Pre-Season Pac-12 Coaches Hot Seat Rankings: Only a Few Coaches In Danger

Stephen Dunn

Lane Kiffin is the only Pac-12 coach who is seriously under-the-gun before the season even starts.

With more than half of the Pac-12's head coaches only in their first or second years in their positions, it's likely that 2013 will finally be a year where the coaching positions in the conference stay relatively the same throughout the next year. Still, with the nature of college football, it's very likely that at least one coach will not survive the season and heading into 2013, there are some seats around the conference that are at least on the burner.

Hot

Lane Kiffin USC

Kiffin is as universally unpopular as maybe any coach I have ever seen in the Pac-12. At this point, the only people who seem to support Kiffin are fans of other teams who are being ironic and pointing out that he is the best coach ever for USC because he keeps them underachieving.

General expectations are high at USC, and Kiffin has dug himself a serious hole, so he might need to win at least 10 or more games this season to hang onto his job.

Warm

Steve Sarkisian Washington

Sarkisian led the Huskies out of the darkest days in program history but has been stuck on seven wins for three-straight seasons now, and expectations are very high in Seattle, particularly with a brand new stadium renovation that debuts in 2013. Sarkisian is probably safe barring a disastrous season, but his seat will be boiling hot if he can't win more than seven games this season.

Cool, but on a burner that could easily be turned on

Mike Leach Washington State

Leach is only going into his second year as head coach, but his first year was disappointing and tumultuous enough to draw a lot of negative attention. Leach is safe for now, especially with 2012's Apple Cup win, but the Cougars have a tough start to their schedule and if they fail to win a Pac-12 game until late November again, he could start feeling some serious pressure.

Mike Riley Oregon State

This might seem crazy now, after the Beavers' bounce back season in 2012, but Riley's seat was starting to get warm going into 2012 after two losing seasons, and even though he is a Corvallis staple, it will probably heat up again if the Beavers get off to a slow start in 2013. The fact that he hasn't been able to beat rival Oregon in five years also doesn't help.

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