HOT SEAT: Welcome to Unemployment
Updated: Nov 22, 2020
With South Carolina's Will Muschamp the first major domino to fall, who will be next?
As Good as Gone
Derek Mason- In year 7, Derek Mason is currently winless (0-7) and staring down the barrel of unemployment. As mentioned in our previous article "How Does Derek Mason Still Have a Job?" it was highlighted that though Mason has taken Vanderbilt to several bowl games, his overall record of 27-53 is awful even for Vandy. James Franklin showed that winning at Vandy is doable but you have to have an offense, something Mason has never consistently been able to put together. Mason's team showed some fight against Florida yesterday but couldn't contain Kyle Trask. Will a win over hapless Tennessee next week save Coach Mason? He has won 50% of his matchups with the Vols since 2014! While expectations in Nashville are never high for the 'Dores, going winless is unacceptable.
Matt Viator- The once promising FCS coach from McNeese State has failed to live up to expectations at ULM. Granted, winning in Monroe is never an easy job, an 0-8 2020 season calls for a change of leadership. Viator has guided the Warhawks to a 19-37 record throughout his 5 year tenure, coming close to receiving a bowl bid in 2018. ULM had a reprieve this week but face rival #24 Louisiana next weekend. While it might not be fair to criticize Viator for failure to win at a school with the smallest athletics budget in all of FBS, it is still time to move on in Monroe.
Justin Fuente- The man with the unenviable job of following up legendary coach Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech may just be out the door this year. After a promising first year tear that saw the Hokies return to the ACC Championship game for the first time in 5 years, things looked bright for Fuente's Hokies; however, things have only regressed since then. Since that 2016 season, the Hokies have gone 0-3 in bowl games, nearly broke the longest consecutive bowl streak in the nation, lost to UVA for the first time in 15 years, got embarrassed by Old Dominion, and stunned by Liberty at home. Unlike the schools above, Virginia Tech has a proud tradition of football excellence with National Championship opportunities. Losing to 3 in state programs in such fashion is more than enough to justify his firing, but will VT fork up the buyout? They might after getting blasted 47-14 by Pitt yesterday.
One Foot in the Grave
Jim Harbaugh- What the heck happened in Ann Arbor? The Wolverines have completely imploded this year after a dominant first game win over Minnesota. Little did we realize how bad Minnesota was. Harbaugh's record of 48-21 is respectable but it's the lack of success against quality opponents that will ultimately get him canned. Michigan has one first place Big 10 East finish under Harbaugh, a tie with Ohio State that saw them lose out on a championship bid thanks to the head-to-head loss. They have finished no better than 3rd in the Big 10 East any other year. A loss to Ohio State this year would drop Harbaugh to 0-5 against the Buckeyes and Michigan to 1-9 in the last decade. And after barely scraping past Rutgers in 3rd overtime, odds aren't looking good.
Kevin Sumlin- This was always a questionable hire for Arizona after Sumlin flamed out at Texas A&M. The Wildcats first game against USC looked promising, but it may be too little too late as Arizona has steadily regressed under Sumlin's leadership. Sabotaging Khalil Tate's Heisman chances may be too much to forgive in Tucson regardless of any good Sumlin could do. Rich Rodriguez at least took Arizona to the Pac 12 Championship and Fiesta Bowl! Like Vandy, expectations are not high for a school that's known for basketball, but that 2014 ten win season is still in recent memory. Thanks to some 4th quarter heroics accounting for all 27 of their points, Arizona avoided getting blanked by Washington yesterday but fell to 0-2.
Tom Herman- Herman may have staved off his firing thanks to an upset victory over #6 Oklahoma State, but it doesn't negate the grievances Longhorn fans have with the state of the program. Certainly Herman has been an improvement over Charlie Strong and brought Texas back into national prominence, but they still lack a playoff appearance or conference title. The Longhorns have an excellent opportunity to run the table against Iowa State, and Kansas State to reach the Big 12 Championship. Unfortunately their gimme win against Kansas this week was canceled. A win in the championship guarantees Herman's return, anything less leaves his fate undecided. With the rumors swirling about Urban Meyer's potential return, Herman better prove himself, quick.