For most college coaches, their job security fluctuates like no other position in sports.
Last year in the Pac-12, former Cal coach Sonny Dykes and Oregon coach Mark Helfrich couldn’t survive their boiling-hot seats and were each replaced in the offseason. After a rough 1-3 start, Clay Helton’s seat temperature was beginning to rise quickly, but it cooled thanks to Sam Darnold leading USC to a nine-game winning streak to close out the year.
CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd ranked how comfortable each of the 130 FBS coaches should feel about their job heading into this campaign. A “5” rating meant win or be fired, while a “0” rating entailed an untouchable status. According to Dodd, the two Pac-12 coaches who should feel the most heat heading into the 2017 season reside in the desert: Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez and Arizona State coach Todd Graham.
In Rodriguez’ first four years at the helm, the Wildcats finished with a winning record, including a Fiesta Bowl appearance in 2014. Last season, though, was an absolute nightmare, and it may not get any easier anytime soon.
After finishing with double-digit wins in 2013 and 2014, Arizona State has regressed under Graham. The past two seasons have resulted in two losing campaigns.
There’s a decent chance one coach’s seat temperature will exceed the scorching heat in Tempe by the time Arizona travels to take on Arizona State on November 25 to finish the regular season.
Here are Dodd’s hot-seat ratings for all of the Pac-12 coaches:
Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez: 4
Arizona State’s Todd Graham: 4
Cal’s Justin Wilcox: 1
Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre: 2
Oregon’s Willie Taggart: 1
Oregon State’s Gary Andersen: 3
Stanford’s David Shaw: 0
UCLA’s Jim Mora: 3
USC’s Clay Helton: 1
Utah’s Kyle Whittingham: 1
Washington’s Chris Petersen: 0
Washington State’s Mike Leach: 1