Dennis Dodd over at CBSSports.com decided to take the temperature of every coach in the country. As expected, nobody in the Big East is on the hot seat. Nobody is even on a seat that is warm. Here is his breakdown using a scale of 0-5: zero means the coach is untouchable; 5 means the coach is on the hot seat and must win immediately.
Cincinnati coach Butch Jones: 2.5
My take: The 2.5 rating puts Jones into the safe category, but it is interesting that Dodd has him with the highest temperature of all the Big East coaches. No question going 4-8 in Year 1 was unacceptable after an undefeated regular season in 2009, but this team had to be completely rebuilt. The Bearcats should be much improved in 2011.
Connecticut coach Paul Pasqualoni: 1.0
My take: Pasqualoni takes over a team that made it to a BCS game, so the expectations are already high going in. He has got to do better than maintain the status quo -- he has to get the Huskies to compete for BCS spots year in and year out. But since he is going into Year 1, he has plenty of security.
Louisville coach Charlie Strong: 0.5
My take: A bowl-winning season in Year 1 has Strong listed as one of the safest coaches in the league. Dodd believes Strong is untouchable, and I definitely agree. What sticks out is that Dodd thinks Strong and Syracuse coach Doug Marrone have more "security" than the new coaches in the league, according to these ratings.
Pittsburgh coach Todd Graham: 1.0
My take: Plenty of people are talking about the Panthers as a potential Big East champion, based largely on seeing what Graham did at Tulsa and Rice. Having Graham on the sideline has gotten plenty of people excited to see a change of pace from what former coach Dave Wannstedt brought to Pitt.
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano: 1.5
My take: I thought Schiano would have the highest temperature, but I agree with this rating. I know fans are antsy for a Big East championship after 10 seasons, but Schiano has turned a losing program into a respectable one. What happened to Eric LeGrand last year really affected the team. The Scarlet Knights should be better this year.
South Florida coach Skip Holtz: 1.0
My take: If you want a dark horse in the Big East race, it is the Bulls, who made huge strides in the second half of last season. Holtz has the team in terrific position to potentially win the league in Year 2.
Syracuse coach Doug Marrone: 0.5
My take: The Orange went bowling last season, ending years of pretty miserable seasons. Marrone has done a tremendous job rebuilding this program. Now you are seeing some top recruits with Syracuse on their lists. The next step is for some of them to start picking the Orange and for Marrone to build consistency.
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen: 1.5
My take: No surprise that his temperature is the highest among first-year coaches. West Virginia is the favorite to win the league based largely on his addition. He may have never been a head coach before, but he has worked wonders with offenses in his previous stops. Anything but a league title would probably be considered a disappointment.