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.”
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.
BIG TEN HOT SEAT RAKNKINGS
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