College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 1 Rankings

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Kentucky's Joker Phillips tops our hot seat watch after Week 1.

<p> College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 1 Rankings</p>

Week 1 of the college football season is in the books and plenty of coaches are feeling the pressure to win. Kentucky showed some progress in the season opener against Louisville, but Joker Phillips passes Boston College's Frank Spaziani as the No. 1 coach on the hot seat. Some new names have joined the top 20, including Houston's Tony Levine and Colorado's Jon Embree. 

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 1 Rankings

1. Joker Phillips, Kentucky
Last Week's Rank:
2
Record at Kentucky: 11-15 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Losing handily to a rival is enough for Phillips to claim the top spot after Week 1. The Wildcats showed some signs of life on offense, but the defense had no answer for Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Kentucky should get into the win column against Kent State this Saturday, but Phillips needs to pickup a few wins in SEC play this year.

2. Frank Spaziani, Boston College
Last Week's Rank: 1
Record at Boston College: 20-20 (4th season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Spaziani moved down from the No. 1 to the No. 2 spot this week. Although Boston College lost to Miami, the team showed some progress on offense. Hiring Doug Martin as the coordinator seems to be the right answer to develop quarterback Chase Rettig, as he threw for 441 yards and two touchdowns in the opener. Spaziani’s specialty is on defense, which is where the Eagles struggled on Saturday and must improve for Boston College to have any shot at a bowl.

3. Rick Stockstill, MTSU
Last Week's Rank:
12
Record at MTSU: 35-41 (7th season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Stockstill makes a huge jump in the rankings after a Week 1 debacle against McNeese State. The Blue Raiders trailed the Cowboys 24-6 going into the fourth quarter and lost 27-21. MTSU has lost six consecutive season openers under Stockstill and enters Week 2 action with a seven-game losing streak.

4. David Bailiff, Rice
Last Week's Rank:
4
Record at Rice: 23-39 (6th season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Things never got on track for Rice in the season opener, as the Owls fell behind 19-0 to UCLA and did not score a point in the second half to lose 49-24. Rice’s defense did little to slow down the Bruins, allowing 646 yards and 49 points. Quarterback Taylor McHargue turned in a solid effort in a losing cause, but the Owls were simply overmatched. The road doesn’t get any easier for Rice, as they matchup against Kansas, Louisiana Tech, Marshall and Houston over the next few weeks.

5. Dan Enos, Central Michigan
Last Week: 7
Record at Central Michigan: 7-18 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 1-0
For a half, it appeared Central Michigan would fall victim to FCS foe Southeast Missouri State. However, the Chippewas rallied in the final two quarters to win 38-27 and remain unbeaten under Enos in season openers. Despite the victory, it was an overall lackluster showing for Central Michigan, and the schedule gets tougher in Week 2 against Michigan State.

6. Jeff Tedford, California
Last Week: 15
Record at California: 79-49 (11th season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Tedford makes a big jump in this week’s poll, climbing from No. 15 in the post-fall practice edition to No. 6 after Saturday’s loss to Nevada. Although the Wolf Pack are one of the top 50 teams in the nation, losing in the home debut after a major stadium renovation is a bad sign. Tedford has recorded a mediocre 12-14 record since 2010 and could be 1-3 after the first four weeks of the season. Tedford has had a successful run in Berkeley, but has the program gone stale?

7. Robb Akey, Idaho
Last Week:
13
Record at Idaho: 19-44 (6th season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Eastern Washington is one of the top FCS programs, so it’s really no surprise it won on the road at Idaho. However, it’s another black eye for the Vandals, a program struggling to stay on the FBS level. Idaho has lost 10 out of its last 11 games and it could be a while before it cracks the win column. With Bowling Green, LSU, Wyoming and North Carolina coming up, the Vandals’ best opportunity at a victory is on Oct. 6 against New Mexico State. Akey’s teams have regressed since winning eight contests in 2009, and it’s shaping up to be another long year in Idaho.

8. Randy Edsall, Maryland
Last Week:
11
Record at Maryland: 3-10 (2nd season)
2012 Record: 1-0
Edsall’s 2012 opener nearly ended with disaster. The Terrapins squeaked out a lackluster 7-6 victory over FCS opponent William & Mary. Freshman quarterback Perry Hills turned in a so-so debut, completing 16 of 24 passes for 145 yards and three interceptions. While the defense was solid, the offense clearly has some work to do over the next couple of weeks. Maryland’s schedule doesn’t get any easier, as it travels to Philadelphia take on Temple this Saturday.

9. Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech
Last Week:
8
Record at Texas Tech: 14-12 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 1-0
Texas Tech had a successful season opener, easily defeating Northwestern State 44-6. The offense gained 500 yards, while a much-maligned defense allowed only 84 yards and held the Demons to just six points. With matchups against Texas State and New Mexico in the next two weeks, Tuberville should slide down this list. However, Tuberville’s long-term future in Lubbock will be determined on what happens in Big 12 play.

10. Tony Levine, Houston
Last Week: Not ranked
Record at Houston: 1-1
2012 Record: 0-1
Disaster is the only word to describe Levine’s regular season debut at Houston. The Cougars high-powered offense was grounded, scoring only 13 points and managing 326 yards of total offense. The defense was shredded for 248 yards on the ground and forced only one turnover. Only adding to the uneasiness surrounding Levine was the departure of coordinator Mike Nesbitt on Monday. Athlon ranked Levine as one of the worst coaching hires this offseason, and he needs to get Houston pointed back in the right direction before Conference USA play begins. Levine isn't in danger of losing his job anytime during the season, but his tenure at Houston is off to an awful start. 

11. Bobby Hauck, UNLV
Last Week:
9
Record at UNLV: 4-22 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 0-1
After nearly beating Minnesota last Thursday, Hauck moves from No. 9 to No. 11 on this list. The Rebels gave the Golden Gophers all they can handle, giving hope that Hauck can surpass last season’s two wins. The Rebels should get into the win column against Northern Arizona this Saturday.

12. Doug Marrone, Syracuse
Last Week:
19
Record at Syracuse: 17-21 (4th season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Marrone has been on a steady climb in Athlon’s coach on the hot seat rankings since the end of last year. The Orange finished 2011 with a five-game losing streak and opened 2012 with a loss to Northwestern. With a move to the ACC on the horizon for 2013, Syracuse may not want to join a new conference with a coach on the hot seat. Marrone may need to make a bowl to save his job.

13. Jeff Quinn, Buffalo
Last Week’s Rank:
6
Record at Buffalo: 5-20 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Quinn opened the season with a loss to Georgia, but the Bulls had a good showing in defeat. Although five wins in just over two years isn’t impressive, Quinn seems to be moving the program in the right direction.

14. George O'Leary, UCF
Last Week’s Rank:
5
Record at UCF: 51-51 (9th season)
2012 Record: 1-0
The Knights turned in one of the most dominating wins in Week 1, beating Akron 56-14. UCF has a tough road trip to Ohio State this Saturday but is a heavy favorite to win the Conference USA title. As long as the Knights reach a bowl game, O’Leary should be safe to return for 2013.

15. Jon Embree, Colorado
Last Week’s Rank:
Not ranked
Record at Colorado: 3-11 (2nd season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Embree didn’t inherit a great situation at Colorado, but the Buffaloes haven’t showed a whole lot of improvement in his tenure. Colorado did win two out of the last three from last season but opened 2012 with a disappointing loss to in-state rival Colorado State. Embree isn’t in any danger of losing his job this year, but this program can’t afford many more years of just three wins.

16. Derek Dooley, Tennessee
Last Week’s Rank:
3
Record at Tennessee: 12-14 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 1-0
Dooley is one of the biggest movers on this list, dropping from No. 3 to No. 16 after Friday’s win over NC State. The Volunteers were impressive against the Wolfpack and considering how Florida looked against Bowling Green, it’s not out of the question Tennessee could be 4-0 before playing at Georgia on Sept. 29. Dooley still has a lot to prove, but Friday night's win was a step in the right direction.

17. Bill Cubit, Western Michigan
Last Week’s Rank:
17
Record at Western Michigan: 47-40 (8th season)
2012 Record: 0-1
The Broncos were a trendy upset pick for Week 1 but fell 24-7 to Illinois. Western Michigan has two more shots at pulling off an upset against a BCS team, as it visits Minnesota on Sept. 15 and hosts Connecticut on Sept. 22. Despite the opening week disappointment, the Broncos are considered the favorites to win the MAC’s West Division.

18. Mike Price, UTEP
Last Week’s Rank:
10
Record at UTEP: 45-53 (9th season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Although it was a losing effort against Oklahoma, Price drops eight spots to No. 18 on the post-week 1 rankings. UTEP gave the Sooners all they could handle and has another shot at an upset against Ole Miss this Saturday. Considering Houston’s struggles against Texas State, the Miners have to be considered one of the favorites to win Conference USA’s West Division.

19. DeWayne Walker, New Mexico State
Last Week’s Rank:
14
Record at New Mexico State: 10-29 (4th season)
2012 Record: 1-0
The Aggies opened their season with a convincing 49-19 victory over Sacramento State. New Mexico State is a tough job, and the program faces an uncertain future at the FBS level. It’s clear Walker is making progress and would be a surprise if he doesn’t return to Las Cruces for 2013.

20. Dave Clawson, Bowling Green
Last Week’s Rank:
16
Record at Bowling Green: 14-24 (4th season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Clawson probably doesn’t deserve be on this list, especially after nearly leading Bowling Green to a win over Florida in the season opener. However, there are few candidates for this No. 20 ranking, and Clawson’s overall record is 14-24. The Falcons were picked by many to finish in the top three of the MAC East and assuming this team builds off Saturday’s performance, Clawson won’t be moving any higher on this list in 2012.

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven

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