College Football Coaches On Hot Seat After Rough Start

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College Football Coaches On Hot Seat After Rough Start
© USA Today

College football coaches aren’t given much time to succeed anymore, especially those with multimillion-dollar contracts at major program.  

In the social media era, unforgiving fans have a platform to fire zingers that do lasting damage.

Ed Orgeron, Scott Frost Fired by Their Schools

Look at Ed Orgeron. 

A couple of seasons after winning the national title with arguably the best college football team ever, the LSU coach was sent packing. 

Orgeron’s inappropriate behavior, including referring to UCLA’s primary color as “sissy blue,” embarrassed the university. Added to that, his team’s lackluster performance after Joe Burrow and company left Baton Rouge turned even die-hard fans against him.

Nationwide, recent college football upsets have left a few coaches under similar serious pressure, if not on an actual hot seat. 

Already this season, Nebraska’s Scott Frost has been fired, forced to turn in his whistle after the Cornhuskers sputtered in losses to Northwestern and Georgia Southern.

The good news for current coaches is that humbling early defeats — especially before fall officially arrives — are forgotten if followed by sensational victories as the season rolls along.

With that in mind, here is’s list of Top 3 coaches under early pressure.

CoachSchoolFiring Probability
Marcus FreemanNotre Dame15%
Jimbo FisherTexas A&M15%
Brian KellyLSU10%

These odds are for entertainment purposes only and are not odds that may be offered on betting apps or betting sites. They have been created by the handicapping team.

Marcus Freeman, Notre Dame

After taking over the team last season for departing coach Brian Kelly, a video surfaced of Freeman, Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator, being mobbed by jubilant players welcoming him as their new leader.

These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find videos of anyone, especially fans, swarming him in celebration.

After a brief honeymoon, the warm feelings began to cool as the Fighting Irish dropped their first three games under Freeman, dating back to last season’s Fiesta Bowl loss to Oklahoma State.

With defeats during the current season to Ohio State and Marshall, Freeman became the first Notre Dame coach to lose his initial three games.

Going forward, the team's schedule includes some likely cakewalks, which should work in Freeman’s favor, but then again, Marshall (7-6 last season) was expected to be a pushover, too.

Brian Kelly, LSU  

From the start, with his groan-inducing fake Southern accent, the Massachusetts-born Kelly seemed as out of place along the bayou as a Boston Brahmin would be at an Opelousas zydeco festival.

He’s not one of us, was the feeling among some in Cajun Country.

That feeling became more intense, like a Cat 5 hurricane, after Florida State embarrassed LSU before a national audience in the only game on TV that Sunday night.

The capper came when Kelly chirped at a Baton Rouge newspaper reporter for supposedly being late to a post-game news conference. Not missing a beat, she quick-kicked him you-know-where by saying she might show up on time if he would win a game.

To paraphrase what former Mississippi River adventurer Mark Twain allegedly said, never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.

That won’t be the last lesson Kelly learns at this proud campus on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi. He will quickly find out that Bayou Bengal fans don’t tolerate losses. (Ask Orgeron.)

On the other hand, if LSU beats Alabama on Nov. 5, Kelly might be anointed an honorary Cajun For Life and can crank up that faux Opelousas accent any time he wants.

Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M

In College Station, the focus lately seems to be more on name-calling than Xs & Os.

Before the season started, Jimbo Fisher and Alabama’s Nick Saban were shooting verbal darts at each other over NIL arrangements. (Critics say wealthy boosters can stack a favored school’s roster with star athletes by showering them with NIL endorsement money.)

Now a video has surfaced of the Aggies’ Midnight Yell session before last Saturday’s Appalachian State game.

At this spirit rally, insensitive terms were used to describe the opponent from Boone, North Carolina, whose nickname is the Mountaineers.

“They are located deep, and I mean deep, in the backwoods, just like you would think any hillbilly college that names themselves the Mountaineers,” said head yell leader Zac Cross on a mic. “I just hope that these guys can get here tomorrow all right, because I know for a fact that half of their football team can barely even read the name on their jerseys, let alone read a map.”

The yell leader had more to say.

“It’s a shame that the only two brain cells that these guys have left are going to get knocked out by our wrecking crew defense tomorrow,” he said.

To the everlasting delight of Mountaineer fans everywhere, App State made the Aggies eat those words, rolling into College Station and beating No. 6 Texas A&M, 17-14, and walking off with a $1.5 million payday.

After that comeuppance, maybe Fisher can get himself and the entire campus focused less on insults and more on wins.

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Larry Henry

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