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College Football Preview: Coaches on the Hot Seat

Mack Brown, Texas 150-43 with Texas
Mack Brown, Texas

The pressure is on for Mack Brown and Texas. After years of competing for national championships the Longhorns have gone 22-16 including 0-3 against hated rival Oklahoma. Texas keeps on bringing in fantastic recruiting classes and even has it's own network now. They have the talent and resources to win championships every single season but they just haven't proved it on the field. Once more Texas has the talent to win the Big 12 and play in a BCS bowl with the return of improving quarterback David Ash and a potentially scary offense. If the Longhorns have another average season by their standards, like a 7,8 or 9 win mark it is completely possible Brown could find himself out of his job. Texas needs to beat Oklahoma as well as the Sooners have dominated them the past couple of years in the Red River rivalry.

Gary Pinkel, Missouri 90-61 with Missouri
The Tigers got a rude awakening in it's first year in the SEC, going 5-7 and struggling to hang with the SEC's psychical level of play. Pinkel has had some real success in Columbia in his long tenure but it is clear Missouri must adjust to it's new conference. Mizzou has a strong team returning with the return of senior QB James Franklin, junior back Marcus Murphy and cornerback E.J. Gaines. But with a tough schedule (Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Ole Miss and Texas A&M will all play the Tigers) it is hard to think Missouri will contend much this season. Another season without a bowl and terrible defense could mean the end to Pinkel's tenure.

Kirk Ferentz, Iowa 100-74 with Iowa
A program that has had a long history of winning doesn't like the direction it is going. After an 11-2 mark in 2009 the Hawkeyes have declined every year, falling to a 4-8 record last season. Iowa does have a great back in junior Mark Weisman but the rest of this team is unspectacular. The Hawkeyes need to find a QB, as they must decide between sophomore Jake Rudock or junior Cody Sokol. Even if Sokol or Rudock surprises and perform well at quarterback this Iowa defense is just average and the Legends Division is stacked with bowl caliber teams. Iowa is known for sticking with coaches for a long time but that shouldn't change Ferentz' fate. If he doesn't make a bowl; or even if he does and still has just an average season the Hawkeyes will be looking for a change of guard.

Lane Kiffin, USC 25-13 with USC
After how talented USC was last year and how big of a disappointment 2012 was I'm surprised Lane Kiffin managed to keep his job. The Trojans were a popular national championship pick but struggled to a 7-6 record. It is USC, meaning there is enough talent to win the Pac-12 South. Marqise Lee is the nation's best receiver and is a Heisman candidate and Leonard Williams and Morgan Breslin are All Pac 12 talents on the defensive line. Kiffin must find a quarterback; the frontrunner appears to be sophomore Max Wittek who started in Matt Barkley's place last season. The QB does have the time to adjust as USC doesn't face any tough opponent in the first couple weeks. But their Pac-12 schedule includes UCLA, Stanford and Oregon State not to mention their rival, Notre Dame. The Trojans have a good team this year but don't expect too much of an improvement. But Kiffin needs an impressive year and some high-profile wins to save his job.

Kyle Whittingham, Utah 70-32 with Utah
Although Whittingham has transformed Utah in a legitimate program and helped them land a spot in the competitive Pac-12 his future with the school is in question. Since joining the Pac-12 the Utes have gone 13-12 including a surprising 5-7 mark last season that ended a decade-long bowl appearance streak. This year's team appears considerably weaker than last season's team without any proven backs and the loss of Star Lolutelei. His number one priority is to develop inconsistent sophomore Travis Wilson at QB and improve his defense, which was always good when the Utes were BCS busters. I only see 3-4 wins on their schedule and that is assuming Wilson takes some big steps at QB. It may be tough but Utah needs to part ways with Whittingham before it hits the bottom which seems like it could be inevitable.

Mike London, Virginia 16-21 with Virginia
After years of losing teams it appeared the Cavaliers had finally hit their stride entering the 2011 season. The Cavs went 8-5 and nearly made the ACC Championship game. A lot of promise returned for the 2012 season but Virginia went 4-8 and proved just how far London and the program has to go to return to respectability. They have tons of questions entering the 2013 season; an inexperienced quarterback, a weak offensive line and and a turnover prone team. Even with all those issues Virginia has some promise and could fight for a bowl berth. But non-conference matchups with Oregon and BYU should mean another losing season in Charlottesville.

Dana Holgorsen, 17-9 with West Virginia
At one point last season the Mountaineers looked like they could fight for a national championship and Geno Smith would win the Heisman. Then the wheels fell off and West Virginia fell to a 7-6 record and it looked like the team quit on coach Dana Holgorsen. Now, Geno, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey are gone and little talent returns to a defense that was absolutely terrible last season. With inexperience at all of their offensive skill positions, it could be another long year for West Virginia. That might mean the end of the Dana Holgorsen era, a little bit earlier than expected.

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