Expectations of each football program is different, but it’s safe to assume that Lane Kiffin, Mack Brown,Paul Johnson, Steve Sarkisian, Gary Pinkel and Paul Pasqualoni will be the first head coaches to get fired after the 2013 College Football seasons if they don’t meet the early season expectations.
Lane Kiffin, USC Trojans
Kiffin has a 25-13 record at USC, with the first two years being ineligible for a bowl game. Following the 10-2 season in 2011 and coming in with a stacked offense, the Trojans, still suffering from scholarship limitations, were supposed the challenge for the national title, and were the number one team in the preseason rankings. It all imploded with lack of depth and terrible defense, as USC finished 7-6, losing in the Sun Bowl. Kiffin is keeping his job for now, but USC haven’t lost six games in a season since 2001, and another bad one from Kiffin will be the end of his reign in South California.
Mack Brown, Texas Longhorns
It’s hard to imagine the Longhorns with anyone but Brown at the helm. He’s been their head coach since 1998, and for 12 consecutive season, he never won less than 9 games in a season, including winning the national title in 2005 and reaching the national title game in 2009. But since that day of losing to Alabama, Brown has gone 22-16, and only a win in the Alamo Bowl against Oregon State and the first ranked finish in three years saved him from getting sacked, according to some. Another mediocre season (5 losses or more?) and getting blown out by Oklahoma again (118-38 over the last couple of years) and it’s probably bye bye time.
Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Johnson began his career in Atlanta by going 20-7 and winning the Conference title in 2009, going on to lose in the Orange Bowl. Since then, things haven’t looked that good for the Yellow Jackets, no longer a defensive force and simply looking bad all over the field most of the time, with a 21-19 over the last three season. The win against USC and reaching the ACC title game did help Johnson to put a bit of sweet on another bitter season, but going 7-7 or something similar again won’t be enough to keep the job after 2013.
Steve Sarkisian, Washington Huskies
The last time Washington had three consecutive winnings seasons (although 7-6 and 5-4 in conference play isn’t that special), Rick Neuheisel was the head coach, leading the Huskies to a Rose Bowl victory. Sarkisian, going 26-25, including three straight Bowl games, during his time in Seattle, is doing much better than anyone else for over a decade, but for a school still thinking about the days of Don James, slightly above .500 just doesn’t cut it.
Gary Pinkel, Missouri Tigers
Gary Pinkel has been quite successful as a head coach of a football program in a school that cares more about basketball, but the last couple of years and a rough first-year experience in the SEC have hurt his stock in Columbia. Mizzou went 5-7 in 2012, 2-6 in conference play and missed a bowl game for the first time since 2004. Despite being the third winningest coach in Mizzou history (90-61), not being able to recreate the 2007-2010 period with three double digit win seasons or at least showing significant improvement from last season might terminate Pinkel’s time with the Tigers.
Paul Pasqualoni, UConn Huskies
After two seasons of 5-7, even being the head coach on a school not exactly known as a football powerhouse knows he needs to reach a bowl game. The final years of the Randy Edsall era were highly successful, winning 33 games over the last four seasons, reaching four consecutive bowl games and winning two of them. UConn have only reached bowl games under Edsall, and have gotten used to at least a little bit of success. Under Pasqualoni, they’ve yet to taste it, and another losing season will be his last.
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