Get the Athlon Sports Newsletter
Oklahoma's Stoops is among those with tough decisions
Head coaches are usually the ones who receive most of the credit or most of the blame when things go right or wrong in college football.
They’re the ones with most say over players and team personnel. They’re the ones out front with the media.
But in college football, no one escapes scrutiny. Behind every coach under pressure is usually a coordinator or assistant under pressure, too.
These are those coordinators who have earned fan vitriol in recent weeks or seasons. When staff shakeups come in December, these may be the names to watch.
College Football’s Coordinators on the Hot Seat
Brent Pease, Florida
Will Muschamp has not had much success with offensive coordinators at Florida. Charlie Weis stayed for one middling season before he was replaced by Pease from Boise State. The Gators offense has been one-dimensional at best under Pease and inept at its worst. Florida ranks last in the SEC in yards per play and ranked 12th in 2012 before injuries set in.
Josh Heupel, Oklahoma
One way a former national championship quarterback slips from being universally beloved is to be a coordinator of a struggling offense. OU has its most unstable quarterback situation of Bob Stoops’ tenure, contributing to an offense that ranks sixth in the Big 12 in yards per play. Even with Landry Jones, Oklahoma ranked no higher than fourth in yards per play during Heupel’s tenure as coordinator.
Al Borges, Michigan
This was supposed to be the season Michigan transitioned from the spread personnel Rich Rodriguez left to a pro-style attack. Instead, Devin Gardner has been turnover-prone, the run game minus Gardner is non-existent, and the offensive line beyond Taylor Lewan has struggled.
Jarrett Anderson/Rusty Burns, TCU
The Horned Frogs offense has had many issues: The transition to the Big 12, unexpected departures, injuries, and both that have claimed most of the last two seasons for Casey Pachall. Most of that isn’t in the control of the TCU coaching staff, but the Horned Frogs offense hasn’t been the same without Justin Fuente, who is now at Memphis. TCU ranks last in the Big 12 in rushing and ranked eighth last season.
Doug Mallory/William Inge, Indiana
Indiana’s not likely to have one of the top defenses in the Big Ten, though the Hoosiers do have one of the league’s top offenses. Indiana has ranked last in the Big Ten in total defense in three consecutive seasons, but 519.1 yards per game is a different story. The Hoosiers’ defense helped turn games against Navy, Michigan and Minnesota into shootouts.
Todd Grantham, Georgia
Defense is down throughout the SEC this season, and injuries on offense altered Georgia’s season. But the Bulldogs have failed to put together a top-30 defense the last two seasons.
Tim Banks, Illinois
Banks’ boss, Tim Beckman, is on the hot seat, but if Beckman gets another year, he’ll be under pressure to find another Bill Cubit. The former Western Michigan coach upgraded the Illinois offense, especially during the 3-1 start. On the other side of the ball, Illinois is last in the Big Ten in run defense and pass efficiency defense.
John Papuchis, Nebraska
Defense has been a calling card for coach Bo Pelini and Nebraska until recent years. The Cornhuskers defense has been a liability going back to the end of last season. If Pelini hangs on for another season, staff changes may follow.
John Butler, Penn State
The Nittany Lions have depth issues due to NCAA sanctions, but Penn State allowed 40-plus points in three consecutive games for the first time since the turn of the 20th century.