Coaches On The Hot Seat Entering The 2015 Season
With conference media days wrapping up in the next week or so, this seems like the perfect opportunity to check out some coaches that'll definitely be watching their words. Here are three coaches trying to save their jobs this season:
Tim Beckman (Illinois)
In three seasons as the head coach of the Fighting Illini, Beckman has posted a 12-25 overall record with a disappointing 4-20 record in the Big Ten. Three of those four wins were against a lowly Purdue team, a very inconsistent Penn State team, and an underperforming Northwestern squad.
Entering the fourth year of Beckman's tenure, Illini fans have plenty of reasons to be upset, but a few reasons to be optimistic. Under Beckman, Illinois has improved their conference record each season, going 0-8 in 2012, 1-7 in 2013, and 3-5 in 2014. Last season, the Fighting Illini also made a bowl game for the first time with Beckman at the helm, losing 35-18 to Louisiana Tech in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Looking at the schedule in 2015, Illinois has a difficult non-conference game on the road against North Carolina before the Big Ten games begin. In order for Beckman to keep his job for another year, the Illini would have to win seven or eight games and go at least 4-4 in the Big Ten. There is no doubt that Beckman and the Fighting Illini will have to pull off a few upsets to reach the seven win mark, but with college football you never know what will happen.
Mike London (Virginia)
Let's begin with one of the few positive highlights of Virginia's season in 2014, a 30-13 dominating win over Miami (FL). Also, what a catch by Canaan Severin at the :30 second mark in the video.
Now to the bad news. London is 23-38 (11-29 in the ACC) in five seasons as head coach of the Cavaliers. Virginia has only one bowl appearance in those five seasons, which was a 43-24 loss to Auburn in the 2011 Chick-fil-A Bowl.
The Cavaliers' 2015 schedule is very interesting. Road games against UCLA, Miami (FL), and Louisville will be tough but Florida State and Clemson aren't even on the schedule, which is great news for Virginia fans. In order for London to keep his job, the Cavaliers will need to make a bowl game by winning at least six or seven games. Also, a win against in-state rival Virginia Tech would go a long way in helping London remain head coach.
Kirk Ferentz (Iowa)
I understand that Ferentz's buyout is astronomical (over 10 million dollars right now), but the Hawkeyes have been in a decline for a few years. Example:
The Hawkeyes are 34-30 in the last five seasons under Ferentz, which isn't good enough for anybody associated with the Iowa football program. In those five seasons, the Hawkeyes are 1-3 in bowl games; the lone win coming against Missouri in the 2010 Insight Bowl.
In 2015, Iowa doesn't have Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State, or Michigan on the schedule. However, the Hawkeyes have two tough games on the road at Wisconsin and at Nebraska, that I don't see them winning. Overall, Ferentz will need to get eight or nine wins and reach a .500 record or better in the Big Ten to keep his job.
Hawkeye fans are fed up with mediocrity, they want more wins, and the recruiting (or lack thereof) hasn't given them much hope; most of them want a fresh start. It is looking like it will be another tense year for Ferentz and the Hawkeyes.
Other coaches who may be out as head coach next year: Paul Rhoads (Iowa State), Norm Chow (Hawaii), Al Golden (Miami (FL)), Kevin Wilson (Indiana), Mike MacIntyre (Colorado)