Welcome back to another edition of the Fetch Football Forum, and as one of my colleagues likes to say, it’s been too long since I last left you. In the time that has passed since the last Forum update, we’ve seen a multitude of big wins, thrilling endings, and embarrassing losses in the college football world, which has led to some fan bases being thrilled with their team’s head coach and others not so much.
Today we look at some of the SEC head coaches that may want to have some boxes handy in their office to pack up their belongings once the inevitable occurs.
John L. Smith Record at Arkansas: 3-4 (1 year). Chances He Can Save His Job. 0%. Yes, the Razorbacks have looked considerably better the last two weeks against two struggling SEC schools (Auburn and Kentucky), but John L. Smith more or less obliterated his chances of being the Arkansas head coach in 2013 when his team lost to UL-Monroe on September 8th. Who Arkansas May Consider: Charlie Strong, Louisville head coach; Paul Rhoads, Iowa State HC; Gus Malzahn, Arkansas State HC
Joker Phillips Record at Kentucky: 12-20 (3 years). Chances He Can Save His Job. 10%. Kentucky has never really been a consistent player as far as SEC football goes, but the Wildcats have seen a significant drop-off since Rich Brooks handed the reins over to Phillips. Kentucky is going to show significant improvement in these last few games (a bowl appearance is totally out of the question) if Phillips, a UK alum, is going to be retained. Who Kentucky May Consider: Sonny Dykes, Louisiana Tech HC; Bobby Petrino, former Arkansas HC; Willie McTaggart, Western Kentucky HC
Derek Dooley Record at Tennessee: 14-17 (3 years). Chances He Can Save His Job: 25%. Do I think it is fair that Dooley will more than likely lose his job once this year ends? No, I don’t due to the mess he inherited thanks to the Lane Kiffin experiment in Knoxville, but in the end you have to win if you want to keep your job in the SEC. Dooley’s only reasonable chances of returning next year is if the Vols keep in close with Alabama this week and South Carolina the week after that and then win the rest of the games on their schedule, which is fairly reasonable but is definitely not a guarantee. Who Tennessee May Consider: Jon Gruden, former Buccaneers HC; David Cutcliffe, Duke HC; Kirby Smart, Alabama DC
Gene Chizik Record at Auburn: 31-15 (4 years). Chances He Can Save His Job: 50%. I find it hard to believe that Chizik may be on his way out just two years after winning a national title, but the record isn’t an unfair indicator of the Tigers this year: they flat-out stink. The remaining schedule for the Tigers makes even a 4-8 record look like a stretch, so you can circle the November 24th matchup against Alabama as what will decide Chizik’s future on the Plains. If it’s anything like Chizik’s predecessor Tommy Tuberville’s last showdown against the Crimson Tide (36-0 loss), you can bet on a new regime taking over for the Tigers. Who Auburn May Consider: Paul Rhoads, Iowa State HC; James Franklin, Vanderbilt HC; Sonny Dykes, Louisiana Tech HC
Gary Pinkel Record at Missouri: 88-59 (12 years). Chances He Can Save His Job: 70%. Pinkel probably didn’t expect the Tigers’ first season in the SEC being this rough, but the team still has a chance to reach bowl eligibility, as they need three wins with five games remaining on the schedule. The only way Pinkel loses his job is if Missouri drops these final five games by a substantial margin. Who Missouri May Consider: Kirby Smart, Alabama DC; Gene Chizik, Auburn HC; Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech HC