debate: Which Pac-12 coach is most likely to be fired in 2012? Last week we discussed which new coach concerned us the most, this we I thought we'd continue on the preseason analysis of the conference coaches and discuss who we think will be fired during, or after, this season. I've left the four new coaches out of the poll, unless one of them pulls a "Bobby Petrino' (or should that be a "Mike Price"?), they should be safe for at least one season. That being said, I am including all eight of the remaining head coaches in the poll. The reason is simple, I can imagine a scenario where every one of the eight coaches could find themselves on the chopping block by the end of the season. Yes, some of those scenarios might be far fetched, but this is college football where anything can happen.
After the jump is the list of the eight Pac-12 coaches in the poll and my thoughts on how secure their job is. The coaches are listed in alphabetical order, in order to bias the poll as little as possible (should make Gekko happy). As always, the reason for these debates is to facilitate conversation. Let's hear it Dawg fans, who do you think is going to get axed in 2012? Don't forget to tell us why in the comment section!
John Embree - Colorado:
Embree has his hands full at Colorado, he has a young team that lacks depth, playing in a tough conference that is only getting tougher. After going 3-10 overall, and 2-7 in the Pac-12 during his first season with Colorado, he'll need to show continual improvement to keep his backside from getting warm.
Chip Kelly - Oregon:
Oregon fans are blindly convinced that Chip Kelly is untouchable, I tend to think his backside is rather warm at the moment. Yes, he has a tremendous record at Oregon (34-6), it's his record of buying influence with recruits that has him in hot water. If the NCAA comes down hard on Oregon, I can easily see Chip Kelly being the sacrificial lamb necessary to appease the Great Emmert, while attempting to minimize sanctions.
Lane Kiffin - USC
Personally, I didn't expect much out of Kiffin, I thought he'd be the guy to get USC through the sanctions and get canned as soon as they were over. After a few seasons of stellar recruiting, which was necessary due to the sanctions, and improved performance on the field, Kiffin appears to be in good shape in L.A. That being said, if USC falls flat on their face, falling well below the high expectations for this season, Kiffin's backside could get warm in a hurry.
Mike Riley - Oregon State
Riley had a great stretch from 2006 thru 2009, but after going 5-7 in 2010, followed by 3-9 in 2011, he is suffering from a very hot backside. Riley is known for his slow starts and inability to win a road games early in the season. One wonders how much longer the fans and administration will tolerate Riley's declining performances.
Steve Sarkisian - Washington
I know I'll probably get crucified for even including him on the list, but if the Huskies fail to make a bowl game in Sark's fourth season at the helm, even his backside could get very hot, very quick.
David Shaw - Stanford
In his first season at Stanford he went 11-2 and ended up ranked #7 in the nation. Not bad for a new coach, even if he did have the #1 overall draft pick playing quarterback and multiple All Americans on the offensive line. The question is how well will he do without those players? The next question is how accustomed to winning has Stanford become thanks to the Jim Harbaugh era? I find it tough to predict how quickly Shaw could, or could not, find himself on the hot seat.
Jeff Tedford - Cal
Tedford, the guy who brought winning to Cal on a regular basis. He is the most successful Cal football head coach since the 1920's. Yet, after going 5-7 in 2010 and 7-6 in 2011, Tedford finds himself on the hotseat. Very much like Mike Riley and Oregon State, how many disappointing seasons are the locals going to tolerate before insisting on a replacement?
Kyle Whittingham - Utah
Utah had gone 58-20 under Whittingham before joining the Pac-12, not to mention three consecutive 10+ win seasons. Their inaugural season in the Pac-12 ran into a few road bumps, but an 8-5 record isn't to shabby for a team playing their first season in a BCS conference. As long as the Utes continue to do well in their new conference, I don't see Whittingham going anywhere, anytime soon.