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Which coaches are on the hot seat in the ACC?

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The ACC needs to hit the restart button to regain relevance

Bethune-Cookman v Miami Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

If you clicked on this post expecting Miami head coach Manny Diaz to be on a hot seat akin to Ernest P. Worrell in the cinematic classic Ernest Goes to Jail, you’re insane. Miami Athletic Director Blake James is going to give Coach Diaz a minimum of three years to get this figured out, if not more. Randy Shannon, also already on campus as a defensive coordinator (scary cosmic connection) when he took over for Larry Coker, was given four seasons; Al Golden was give four and change; and Mark Richt “retired” after three years on the job. Coach Diaz will easily get three seasons to figure out the Miami-Problem.

Geoff Collins at Georgia Tech and Scott Satterfield at Louisville are in year negative one for their rebuild. Collins has to completely change the culture and offensive system in Atlanta while Satterfield has to change everything about Bobby Petrino’s personal mission to ruin the Cardinals football program. Mack Brown has the UNC Tar Heels at 2-2, with a win over the ‘Canes, and Brown will be given enough leeway as he fundraises, improves facilities, and recruits at a higher level than Larry Fedora.


Boston College v Rutgers Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

Tepid, but on the radar

Tepid Peppermint Wonderland is a ridiculously awesome greatest hits from the band the Brian Jonestown Massacre. The BJM were the focus of the cult classic documentary Dig! that was released in 2004. However, the tepid performances of Steve Addazio, Dave Doeren, David Cutcliffe, and Dino Babers could have some seats turning from cold to warm this off-season. I can’t see any of the three leaving their current posts besides Cucliffe, who could possibly retire at age 65.

Babers’ Syracuse Orange (75th in the SP+) are struggling right now but they’re coming off of a 10-win season, Dave Doeren recently received an extension (48th SP+) and has won more games at this point than Chuck Amato had won over his tenure, David Cutcliffe has made Duke a thing (60th SP+) and Addazio (73rd) wins more than he loses at BC. The issue for the Eagles will be that Addazio has had seven years and can’t win more than seven games. Is it time for someone like Jeff Monken to step in and bring the triple option back to the ACC?

If any of these coaches are relieved of their duties it would be a risky endeavor as most of them have been successful compared to predecessors of years past. But Monken has earned a P5 job and Boston College could be the perfect destination for his brand of football.


Louisville v Florida State Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

It’s getting hot in herre

I like a bodacious ass as much as the next person, but losing football games doesn’t make me flirtatious and boosters are not showing patience in 2019. Willie Taggart, Florida State’s first African American head football coach, has to feel his seat heating up. The Seminoles had a once proud tradition that fell apart at the end of the Jimbo Fisher era, and the ‘Noles have already lost to Boise State and Virginia this season, while having to take Louisiana Monroe into overtime to sit at .500 after four games.

Taggart brought in offensive guru Kendal Briles, who has moved FSU into 19th per the SP+ (from 97th a year ago) in offense, but the once proud FSU defense is 98th (of 130 teams) in college football. Briles, even with a horrible offensive line, as proven to be a job-saving hire for Taggart, but if the rest of the program doesn’t turn around Briles could prove he’s the silverlining in Taggart’s playbook. FSU will need to make a bowl game to keep Coach Taggart’s dream job alive.


Miami v Virginia Tech Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

Ernest Level Hot Seat

Justine Fuente is on that Ernest Goes to Jail level hot seat. The Hokies are suddenly ranked lower than the UVA Cavaliers per the SP+ (37th and 53rd) and Fuente went from a hot hire to a hot seat rider. Virginia Tech has progressively won less games every season that Coach Fuente has been in charge (dropping from 10 to nine, to six wins) and currently sits at 2-1 (they’ve beaten ODU and an FCS program). If the Hokies can beat one of UVA and Miami and make a bowl game- Fuente might save his gig. However, coaches are probably a lot more willing to replace Fuente as head coach than legendary Hokies head coach Frank Beamer.

With Mike Locksley’s recruiting prowess at Maryland and Bronco Mendenhall driving the Cavaliers to a 4-0 start, the Hokies will have to think long and hard about Coach Fuente as the future of their program. A few big names are floating around that would love a Power 5 job including Tulane’s Willie Fritz (he’s jumping at a P5 chance), Army’s Jeff Monken (deserves one), Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell (I could see him and Matt Campbell holding out for Michigan State), and UCF’s Josh Heupel has to be on the P5 radar at this point, too. Heupel’s work with quarterbacks alone makes him a viable option at any program struggling to produce offensive production (see: Michigan State, Arizona, or Ole Miss) like Virginia Tech.


Prediction

I can see this being a wild off-season. All it takes is 2-3 jobs to open up to cause a complete circus of the coaching carousel and 2019 off-season. If Virginia Tech, USC, South Carolina, Michigan State, Ole Miss, and Tennessee fire (“retire” for MSU) their head coaches a massive shift could occur in college football.

Josh Heupel could go to the Hokies, Urban Meyer or James Franklin to USC, South Carolina should be going after a Mike Norvell or Willie Fritz, the Spartans will fast approach Fickell and ISU’s Matt Campbell, and Tennessee and Ole Miss... well... I have no idea. Ole Miss could promote Mike MacIntyre who is currently the defensive coordinator there, and The Vols could pull over Mike Norvell from Memphis. Who would take Penn State if Franklin leaves- that could be Fickell or Campbell as well.

Oh, and if Jim Harbaugh leaves Michigan for the NFL? Yeah that could be a mess, too. The Titans, Jaguars, Steelers, Broncos, Raiders, Washingtons, and Panthers could all be looking for a new head coach next season.