Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

College football coaching can be a volatile business.

Big Ten coaches, however, are enjoying a measure of stability these days.

Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports published his annual list of coaching hot seat rankings, and in the Big Ten, only one – Illinois’ Lovie Smith – earned a rating of 5, which on Dodd’s list translates to “win or be fired.”

In fact, Rutgers’ Chris Ash was given a 4 (“start improving now”) and Maryland’s D.J. Durkin was given a 3 (“pressure is mounting”). The remaining 11 Big Ten coaches all have a 2 rating or better.

The 2 translates to “all good … for now;” a 1 means “safe and secure” and a 0 is “untouchable.”

More: How Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan recruits are working out

Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio was given a 1. Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, who is 28-11 in three seasons at Michigan but has had a devil of a time against the Wolverines’ chief rivals, earned a 2 rating.

The “untouchables” in the Big Ten are Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald and Nebraska newcomer Scott Frost.

In Dodd’s view, six FBC coaches deserve a 5 rating, and in addition to Smith, the group also included Kansas’ David Beaty and New Mexico’s Bob Davie, the former Notre Dame head coach.


Urban Meyer, Ohio State, 0

Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern, 0

Scott Frost, Nebraska, 0

Mark Dantonio, Michigan State, 1

James Franklin, Penn State, 1

Paul Chryst, Wisconsin, 1

Kirk Ferentz, Iowa, 1

Jeff Brohm, Purdue, 1

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan, 2

P.J. Fleck, Minnesota, 2

Tom Allen, Indiana, 2

D.J. Durkin, Maryland, 3

Chris Ash, Rutgers, 4

Lovie Smith, Illinois, 5