College football head coaches are going down left and right as head-scratching nonconference losses have caused multiple firings by major programs throughout the sport. Who else is on the hot seat, and who’s next?
An Eventful Month
It started on Sunday, September 11th, when Nebraska head coach Scott Frost was fired after a 45-42 defeat against Georgia Southern.
Arizona State was the next to let go of their head man as Herm Edwards was fired on September 18th, a day after the Sun Devils lost to Eastern Michigan 30-21.
No one is safe as top programs and boosters seem happy to shell out millions of dollars if it means changing the leader of their middling football program. The aforementioned Edwards was not the first, nor will he be the last Power Five head coach to lose his job this season.
Who do I believe will be the next head coach to go down? Let’s take a look at College Football’s hottest hot seats:
Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech
Fourth season, 1-2 2022 record, 10-27 overall record:
After leading the Temple Owls to a 15-10 mark over two seasons, Geoff Collins was named head coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in December of 2018. After making his hay as a defensive coordinator in the SEC in the early 2010s, Collins had earned this opportunity to turn around a Georgia Tech program that was looking to transfer out of the Paul Johnson triple-option era.
Collins did transition the Yellow Jackets from the triple-option to a more conventional spread offense, however, the dividends have yet to pay off.
The brass in Atlanta was willing to give Collins some time as they knew a roster overhaul, specifically on the offensive side of the ball, was needed. With that said, the hourglass is getting thin.
Collins won just three games in each of 2019, 2020, and 2021. This past offseason he brought in new offensive coordinator Chip Long to revamp that side of the ball, but it has been a struggle through three games. They opened the season with a 41-10 loss to Clemson and are coming off of a Week Three 42-0 shutout loss at the hands of Ole Miss. In between was an average looking 35-17 win over FCS Western Carolina.
If anything, this team has gone backward since Collins took over.
The rest of the Yellow Jackets’ schedule has some sure-fire losses (Georgia, Miami, Pittsburgh), as well as some winnable ball games (Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech). With that said, Collins may not even last that long. If Georgia Tech goes down to Orlando this Saturday and gets blown out by UCF, I could see Collins not making the trip back to Atlanta.
Karl Dorrell, University Of Colorado
3rd season, 0-3 2022 record, 8-13 overall record:
Former UCLA head coach (2003-2007) stumbled into this Colorado head coaching gig when the previously hired Mel Tucker bolted for greener pastures and greener uniforms out in East Lansing. Between his time as UCLA head coach and getting the Colorado job, Dorrell spent 11 years as an assistant in the NFL. It was certainly an odd choice for Colorado to go with the 57-year-old Dorrell who had not been a head coach (or in the college game) for more than a decade.
It is starting to look like this decision might come back to haunt the Buffaloes.
Colorado is 3-11 in their last 14 games. This season, they have not been competitive in losses to TCU, Air Force, and Minnesota. The Buffaloes have been outscored 128-30 in those three games. This team does not have a competent quarterback on the roster nor does it have any semblance of a Division One defense.
Part of me feels bad for Dorrell because there is no way for him to turn this around. No current player wearing the black and gold in Boulder will help save Dorrell’s job. The Buffaloes are arguably the worst Power Five team in the country. Sure, they’ll pick up a win this season, maybe even two. For Dorrell, however, this will be his last season in Boulder.
Bryan Harsin, Auburn
2nd season, 2-1 2022 record, 8-8 overall record:
Everything about the 20+ months Bryan Harsin has spent on The Plains has been odd.
When Auburn fired Gus Malzhan in December of 2020, it was widely accepted the Tigers were going to target a big-name coach with southern roots to be the new leader of their program. Instead, former Auburn Athletic Director Allen Greene went out west and hired Idaho native and (at the time) current Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin. It was a head-scratching move, to say the least.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Harsin is a fine coach. His track record proves that. Harsin went 69-19 during his seven years at the helm of the Broncos. The problem here was the fit.
Harsin was born and raised in Boise, played at Boise State, and coached for the Broncos in some capacity for 17 seasons. Up to that point, Harsin had spent just four years of his life outside of Boise, Idaho: 2000 as the Eastern Washington RB/WR coach, 2011/12 as the Texas co-OC/QB coach, and 2013 as the Arkansas State head coach.
Harsin had no ties to the south, something that became glaringly obvious during his first year at Auburn.
The Tigers finished the 2021 season with a 6-7 record. It was Auburn’s second losing season in the last 22 years (and something Gus Malzahn never did). You may think, “well, let him get his guys in before you let him go”. The problem was Harsin’s recruiting was worse than his on-field production.
Auburn finished with the ninth-best recruiting class during the 2022 cycle. For a place like Auburn that sells itself, finishing ranked in the bottom half of the conference is a major red flag.
Many thought Harsin was going to be let go before the 2022 season, but he has managed to stick around thus far. The Tigers are currently 2-1 and coming off of their largest margin of defeat in Jordan-Hare Stadium since 2012.
Auburn takes on Missouri and LSU before a three-game gauntlet that features a trip to Athens, a trip to Oxford, and a home contest against Arkansas. This Auburn team looks lifeless and I would be surprised to see them make a bowl game in 2022.
Scott Satterfield, Louisville
4th season, 1-2 2022 record, 19-21 overall record:
Scott Satterfield took the Louisville job after putting up a 47-16 record during his five seasons at Appalachian State. Satterfield inherited a program filled with turmoil. The Cardinals were coming off a 2-10 2018 season littered with off-the-field controversy from then head coach Bobby Petrino during his second stint in Louisville.
Satterfield had proven his prowess as an offensive play-caller and was tasked with getting this program back to a New Year’s Six-bowl level.
His tenure started strong. In 2019 Satterfield led a very young roster to an 8-5 (5-3) record and a second-place finish in the Atlantic Division of the ACC. Freshman quarterback Malik Cunningham looked like Lamar Jackson 2.0 as the Cardinals averaged the 13th most yards per game in the Power Five.
The COVID year seemed to throw a wrench into the Cardinals on the field, but the problems off of it were what caught up to Coach Satterfield. In early December he was accused of interviewing for the vacant South Carolina head job. When asked by the media, he denied the accusation. The original report was later proven to be true, an odd move for someone who had outwardly spoken about changing the culture at Louisville.
The Satterfield-led Cardinals followed up their 4-7 2020 season with a 6-7 2021 campaign, putting all the pressure on the 49-year-old fourth-year head coach.
Louisville started their 2022 season getting embarrassed 31-7 against a middle-of-the-road Syracuse team. They rebounded with a nice win in Orlando over UCF but choked away a fourth-quarter touchdown lead last week at home against Florida State.
The Cardinals currently sit at 1-2 but do have three very winnable games in a row against South Florida, Boston College, and Virginia ahead of them. In order to save Satterfield’s job, I believe Louisville would have to finish at least 7-5 this season. This would constitute a few wins over currently ranked opponents.
I do not think the Cardinals get there, which in my opinion, will end the Scott Satterfield era in Louisville.