Lots of hot seat games in Pac-12

There are a lot of hot seats in the Pac-12 this year. In no particularly order, Dennis Erickson at Arizona State, Jeff Tedford at California, Rick Neuheisel at UCLA and Paul Wulff at Washington State.

And coaches on the hot seat play hot seat games, and ESPN.com's Ryan McGee sees a handful for the conference.

Here's what he has to say.

UCLA Bruins at Houston Cougars, Sept. 3

On the Seat of Heat: Rick Neuheisel

The Sweater Vest of the West hasn't been able to get his alma mater up to speed as quickly as he did conference foes Colorado and Washington. In the 2008 season opener, the former Bruins quarterback led his team to a then-stunning OT win over Tennessee, but he has posted a record of 13-23 since. The lone high point during that time was last year's win at Texas, which, like the Tennessee win, wasn't all that impressive in retrospect.

Last year UCLA romped Houston at home, the game in which Cougars quarterback Case Keenum tore his ACL in the second quarter. Now Keenum is back and playing on his home turf. If he lights up UCLA with the same kind of offense that Neuheisel was supposed to have brought to Westwood, then the sharks shall begin circling, especially with Texas, Oregon State and Stanford coming up in the following four weeks.

Missouri Tigers at Arizona State Sun Devils, Sept. 9

On the Seat of Heat: Dennis Erickson

Erickson's first year in Tempe was a nice one: 10-3 and a trip to the Holiday Bowl to face Texas. Since then, the Sun Devils have yet to make a bowl game, posting an overall record of 15-21 and a Pac-10 record of 10-17. Last year they came close to beating Wisconsin ... and Oregon State ... and USC ... and Stanford. But they lost all four of those games.

This year brings the highest preseason expectations since that first season, as the Sun Devils missed the preseason coaches' Top 25 poll by only three votes. The good news? ASU was 4-0 against nonconference opponents last year. The bad news? The Sun Devils haven't hosted a nonconference BCS school since 2008, a 27-10 thrashing by Georgia.

Washington State Cougars at Colorado Buffaloes, Oct. 1

On the Seat of Heat: Paul Wulff

Wulff keeps trying to convince us that the Cougars are getting better, but their record surely has not. They backed up 2009's 1-11 record with a 2-10 mark last year. In three seasons he has won exactly two conference games. If they go to Boulder for Colorado's first home Pac-12 game and lay an egg against a team with a new head coach, it's likely going to make the folks in Pullman want to look for a new coach of their own.

USC Trojans at California Golden Bears, Oct. 13

On The (Potential) Seat of Heat: Jeff Tedford

The promise of Tedford's early days in Berkeley has started to fade, thanks to a 17-19 conference record over the last four years. If the Bears stumble against what should be a very motivated Fresno State squad on Sept. 3 at Candlestick Park, things could get a little dicey. October 6 brings a trip to Oregon, which figures to be a loss. USC has beaten Cal in seven straight. If the Trojans roll again like they have the last two seasons (48-14 and 30-3), patience with Tedford will have officially worn thin.