Hot Seat Warming Up For Some Coaches

Callahan, Franchione two coaches who could feel heat this season

May 25, 2007

By Trev Alberts

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Trev Alberts is a football analyst for CSTV and
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You've got college football questions and CSTV football analyst Trev Alberts has answers and opinions. Each week Alberts will be answering questions and queries on the world of college football. So if you've got a question for Trev, just ask him.


How is the loss of Paul Oliver going to affect Georgia this fall? - J.K., South Carolina




Obviously it was a huge disappointment for Georgia fans. He was a good, solid corner, maybe not elite, but a dependable player who was only getting better. Good corners and defensive backs in general are so hard to come by. 


We've talked many times in this space about the competitiveness in the SEC East and with the type of receivers that Florida throws out there and Tennessee throws out there, losing Oliver is a definite disappointment for Georgia.


You'd like to think that the defense is bigger than one guy. But other than quarterbacks or star running backs going down, good solid corner play is pretty difficult to find at every level. It certainly affects Georgia. One of the young guys is going to have to step up and play before he's ready. And this is a defense that lost some talent to the NFL anyway. Matthew Stafford and company may have to score some points early because that defense may not be as good as it's been in the past.  


It's tough to argue against LSU and USC having the best talent in the nation. So between the Tigers and the Trojans, who's got the better talent? - Lou F., Tucson, AZ


I think USC does. I think that LSU had an awful lot of talent that Nick Saban recruited and Les Miles has done a remarkable job of bringing talent in at an extremely high level. But then you can bring up a guy like Ryan Perrilloux who was just suspended and who hasn't quite panned out for the Tigers.

I think its pretty close between the two. I think there's USC and then there's LSU and then Florida making up a number of programs who are a notch below USC. But nobody is beating Pete Carroll in the battle for five star recruits. If you're solely going to judge by recruiting lists then Pete Carroll is at the top, period.


What coach is on the biggest hot seat? I know you're going to say Bobby Bowden, but he's not going anywhere. So you have to pick someone else. - Anonymous


A general assumption by a Seminole fan? I think in this mailbag space I've said this before, but three or four years ago I was wrong about Joe Paterno when Penn State was struggling to say that he owed it to the school to have enough sense that when the program was slipping to make sure things were done in a proper way in terms of handing down the program rather than being stubborn and hard-headed about it. I think there are very few people who are awarded the luxury to dictate when they leave. Paterno, Fisher DeBerry at Air Force and Bobby Bowden at Florida State are some of the few.


And it goes beyond what they've given to the university. This may anger some academics but the reality is their brand as a university was built from the football team. That's clearly the case at Penn State and you could never ever place value on what he's done there. He's worked so hard to create a culture and he deserves the right to try and continue that culture.


We've seen other schools, who I won't name, who had a culture, who had a history that was seemingly thrown away by individuals who either didn't understand how difficult it is to build that brand or were too selfish in their own accord.  


But to answer the question I think Bill Callahan is on the hot seat at Nebraska. They haven't beat anyone of substance. His record in three years is just not good. They've become a bad road team and lost to unranked teams. Callahan needs to produce a big year. He needs to win the Big 12 North. I think a step backward could be the end of his regime.


Last year was a bit of a bounce back year for Texas A&M, but I think Aggie fans want to get back to more of an elite status so Dennis Franchione has to be on it.  


I think it's a big year for Mike Stoops in Arizona. I think it's an important year for Kirk Ferentz in Iowa. I'm not saying he's going to be fired, but I think it's reasonable to say he's on the hot seat. And when you say hot seat you could say Randy Shannon in Miami is on the hot seat, but he's not going to be fired. Greg Robinson at Syracuse is on it as well. It all depends on what you're definition of hot seat is.


You fire coaches who have "slipped" like at Syracuse, Texas A&M and Nebraska and these schools have to ask themselves "Are we better off today than when we got rid of those people?" When trying to take a step forward you can sometimes take a step back. I think there are some A&M fans who would enjoy the days of R.C. Slocum.


Lloyd Carr did have a bounce back year in a sense that it wasn't an Alamo Bowl year for Michigan, but he's been having difficult times against big time schools, in big time games and I think he's on a bit of a hot seat. It'll be an interesting year for Dan Hawkins in Colorado. But I don't see anyone in imminent danger of being fired if they lose some early games. But if Callahan and Nebraska, playing at home, lose to USC, 50-7, that changes the complexion of the seat.  


Of course UCLA fans think Karl Dorrell is on the hot seat and they're looney. They will be fighting with USC for the Pac-10 so I don't think he'll be on the hot seat.


And I would always include myself. I'm always on the hot seat to lose my job.