The Hot Seat
In the Southeastern Conference, few coaches can ever consider their job truly safe — except for Alabama’s Nick Saban (of course). The demand to produce is high, and so is turnover. It is college football’s biggest pressure-cooker. So, with that in mind, here is AllThingsVol‘s current ranking of SEC coaches whose job security is flame-worthy. We rank them each week on a scale of one to 10 flames.
Butch Jones, Tennessee
Jim McElwain, Florida
Bret Bielema, Arkansas
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
Coming into the 2017 season, it was thought that Texas A&M needed to win at least nine games for Sumlin’s job to be secure. That might seem absurd for a coach with an 86-42 overall record, but expectations are high in College Station, and Texas A&M boosters have not handled the Aggies’ late-season collapses under Sumlin’s tenure very well. Sumlin hasn’t won more than eight games since 2013, and hasn’t finished higher than fourth in the SEC West since his inaugural season in 2012. Going into Saturday’s season finale, it was obvious that Texas A&M could finish with no more than eight wins . . . and then, as it turned out, they couldn’t even get to that eight-win plateau. The Aggies were pummeled by No. 19 LSU, 45-21, which was not a good look for Sumlin’s job security. It now appears that he’s a dead man walking in College Station.
The rest of the SEC’s head men (sans Saban) aren’t flame-retardant, but their seats aren’t sizzling just yet, so they’re good for now. Coaches who were on this list at some point this season but have come off: Gus Malzahn (Auburn), Barry Odom (Missouri).