The coaching 'Hot Seat Index' 

October, 4, 2010

Last week, I listed my top five programs that should be college football superpowers but aren't. As usual, I received a fair amount of "You're a moron!" emails and Tweets. But what shocked me was the number of people angry that their favorite school wasn't on the list, despite the far from a flattering nature of the list.

The schools that had the most fans demanding their team be included among the masters of mediocrity: 1. UCLA 2. South Carolina 3. Syracuse 4. Washington 5. Arizona State.

UCLA's fans were easily the most vocal. An e-mail from BluGold4Evah1981 summed up the vast majority of messages from Westwood. He wrote, "We have all of the advantages that USC has when it comes to location, recruiting, and history and our home stadium is the most storied football stadium on the planet. How the hell can we not be competing for a national title every year?"

Good point. And I don't have the answer. Then again, neither did Karl Dorrell.

This week, we have another list for you. Once again, I expect people to line up to have their school added to it, instead of taken from it.

To the plays!

First Down: The Heat Index

As I watched Georgia-Colorado late Saturday night, I tweeted a comment on the game and the first response I got back was from someone who said he was at the game in Boulder, Colo. He said he was talking with other fans about the coaches in the game -- Mark Richt and Dan Hawkins -- and decided to call the game the Job Service Bowl.

To keep it all in perspective, we're adding what one of my editors wisely refers to as the "Entitlement Index" -- or, the degree to which a school's fan base flat-out expects their team to be in the national championship hunt each and every year. Even if those expectations can be a bit unreasonable.

Who is already feeling the most heat beneath their seat? Here's the top five, in my opinion:

5. Mark Richt, Georgia
Career: 91-31
2010: 1-4
Fan Entitlement Index: 10 out of 10

First off, I don't necessarily agree with the amount of heat being applied, but it is. Statistically speaking, Richt has presided over the best decade of football by any coach in Georgia history (sorry, Vince Dooley). Hey, everyone has down years. Four years ago, he won his second SEC title and finished second in the nation. But this year in Athens, Ga., the preseason expectations were way too high for a team with a freshman quarterback and its best player benched by the NCAA for four weeks.

Then again, even the lowest expectations were better than one win after five games.

I think Richt is safe for 2011 no matter what happens during the remainder of this year (though he'll likely have to blow up his staff). But Dawgs fans have been dominating the national call-in shows over the last month, offering up suggestions for his replacement (Texas' Will Muschamp is a favorite) as if Richt's dismissal is a foregone conclusion.

As for the Job Service Bowl, Georgia's fumble-triggered loss at Colorado did manage to bump Buffs head coach Dan Hawkins off of this list, but he did make our near-misses list below.