The “hot seat” in college football depends on which writer is taking the temperature, it seems.
Take Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio, for instance. Coming off a 3-9 season and a turbulent offseason rife with off-the-field issues, Dantonio landed on Phil Steele’s hot seat list in a story published Tuesday on ESPN.com.
Ask Dennis Dodd over at CBS Sports, though, and Dantonio has nothing to worry about after 10 seasons (including three Big Ten titles and a College Football Playoff appearance) in East Lansing. CBS Sports came out with its “hot seat rankings” for all 130 FBS coaches Wednesday, assessing a score for each from 0 to 5 based on their job security. Zero is “untouchable.” Five is “win or be fired.”
Dantonio received a “1,” meaning “safe and secure,” along with 65 other coaches.
Oh, and for the very few who might be growing impatient with coach Jim Harbaugh failing to bring Michigan a Big Ten championship or a victory over Ohio State in his first two seasons in Ann Arbor: He’s one of 12 coaches deemed “untouchable.”
Two coaches received a “5,” meaning the pressure’s on for next season: Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin, and Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, who’s had previous stops at Grand Valley State and Central Michigan, but went 4-8 last season with the Fighting Irish.
“(Kelly) called out his quarterback for going to the NFL, had to replace both coordinators and, oh yeah, went 4-8,” Dodd wrote. “Even worse, Kelly was actually disappointed he got a vote of confidence from athletic director Jack Swarbrick. In the same season Kelly had his highest-drafted quarterback (Deshone Kizer, second round), he also posted the worst record of his career.
“For whatever reason, it’s not working right now at ND. I’m not sure 6-6 saves Kelly at this point, especially with an expensive Notre Dame Stadium renovation set to come online.”
Former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez received a “4” with Arizona, which equates to “start improving now.”