Every season it seems that there are a group of coaches in college football who seem destined not to complete the upcoming season. It isn’t very often that a college football coach is fired midstream, but programs will make a change if they feel that it becomes necessary.
Usually, these kinds of changes occur when it appears that the coach has lost control of his team or that they are not responding to him but, inevitably, it is the record that becomes the greatest determinant as to the longevity of a coach. However, two coaches find themselves on the hot seat despite a great deal of success, and both may be out the door before the first month of the season concludes.
Here are the coaches that you can bet pretty good odds are not going to make it through the end of the 2018 season.
D.J. Durkin, Maryland (+400)
Like Meyer, Durkin finds himself embroiled in a controversy that is clearly not going away. With several investigations surrounding allegations of abuse by the head coach as well as the circumstances surrounding the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair, Durkin has already been placed on suspension and his days are clearly numbered at Maryland. While the opening of the college football season is just days away, it would not be surprising to see him out the door before the season even reaches the halfway point.
David Beaty, Kansas (+600)
Beaty has proven to be an upstanding citizen as the Kansas head coach, but his team has been absolutely deplorable. After three seasons as the head coach, the Jayhawks are 3-33, a record that simply isn’t deserving of another season. It is true that Kansas has not one more than three games in any season over the last decade, but they are likely to win no more than one game this year. Beaty isn’t earning a lot of money as a head coach, so firing him early is not a big blow to the Kansas program. It’s time to turn the page and, if the Jayhawks suffer losses in all of their non-conference games, he’ll be done before the calendar turns to October.
Ed Orgeron, LSU (+600)
It is hard to believe that a coach who has gone 15-6 in his two seasons at a school is on the hot seat, but this is LSU after all and Orgeron is replacing a legend. While Les Miles was run out of town, he did go 141-55 as the Tigers head coach, including winning a national title in 2007. He followed Nick Saban, who also won a title at the school.
That sets a pretty high bar and one that Orgeron is not likely to reach, not as long as Saban is at Alabama. It is impressive how they battled back from a 3-2 start to finish regular season 9-3, but one must also consider that they lost to Division-II Troy. Plus, they lost to Alabama and finished with a loss to Notre Dame in the Citrus Bowl. The Tigers start the season with Miami then face Auburn in Week 3. If they are 1-2, fans are going to calling for his head.
Lovie Smith, Illinois (+700)
Smith is in his third season at Illinois and is a former NFL head coach. His credentials are solid, but he has not been the answer for the Fighting Illini. Smith has posted a record of 5-19 in two seasons and went winless in the BIG10 last year. That simply is not permissible at a school that has expectations of at least being competitive each season within the conference.
Sadly, Smith’s career may be reaching an end. He was fired after going 8-24 in his two seasons with Tampa Bay, giving him a combined record of 13-43 over his last four coaching seasons. You have to figure that not too many programs are going to give him another look.
While this is a list of who should be probable firings by the end of the season, don’t feel that this is a complete list at all. There are several coaches who must be feeling the heat of the hot seat, including Brian Kelly at Notre Dame, Chris Ash at Rutgers, and Herm Edwards at Arizona State, among others. By seasons end, we could realistically be looking at no less than 16 programs looking for new head football coaches next season.