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College Football Preview 2008College Football Free Pick'Em Contest 2008
July 16, 2008

SCS.comIt bugs me when people look over my shoulder. I hate being judged by others. It really bothers me when I am critiqued by someone who could not do what I do. That is what college football coaches have to deal with every season. They are supposed to coach, recruit, and discipline a winning football team year in and year out. They have to keep the athletic director, alumni, and (most importantly) the fans happy.

It is not easy to please the college football fan that lives and breathes his favorite university. Die-hard Nebraska fans are not going to patiently wait for bowl victories. Michigan fans will not blindly support a coach that cannot beat Ohio State. UCLA fans will not sit around and watch USC collect five star recruits and consistently make BCS bowls. Pick'Em Contest

Coaches take the blame for anything that goes on within a football program: wins, losses, suspensions, poor play. Some coaches just cannot stand the heat. Last year, those coaches were Dennis Franchione, Bill Callahan, and Houston Nutt. This year, a group of once highly touted and high paid coaches will likely be shown the door. However, they can be saved. If they manage to coach their teams to winning seasons and bowl game victories, another year may be in store for these coaches on the hot seat.

Kirk Ferentz, Iowa - Ferentz has had a lot of success in his nine years at Iowa. He had so much success in the early part of this decade that Iowa made him the sixth highest paid coach in college football. However, things have recently taken a turn for the worse for Ferentz. Iowa has failed to win more than seven games in a season since 2004. Last year, the Hawkeyes failed to make a bowl game for the first time since 2000, Ferentz’s 2nd year as the Iowa coach. Since 2005, Iowa is a combined 1-7 against Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan. Ferentz, once a hot commodity around college football and the NFL, is another disappointing season away from losing his job.

Ty Willingham, Washington - No one expected Willingham to turn around the Huskies right away. However, his 4th year is rolling around and he has yet to capture a six win season. In 2007, the nation got a glimpse of Jake Locker, the West Coast version Tim Tebow. I think Willingham will go as far as Locker will take him. If Locker fails to get to a bowl game in his career at Washington, Willingham will be shown the door (This does not mean Willingham cannot be fired before Locker graduates). Washington is likely going to have the nation’s toughest schedule for the 2nd year in a row. They play BYU, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame out of conference. They play conference foes Oregon, USC, and California all on the road. Willingham runs a clean respectable program, but he needs to start producing winning seasons to keep his job.

Dave Wannstedt, Pittsburgh - Some people were just not meant to be head coaches. Dave Wannstedt is one of those people. Wannstedt was an average coach in the NFL, and it has carried over into college football. His teams have lacked toughness, tenacity, and heart. Pitt’s late season win over injury-laden West Virginia was more of a Mountaineer choke than a Panther upset. He is 16-19 since arriving at Pitt. Pittsburgh has a solid team returning in 2008, including sophomore RB LeSean McCoy. However, they might have the wrong coach to lead them. A losing season should end Wannstedt’s career at Pittsburgh. Hopefully he will get another coaching job, as an assistant.

Mike Stoops, Arizona - Stoops is another coach that might be better off as an assistant. Under Stoops, Arizona’s offense has been putrid. They have had no running game and yearly unpredictability at the quarterback position. Known as a hot head, Stoops seems like he could fire up a football team with a rousing pre-game speech. Those speeches must only come once a month, because Arizona is rarely consistent in the win-loss column. Arizona is always good for an upset of a Pac-10 contender, but they are also likely to lose to someone they should beat, like Stanford in 2007. Stoops is running low on time and needs to put together a steady winning season to stay at Arizona.

Greg Robinson, Syracuse - Syracuse hired Greg Robinson to turn around a once proud program that went 58-27 between 1995 to 2001. Robinson has done very little to improve the program. He is 7-28 in his first three seasons. Syracuse cannot do any damage in the Big East. They had the worst defense in the Big East last year giving up over 34 points per game. However, they were capable of putting points on the board. This year might be a different story for the offense, since wide receiver Mike Williams has been suspended from the team for academic reasons. Syracuse will need a miracle to win six games. If a miracle season is not in the works for Syracuse, you can expect Robinson to be shown the door.

Ricky Bustle, Louisiana-Lafayette - Louisiana-Lafayette disappointed in 2007 with a 3-9 record after a promising 6-6 season in 2006 and an even more promising Sun Belt Conference co-championship in 2005. Bustle, who took over in 2002, has an average career record of 26-44. I would not say that he is in danger of losing his job this year. Still, another 3-9 season will have fans wondering if he is the right man for the job.

Hal Mumme, New Mexico State - I will try to ignore Mumme’s 0-12 inaugural season at New Mexico State. Since then, Mumme and the Aggies are 8-17. The defense has been disgusting. Losing 58-0 to Boise State last year has not impressed anybody. If New Mexico State does not finish in the top half of the WAC in 2008, Mumme is in big trouble.

Joe Glenn, Wyoming - Glenn has had a wonderful coaching career, first at Northern Colorado, then at Montana. Since taking the job at Wyoming, he is 26-33 with one winning season. The past three seasons have been very disappointing, in which Wyoming has gone 15-20. Last season, Wyoming gave up 78 more points than they scored. Like Ricky Bustle, Glenn will likely be back next year. However, more disappointment in conference could send Glenn to another Rocky Mountain area college. (He has coached in Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado so far.)

Brent Guy, Utah State - Guy has a lot of things going against him. First, He is 6-29 in his career at Utah State. Secondly, in three seasons, his Aggies have been outscored by a combined 643 points. Finally, Utah State is unlikely to win more than three games in 2008. Guy’s hot seat is not the hottest in college football (I will give that honor to Kirk Ferentz). However, if he has another horrible season like experts are predicting, athletic director Scott Barnes will have no choice but to kick Guy to the curb.

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