Coach Watch 2011: Three go down?

Rumors and reports are swirling that Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson, UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel and Washington State coach Paul Wulff will shortly be terminated.

From the Arizona Republic:

Vice President of Athletics Lisa Love did not return messages left by The Republic on Saturday, but multiple sources confirmed that the end is near for coach Dennis Erickson, and his dismissal could come soon.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Dan Guerrero, the Bruins' athletic director, will sit down with UCLA's football coach after the season is over to discuss the future. That could be as soon as next weekend, after the Bruins play Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game.

Neuheisel's chances of retaining his job are bleak, according to influential people close to the program who did not want to be identified publicly because the decision was not final.

The general gist is Neuheisel will coach the Pac-12 title game on Friday at Oregon. The Orange County Register named candidates to replace Neuheisel:

UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel is expected to be fired following Pac-12 championship game against Oregon with Boise State coach Chris Peterson [sic.], Houston's Kevin Sumlin and Cincinnati's Butch Jones the leading candidates to replace him.

From the Seattle Times, which names former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach as a top candidate to replace Wulff:

Sources close to the situation say Wulff, whose Cougars lost 38-21 to Washington on Saturday at CenturyLink Field, will be dismissed after a meeting with athletic director Bill Moos, barring a last-minute change of direction by Moos. It could happen as early as Sunday, possibly Monday.

A reversal of thinking is unlikely, and sources familiar with the process say the Cougars will have former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach at the top of their list of possible replacements. Leach has been out of coaching since 2009 after a controversial exit from Tech that resulted in him suing the school.

Sumlin and Leach also likely will be connected to the Arizona State job.

These three guys started the season on the hot seat. All three showed signs of getting off it at various times. But, alas, they couldn't make a turnaround stick.

Tough business. College coaches are paid well, but their job security is always precarious.

End result is it appears the Pac-12 will feature four new coaches -- Arizona has already hired Rich Rodriguez -- next fall.