Do you smell something burning? It must be the searing rear-ends of college football coaches sitting on the hot seat heading into the 2012 season.
College football blog www.coacheshotseat.com conveniently ranks every single FBS coach by temperature of their seat and currently has 15 head coaches marked with a red label, indicating that they may want to wear some fire-retardant boxers this fall.
We take a look at which hot-seat head coaches are also being grilled by NCAAF bettors, who are sick of being burned by these programs.
Mike Riley, Oregon State Beavers
Riley ranks No. 2, behind Boston College coach Frank Spaziani, on Coaches Hot Seat after poor efforts in the last two seasons. The Beavers are 8-16 SU in that span but didn’t really get in bad with bettors until last year’s 4-7-1 ATS record. In the four previous seasons, OSU combined to go 30-17-1 ATS.
Riley is promising a return to bowl season behind a revamped running game. Oregon State has some tough non-conference foes in Wisconsin and BYU but avoids facing Pac-12 favorite USC and gets Cal and Oregon in Corvallis.
Randy Edsall, Maryland Terrapins
Edsall was under fire before he even took the sidelines for the Terps and didn’t help his cause by going 2-10 SU and ATS in his first season with Maryland. Rumors about losing his locker room have been defused by returnees this summer, who are defending Edsall’s strict coaching style which reportedly rubbed 20 departed players the wrong way.
The Terrapins swapped out the staff around Edsall this offseason, bringing in offensive coordinator Mike Locksley and defensive coordinator Brian Stewart, who has the job of retooling the ACC’s worst stop unit. That might not be enough for a team projected to finish last in the ACC at +80,000 odds to win the conference.
Dan Enos, Central Michigan Chippewas
The Chippewas have suffered a two-year hangover since the departure of “Baby Tebow” Dan LeFevour, who single-handedly made CMU a contender in the MAC. Over the past two seasons, Enos hasn’t been able to get Central Michigan back on track, going just 6-18 SU and 7-17 ATS, including a 1-11 ATS mark last season – the worst in college football betting.
Things don’t appear to be turning around any time soon. Most publications have picked the Chippewas to finish at the bottom of the Mid-American Conference once again. Sure, injuries played a big part in CMU’s dismal 2011 campaign, with 24 different players making their first NCAAF starts. But that freshman heavy-roster is still wet behind the ears in 2012.
Mack Brown, Texas Longhorns
From a betting point of view, Brown gets little help from the oddsmakers when it comes to covering for the Longhorns’ boosters. Due to the public appeal of the program, Texas’ spreads are always a bit skewed. It’s a wonder the Horns went 7-6 ATS in 2012 after combining for an 8-17-1 ATS mark the two previous seasons.
This season, expectations are high in a diluted Big 12. Texas is the second-overall favorite to win the conference crown behind rival Oklahoma (+120). The Horns had a solid defense last year, ranking 11th in average yards against. But the offense is still a mess and Brown needs to put his foot down on who will be the starting QB - David Ash or Case McCoy - before “Hook ‘Em Horns” backers start pushing to give him the hook.
Bobby Hauck, UNLV Runnin’ Rebels
It stings extra bad that Las Vegas’ college football team can’t cover a spread. Hauck is 4-21 SU and 8-16-1 ATS in his two years in the desert after coming over from a successful FCS Montana program. Runnin’ Rebels fans have been patient with the team’s potential resurrection but if Hauck can’t improve on a 2-10 season, fire shows won’t be reserved to the Vegas stage acts.
UNLV has seven returning starters on offense, which is good and bad. The Rebels averaged just 273.8 yards per game – fourth lowest in the land. The rushing game will eat up the majority of the playbook again with questions surround the QB position. Hauck and offensive coordinator Brent Myers, who was promoted from assistant this offseason, must find ways of mixing up the plays and not telegraphing the run.