I think the depth of off-season boredom is the best time to take stock on coaches hot seats. Here’s how the Pac-12 coaches sit heading into 2017 starting with the coach on the hottest seat and ending with the coach on the coldest seat.
- Rich Rodriguez Arizona
I wondered if Rodriguez was going to make it through 2016, but he did and he now needs to turn it up again in 2017. He needs to get the Wildcats to a bowl or at least within a game of a bowl to keep his job in my opinion.
2. Jim Mora UCLA
Mora’s overall record at UCLA, but a tough 2016, perpetual rumors of being interested in other jobs and consistent underachievement have him on the hot seat. Mora needs to get back to a bowl game in 2017 and the Bruins back to where they were a few years ago or he could be out soon.
3. Todd Graham Arizona State
Graham was red hot after leading Arizona State to back-to-back 10-win seasons, but he has led them to just 11 wins in the past two seasons. Graham’s seat isn’t red-hot yet, but he will need to get Arizona State at least back to a bowl game to get comfortable again.
4. Gary Andersen Oregon State
I like what Andersen is doing at Oregon State and I think they are ready for a breakout season, but the fact is he has led them to just six wins in two years so far. He should be safe for now, but his record in Corvallis has him on the edge of the heat right now.
5. Clay Helton USC
This might seem strange since the Trojans are arguably the hottest program in the nation right now, but the truth is that Helton was on the blazing hot seat back in September and he will be right back there if the Trojans come out the gate slow. He has the potential to rocket up this list, but he also has the potential to be thrown right back in the fire.
6. Kyle Whittingham Utah
We have well crossed into cold seat territory, but every position in the conference holds its own intrigue, so let’s go on. Whittingham has led the Utes to 28 wins in the past three years and has comfortably transitioned Utah into the top half of the Pac-12. The only thing which makes me think Whittingham might not be at Utah forever is his administration’s inability to help him keep talented coordinators which may eventually lead to him taking another job.
7. Mike Leach Washington State
Leach has brought the Cougars back to being a competitive Pac-12 program and that should keep him golden in Pullman for a long time. However, Leach might eventually receive a great job offer he can’t turn down if he keeps leading the Cougars to good seasons and after Luke Falk leaves.
8. Willie Taggart Oregon
Taggart didn’t usher himself in perfectly with the workout controversy and an already icy relationship with media, but he recruited well in his first class and has a clean slate in Eugene for now.
9. Justin Wilcox Cal
Wilcox was a quiet hire at Cal and will get a clean slate a program with low expectations right now.
10. Mike MacIntyre Colorado
MacIntyre is another who is in the clear after leading Colorado to a South title. The only worry is the great job offers he could get if he leads Colorado to another great season in 2017.
11. David Shaw Stanford
Shaw had a “down season” and they won 10 games. Shaw is probably safe at Stanford as long as he wants to be there.
12. Chris Petersen Washington
Petersen is golden in Seattle after leading the Huskies to the Playoffs and has a boatload of talent and experience coming back in 2017.