Dooley, Smith on hottest of seats

Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com has released his hot seat ratings for the 2012 season, and the only two coaches to be saddled with a "5" rating are both from the SEC -- Arkansas' John L. Smith and Tennessee's Derek Dooley.

A "5" rating comes with a "Hot seat! Win or be fired" label.

Dooley is entering his third season with the Vols, while Smith was hired in April as the Hogs' interim head coach following Bobby Petrino's ouster.

We did a poll earlier this month asking the fans on the SEC blog to vote on which coach had the hottest seat, and Dooley was the runaway winner. The Vols have suffered through back-to-back losing seasons, but this should be Dooley's best team at Tennessee.

Of the 14 SEC head coaches, Dodd gave four of them an 0.5 rating or lower, which means "They can't be touched." Those four were Alabama's Nick Saban (0.0), Ole Miss' Hugh Freeze (0.5), Missouri's Gary Pinkel (0.5) and South Carolina's Steve Spurrier (0.5).

Vanderbilt's James Franklin, entering his second season, received a "1," which means "Very safe, change unlikely."

Mississippi State's Dan Mullen went from a 0.0 in 2011 to a 1.5 this coming season.

Auburn's Gene Chizik and LSU's Les Miles, each of whom have won national championships in the last five years, were both given "2" ratings, which equates to being "Safe, but you never know." Miles had a 2.5 rating in 2011, and even though he guided the Tigers to a 13-0 record before losing to Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game last season, he only dropped to a 2.0 entering the 2012 season.

Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin, entering his first season in College Station, was the third SEC coach to receive a "2" rating.

At "2.5" were Florida's Will Muschamp and Georgia's Mark Richt, and I would have thought Muschamp might have been a little higher than that even though he's only entering his second season in Gainesville. His Gators need to make a move in the Eastern Division in 2012.

Kentucky's Joker Phillips came in at "3.5," which means he's "on the bubble and feeling pressure." Had Kentucky not beaten Tennessee last season and ended its 26-game losing streak to the Vols, Phillips might be pushing a "4" or "5" rating. He bought himself some more time with that win.