We kicked off Thursday’s links column talking about Pac-12 head coaches and how they’ve done against AP Top 25 competition.
Today we’ll take a look at the job security of those coaches, courtesy of CBS’s Dennis Dodd, who released his annual “hot seat” rankings for every coach.
Things are relatively air-conditioned in the Pac-12. But they are heating up for a couple of coaches. Using a 0-5 rating – five essentially being nuclear and zero being a getaway on Hoth – Dodd writes that Utah coach Kyle Whittingham and Cal coach Sonny Dykes have the hottest seats in the Pac-12. First, here’s the rating for all 12 coaches and their rating from the 2013 season (listed second).
Rich Rodriguez: 1-1
Todd Graham: 1-0
Sonny Dykes : 3-0.5
Mike MacIntyre: 1.5-1.0
Mark Helfrich: 2.0-1.5
Mike Riley: 1-1
David Shaw: 0-0
Jim Mora: 0.5-0.5
Steve Sarkisian: 2.5-N/A
Kyle Whittingham: 3.5-3.0
Chris Petersen: 0.5-N/A
Mike Leach: 0.5-1
I don’t disagree with the sentiment on either coach. That said, I don’t think a change will be made with either, either. And here’s why:
Kyle Whittingham has something few coaches can boast: An undefeated season, a No. 2 final ranking and a BCS bowl victory (technically, two). That sort of success not only buys you goodwill, it buys you career longevity.
As noted by Whittingham’s rating, he’s “starting to feel the pressure.” That’s fair. A team like Utah isn’t used to missing bowl games in back-to-back years. But when you look at last season, the Utes are close. They beat Stanford – arguably the greatest regular-season victory in school history – lost to Arizona State by a point, took Oregon State to overtime and lost by a touchdown to UCLA. This is a team that’s close.
That being said, the road schedule is brutal. I think if the Utes start 2-0 (and they should), then the Michigan game will be high noon. Win that one and there’s a good chance the Utes go bowling. Having a quarterback make it through the season without injury couldn't hurt, either.
As for Dykes, let’s not forget he was the one of the most sought-after coaches in the country before the 2013 season. He just happened to run into one of the worst rashes of injuries I’ve seen in my 17 years covering all levels of football, and he had a true freshman quarterback.
Dykes has a proven system. Give it time (and health) to develop.
Who’s No. 1?
The SEC can certainly claim dominance over the BCS era. Not even the most argumentative, devil’s-advocate-loving, stubborn columnist I know – Ted Miller – could argue otherwise. The proof is in the hardware.
But that era has passed. What have you won for me lately? It’s now the College Football Playoff era. And according to Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde, it’s the Pac-12 that will be at the vanguard of the next installment of college football’s highest honor.
Forde rationalizes his thought process with three determining factors:
The Pac-12 has a deep roster of coaches.
The Pac-12 has the best quarterbacks.
The Pac-12 plays a tough schedule.
Check, check and check. No arguments here. Every year, it seems like a Pac-12 coach will make the comment that the league is as good as it’s ever been. And each year it keeps adding quality coaches. If you’ve been following along with our “Better Know a Pac-12 Quarterback” series, then you know how good the league is when it comes to the QBs. And the last couple of days we’ve been linking plenty of lists of must-see Pac-12 games. All of them feature Top 25 matchups, be it in conference or nonleague.
However, I don’t think we’ll ever see a time where Stanford fans are chanting "P-A-C, P-A-C" if the Ducks win a title, or vice versa. Not our style out West.
How tough/easy is your team's schedule?
If you're a numbers guy, Athlon Sports offers up some Pac-12 stats.
What brought Arizona’s Jordan Allen from LSU to the desert?
Neat story about Taylor Kelly delivering season tickets to a sixth-grade teacher – at school. Some cool pictures here.
Michael Lowe had to shape up to keep his job.
Colorado's Ken Crawley has some high expectations.
Oregon’s Thomas Tyner is feeling the heat from Royce Freeman.
Click for the mohawk of Dylan Wynn, stay for the Q&A.
An early look at the Stanford-Washington showdown.
The impact of Myles Jack.
Adoree' Jackson is on pace to play offense, defense and special teams. Myles Jack and Shaq Thompson offer fist bump.
Utah's Dominique Hatfield wants to play offense, defense and special teams. Adoree' Jackson offers fist bump.
Washington's line is experienced, but is always looking to improve.
Interesting story out of Pullman that wide receiver Gabe Marks might redshirt this year. Coach Mike Leach has been mum about what's up with Marks -- be it injury or a good ole' fashioned trip to the doghouse. Either way, it's an interesting development for WSU's leading receiver last year.
Just for fun
The football team isn't the only squad going through fall camp. Fight on.
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) August 21, 2014