In most college football seasons, the coaching hot seat carousel would have been reset a few times already. There would be a high-profile job already open and a few more on the cusp of change.
This season's coaching cycle clearly isn't the norm. The preseason forecast, which called for an unusually small number of changes, is playing out so far. We've had some movement in recent days, as Kansas fired fourth-year coach David Beaty on Sunday (Beaty will coach the remainder of the season), and Maryland fired DJ Durkin on Wednesday, a day after reinstating him from administrative leave. Kansas and Maryland join Bowling Green, which fired third-year coach Mike Jinks last month, as the only FBS vacancies.
But the calendar now reads November, and more changes will be coming, perhaps at places where few expected movement two months ago. As several industry sources reminded me, there are good candidates in this cycle, and some schools might be more aggressive in making a change and pursuing the hot names, rather than competing with many others for their services in a year.
Bobby Petrino has won 69.4 percent of his games in two stints at Louisville, but he needs something positive -- other than the guaranteed money in his contract -- to remain at the helm in 2019. At 2-7 with six blowout losses, including Saturday's 77-16 implosion at Clemson, Petrino is tumbling toward only his second losing season (2008 at Arkansas) as a head coach.
Last season, Clay Helton guided USC to its first Pac-12 title since 2008. A repeat seemed tough after key personnel losses, but USC expected better than 5-4 in an extremely winnable division. Helton is 32-14 as Trojans coach (25-8 in the Pac-12) but might need a strong finish to convince athletic director Lynn Swann, who didn't hire Helton, to keep him in place.
There are hot spots elsewhere, both in the Power 5 and Group of 5, so let's dive in to what might happen on the coaching carousel in the coming weeks.