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College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 5 Rankings

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Week 5 of the 2012 college football season is in the books and plenty of coaches saw the temperature on their seat increase by a few degrees. Kentucky's Joker Phillips and Boston College's Frank Spaziani continue to hold down the top two spots in the rankings. One new coach makes an appearance in this week's top 20 (Ellis Johnson), while Texas Tech's Tommy Tuberville drops out after beating Iowa State to move to 4-0 this season.

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 5 Rankings

1. Joker Phillips, Kentucky
Last Week’s Rank:
1
Record at Kentucky: 12-18 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 1-4
The Wildcats showed some signs of life in Saturday’s loss to South Carolina. Despite an injury to quarterback Maxwell Smith in the first quarter, Kentucky held a 17-7 lead at halftime. However, the Gamecocks were simply a better team in the second half and pulled away for a 38-17 victory. With Smith sidelined, true freshman Jalen Whitlow stepped in at quarterback and played relatively well considering the circumstances. However, Kentucky had an opportunity to score points at the end of the first half, but a disastrous sequence cost the team of at least a shot at a field goal. Although the Wildcats still would have lost the game with those points, it’s a coaching blunder that Phillips has to avoid.

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2. Frank Spaziani, Boston College
Last Week’s Rank: 2
Record at Boston College: 21-22 (4th season)
2012 Record: 1-3
The Eagles put up a fight against Clemson, but the Tigers simply had too much firepower on offense and pulled away in the second half for a 45-31 victory. While the offense has made progress since last season, the defense ranks ninth in the ACC in yards allowed, pass defense and points allowed. Spaziani is still searching for his first win over a FBS team this season, and Boston College has a tricky road date at Army this Saturday.

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3. Jeff Tedford, California
Last Week’s Rank:
6
Record at California: 80-52 (11th season)
2012 Record: 1-4
The Golden Bears’ disappointing start to 2012 continued with a 27-17 loss to Arizona State. For a coach that is known for his offensive background, it has been a surprise to see California struggle the last two seasons. The Golden Bears rank ninth in the Pac-12 in passing offense, while they are averaging 25.6 points a game (seventh in the conference). California’s only win of 2012 came against FCS opponent Southern Utah, and the schedule doesn’t get any easier with UCLA, Washington State, Stanford and Utah coming up in October.

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4. David Bailiff, Rice
Last Week’s Rank:
4
Record at Rice: 24-42 (6th season)
2012 Record: 1-4
It’s hard to penalize Bailiff much for Saturday’s 35-14 loss to rival Houston. The Owls were without quarterback Taylor McHargue, who is averaging 321.5 yards of total offense per game. Without McHargue, the offense struggled to move the ball, while the defense allowed over 600 yards for the third time this year. The good news for Bailiff is the next two games are very winnable, with a road date at Memphis and a home game against future C-USA foe UTSA.

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5. Robb Akey, Idaho
Last Week’s Rank:
3
Record at Idaho: 19-48 (6th season)
2012 Record: 0-5
As expected, Idaho’s trip to Chapel Hill was ugly. North Carolina blanked Idaho 66-0, and the Vandals managed only 189 yards of offense and committed five turnovers. Idaho is one of only eight teams without a win this season, but the schedule lightens over the next two months, as the Vandals host New Mexico State this Saturday and play at Texas State on Oct. 13. Considering Idaho’s uncertain conference future, it’s important for this team to finish the second half of the season on a high note.

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6. Jeff Quinn, Buffalo
Last Week’s Rank:
8
Record at Buffalo: 6-22 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 1-3
The Bulls gave Connecticut all it could handle but were stopped around midfield late in the fourth quarter for a potential game-tying touchdown. Buffalo has had an interesting 2012 season, as it played well against Georgia and Connecticut but lost to Kent State and gave up 34 points to Morgan State. The Bulls have back-to-back road games the next two weeks, as they travel to Ohio and Northern Illinois – two of the MAC’s best teams. Running back Branden Oliver could return for this Saturday’s game against the Bobcats, which would be a huge boost to a team averaging 199.5 rushing yards per game.

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7. Dan Enos, Central Michigan
Last Week’s Rank:
14
Record at Central Michigan: 8-20 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 2-2
After a huge win against Iowa, the Chippewas came back to Earth with a 55-24 defeat at Northern Illinois. There’s no doubt Central Michigan would struggle to match last week’s intensity, but the loss to the Huskies drops Enos to 8-20 in his third season in Mount Pleasant. Although the win over the Hawkeyes was huge, Enos is still in a lot of trouble, especially with a trip to Toledo this Saturday, followed by games against Navy and Ball State. The Chippewas could still get to six wins, which might be the mark needed to save Enos’ job.

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8. Bobby Hauck, UNLV
Last Week’s Rank:
13
Record at UNLV: 5-25 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 1-4
A week after picking up their first win of 2012, the Rebels were soundly defeated 35-13 at Utah State. UNLV has showed progress this season but Saturday’s loss was the biggest margin of defeat for the Rebels in 2012. Although Hauck seems to have the program on the right track, wins could be difficult to come by in the next few weeks, as Louisiana Tech, Nevada and Boise State are UNLV’s next three opponents. The Rebels finish the year with New Mexico, Colorado State, Wyoming and Hawaii, which are all winnable games. Hauck didn’t inherit a full cupboard but needs to show a little more progress before guaranteeing himself a fourth season.