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Top 5 CFB Coaches on the Hot Seat

June 27, 2023
Jimbo on the hot seat

Each year, there is a group of college football coaches that, unfortunately, are pegged for termination. They enter a season needing a winning season, a win over a rival, a bowl berth, or, at the very least, some signs of improvement. 

In some cases, a coach might even have a winning record. Depending upon which program he is leading, his winning record just might not be enough. With that said, here is a look at the top 5 college football coaches who are sitting squarely on a hot seat heading into the 2023 season.


  1. Steve Sarkisian, Texas

Sarkisian is 13-12 in two seasons in Austin. After having success as Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator at Alabama, the Longhorns offense hasn’t really exploded just yet. The Horns were improved last season finishing 8-5 with a quality win over eventual Big 12 champion Kansas State. Texas also beat rival Oklahoma 49-0

Texas will have nine starters, including QB Quinn Ewers, back on offense. Six starters return on defense and Sarkisian’s team is projected by many to win the new-look Big 12. If that’s the case, Sark is safe. If not, the Longhorns might look elsewhere for someone to lead them into the SEC in 2024.


  1. Danny Gonzalez, New Mexico

Lobos fans are probably longing for Bob Davie, who had back-to-back winning seasons in 2015 and 2016. Gonzalez, a former New Mexico player, is 7-24 in three seasons. The Lobos are just 3-20 in Mountain West Conference play. That includes going a dreadful 0-8 last year.

The Lobos were dead last in the nation in total offense averaging 228.1 yards per game. They were 129th in scoring (13.1 ppg). Gonzalez will have just four offensive starters back, but three are on the offensive line. The schedule is brutal with an opening weekend date at Texas A&M and back-to-back trips to Boise State and Fresno State later in the season.


  1. Dino Babers, Syracuse

How much longer will the Syracuse faithful put up with Babers? After two 4-8 campaigns in his first two seasons, Babers delivered a 10-3 season in 2018. The Orange finished the season ranked No. 15 in the final AP poll.

Since 2018, Babers has produced one winning season. That came last year. The Orange went 7-6 after starting the season 6-0. Replicating that this season will be difficult. Syracuse is at Purdue on Sept. 16, plays Clemson at home on Sept 30 and then has three consecutive road games – North Carolina, Florida State, and Virginia Tech.


  1. Neal Brown, West Virginia

You don’t even want to know how Mountaineers fans refer to Brown. In four seasons, he has produced one winning season and that was due to COVID-19 shortening the 2020 campaign.  WVU is 22-25 under Brown. That’s just 5.5 wins per season. West Virginia hasn’t been this bad since the late 1970s when they went 18-27 from 1977-80. 

The 2023 season starts with Penn State and then rekindles the Backyard Brawl with Pitt two weeks later. The Mountaineers open Big 12 play with an improved Texas Tech then go to national runner-up TCU a week later. Late last season, Brown was listed at +200 to be the next college coach fired.


  1. Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M

Ole Jimbo has been squarely on the hot seat since he lost four games in Year 1. What’s interesting is that Fisher’s predecessor, Kevin Sumlin, went 44-21 and got canned after Year 5. Fisher is 39-21 (23-18 in the SEC) in his five seasons in College Station.

The Aggies dropped six straight SEC games last year and finished just 5-7. Fisher “salvaged” the season with wins over UMass and rival LSU in the season finale. Late last season, Fisher, just like Brown, was given +200 odds to be the next CFB coach fired.

The sad thing is that Fisher and the Aggies could go 5-7 again and he might not get the ax. There are 76,800,000 reasons why. That ($76.8 million) is the amount Fisher would be owed if Texas A&M fires him before the end of 2023.