Pac-12 football preview: Hot seat ratings for the head coaches

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This should beryllium a reasonably mean play for Pac-12 football, with fans successful the stands, currency successful the coffers and a fistful of coaches operating nether important pressure.

In the lawsuit of two, it’s unit to win.

For another, it’s unit to debar NCAA sanctions.

For a fourth, it’s unit to get vaccinated.

By our estimate, determination could beryllium arsenic galore arsenic 4 coaching changes astatine the extremity of the play — and that fig doesn’t relationship for different coaches leaving connected their ain volition.

Here we spell …


Coach: Jedd Fisch/1st year

Contract status: Signed done 2025

Seat Heat: Chilly

Comment: Fisch is nether much scrutiny that astir first-year coaches due to the fact that his assignment was unpopular with fans who clamored for idiosyncratic with Arizona ties. Thus far, helium has made each the close moves connected the field, disconnected the field, connected societal media — everyplace — but the roster is lacking high-level endowment and depth. As with each caller coaches, we’ll springiness Fisch 3 years earlier rendering judgment. But a pratfall this play would rekindle the concerns that surfaced upon Fisch’s arrival.

Arizona State

Coach: Herm Edwards/4th year

Contract status: Signed done 2024

Seat Heat: Phoenix, July, 3 p.m.

Comment: This would person been a captious play nether mean circumstances. But the recruiting ungraded has claimed 3 assistants and accrued the unit connected Edwards by an bid of magnitude. What did helium cognize astir the alleged improper visits? To what grade did helium actively participate? What different transgressions wrong his programme mightiness the NCAA uncover? We’re reasonably assured the 67-year-old volition manager ASU done this season. Beyond that, who knows. He could determine enough’s capable … oregon person idiosyncratic marque that determination for him.


Coach: Justin Wilcox/5th year

Contract status: Signed done 2023

Seat Heat: Defrosting

Comment: From his coaching benignant to his presumption of the ngo of assemblage athletics, Wilcox is an fantabulous acceptable for Cal. Short of a scandal, determination is zero accidental of the Bears initiating a change. (The likelihood of Wilcox leaving connected his ain is acold greater.) However, Cal fans person moved past the constituent of embracing the ascent to mediocrity. The Bears person beaten Stanford, Washington and USC successful caller years and were arsenic impacted by COVID protocols and authorities arsenic immoderate squad successful the conference. But the momentum volition dilatory if they don’t vie for the North rubric this fall.


Coach: Karl Dorrell/2nd year

Contract status: Signed done 2024

Seat Heat: Frigid

Comment: One mountainous crushed the Buffaloes are all-in with Dorrell: He’s all-in with them. Before CU adjacent considered Dorrell for the vacancy, Boulder was his imperishable residence. The schoolhouse smartly views Dorrell arsenic a long-game play, overmuch similar Kyle Whittingham astatine Utah oregon David Shaw astatine Stanford. The extremity is sustained success, not a one-season uptick (e.g., 2016), and that tin lone beryllium achieved with continuity astatine the top. If we’re being afloat candid, it’s worthy noting that adjacent if the concern deteriorated quickly, CU mightiness not person the wherewithal oregon willpower to marque a change.


Coach: Mario Cristobal/4th year

Contract status: Signed done 2026

Seat Heat: Vladivostok, January, 3 a.m.

Comment: After back-to-back league titles and a six-year declaration extension, Cristobal is approaching coach-for-life presumption successful Eugene. In our opinion, helium would lone permission for a fistful of elite coaching jobs successful Florida (his location state) oregon the SEC. But adjacent that database could constrictive if the Ducks marque the College Football Playoff successful the adjacent fewer years. He wants to triumph the nationalist title, and the person helium gets to that extremity successful Eugene, the little usage helium has for suitors that aren’t named Alabama oregon Georgia.

Oregon State

Coach: Jonathan Smith/4th year

Contract status: Signed done 2025

Seat Heat: Corvallis, February, anytime

Comment: Fairly straightforward concern successful Corvallis with a well-liked erstwhile subordinate who took implicit a struggling program, made the Beavers competitory pre-pandemic, bushed their rival during the pandemic and has a roster susceptible of reaching the postseason successful 2021. Smith is good entrenched and has shown a keen oculus for endowment that fits his strategy and his school. The transportation portal has been precise bully to OSU, and there’s nary crushed to deliberation that pipeline volition adust up. We expect Smith unsocial to sanction his departure date.


Coach: David Shaw/11th season

Contract status: Unknown

Seat Heat: Nonexistent

Comment: Short of an NCAA ungraded oregon diminution successful the program’s world performance, Shaw isn’t going anyplace unless helium wants to caput somewhere. It’s casual to envision him coaching Stanford into the 2030s, but let’s not discount the imaginable for a leap to the NFL successful the adjacent six oregon 8 years. Those are seemingly the lone options. We cannot envision Shaw leaving Stanford for different assemblage job. All that said, the early-tenure momentum has vanished, and he’s facing immoderate scrutiny — albeit Stanford-level scrutiny.


Coach: Chip Kelly/4th season

Contract status: Signed done 2022

Seat Heat: Significant

Comment: This definite feels similar the decisive play for Kelly. His buyout has dropped beneath $10 million; his roster is loaded with experience; his strategy is profoundly ingrained; and the debt-riddled Bruins simply cannot spend to prolong the apathy beyond this fall. Either Kelly elevates the programme to a spot of prominence successful the conference, energizing some fans and summons sales, oregon a alteration seems inevitable. No manager is nether much unit to win, but possibly the feline crossed town.


Coach: Clay Helton/6th season

Contract status: Signed done 2023

Seat Heat: Do you adjacent request to ask?

Comment: Any tenable appraisal of USC’s post-pandemic concern leads to the inevitable decision that we person perfectly … nary earthly thought what barroom Helton indispensable wide to debar termination. What if the Trojans are 8-4 but triumph the South? What if they’re 10-2 and get blitzed successful the league championship? The medication remains shrewdly coy astir the level of occurrence required. But clearly, there’s overmuch much to the equation than specified wins and losses. Until, perhaps, determination isn’t.


Coach: Kyle Whittingham/18th season

Contract status: Signed done 2027

Seat Heat: Pluto (the really acold part)

Comment: Whittingham received a lengthy declaration hold past twelvemonth that comes reasonably adjacent to ensuring Utah volition beryllium his past coaching job. (It’s besides his first.) He volition beryllium 62 successful November and has fixed small denotation implicit the years of a tendency to permission Salt Lake City. The Hotline firmly believes that prime coaches who lucifer unit to system, situation themselves with bully assistants and support grinding done bully times and atrocious … those coaches volition yet get their ring.


Coach: Jimmy Lake/2nd season

Contract status: Signed done 2024

Seat Heat: Chilly, arsenic champion we tin tell

Comment: Lake has been connected the occupation for 20 months, but we don’t person a wide presumption of his capabilities. (UW played conscionable 4 games past season, each of them astatine home.) Fans are panicked astir the authorities of recruiting, and the concern could deteriorate further if the play veers disconnected the rails. If the Huskies triumph the division, the recruiting angst volition fade; if they person a mediocre fall, the endowment acquisition contented volition determination to halfway stage. This is simply a large twelvemonth for Lake because, successful galore regards, it’s his first.

Washington State

Coach: Nick Rolovich

Contract status: Signed done 2024

Seat Heat: Check backmost Oct. 18

Comment: For those unfamiliar, that’s the vaccination deadline for authorities employees successful higher acquisition as a information of employment. Thus far, Rolovich has said lone that helium volition travel the mandate. His attack — astatine best, it could beryllium described arsenic curious; astatine worst, arsenic selfish and self-destructive — has diverted attraction from his squad and ramped up the unit connected a second-year manager who navigated a pandemic and different would beryllium nether nary scrutiny whatsoever.

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