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College Football Hot Seat Update: Frank Spaziani, Jeff Tedford and Joker Phillips

We looked at the college football hot seat back in July. Mike Riley brought out the fire extinguisher with a great start at Oregon State. Some other coaches have cranked up the burners. We leave off John L. Smith, as he’s never held ownership of the seat at Arkansas.

Frank Spaziani [Boston College] Boston College has improved, though improvement is going from 108th to 74th in total offense. The Eagles have competed against Miami, Northwestern and Clemson, but they have obtained no results (0-3 vs. FBS). With Florida State and Notre Dame remaining, even the most optimistic projection will see them struggle to make a bowl game.  Losing such a resplendent mustache would be devastating for the ACC, but with a new athletic director coming in, a poor finish may doom Spaziani.

Joker Phillips [Kentucky] Coaching football at Kentucky in the best times is climbing up a hill. The Wildcats, 1-4 with a win over Kent State, have been tumbling down it. They are having the growing pains, without growing. Not doing well in the SEC is expected. Being the third best program in the state behind Louisville and Western Kentucky is a problem. Starting a program from scratch today, would you hire Joker Phillips or enthusiastic Harbaugh protege Willie Taggart? Don’t think no one at Kentucky is asking themselves that.

Derek Dooley [Tennessee] Dooley is in trouble. He must change things now. His teams are 4-14 vs. SEC (same record as Joker Phillips) and 0-12 against Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and LSU. Tennessee’s four November games should be wins. He has to extricate himself in three-game stretch after the bye: at Mississippi State, Alabama, at South Carolina. Two out of three (9-3) saves him. One out of three (8-4) gives him an argument. Zero out of three (7-5) gets him fired.

Jeff Tedford [California] Cal does not want to fire Jeff Tedford – it would be very expensive – but this season may force the school’s hand. They are 0-4 against FBS teams. They did not look impressive in their FCS win against Southern Utah. They still have to play UCLA, Stanford, Washington, Oregon, Utah and Oregon State. Cal’s problem does not seem to be talent, so much as usage patterns and play calling (Tedford is now calling the plays). This school has spent a lot of money to revamp its stadium and football facilities. The Pac 12 television revenue has changed the game. The reference point should not be where the Bears were before Tedford arrived but where schools such as Stanford and Oregon are now.

Randy Edsall [Maryland] The Terps have progressed from an absolute apocalypse to just not very good. Maryland hung with West Virginia thanks to 2012 recruiting coup Stefon Diggs. They also had to gut out a 7-6 win against William and Mary and nearly blew a huge lead against Temple.  Maryland can’t afford to fire him. He’ll get at least through next season to turn things around. Whether he can make his hiring not look like a comprehensive failure before then remains open for debate.

[Photo via Presswire]

 

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