A look at where things stand with college football coaching potential firings by guest columnist Franz Beard.
EXTINCT SPECIES LIST
1. LANE KIFFIN, Southern Cal
2. PAUL PASQUALONI, UConn
3. DON TREADWELL, Miami (Ohio )
4. CARL PELINI, Florida Atlantic
5. RON ENGLISH, Eastern Michigan
DEAD MEN WALKING
1. NORM CHOW, Hawaii (0-9)
Why he stays: They still haven’t fixed the showers in the locker room, which is why June Jones left a few years ago. That $1 million buyout might be tip money for Jeremy Foley at Florida but when you can’t afford to fix the showers then you can’t afford a buyout.
Why he goes: One of the boosters is a plumber who promises to fix the showers, re-tile and re-grout the bathroom and unclog the toilets for free for the next five years if they’ll just send Norm packing.
2. DANA HOLGORSEN, West Virginia (4-6)
Why he stays: He’s gone a full year without getting banned from another casino and the bar tab at the hotel where he lives is paid up. Of course, that might have something to do with the fact he’s banned from the hotel bar. Good behavior counts for something.
Why he goes: At best he finishes the regular season a year after going 7-6. Oliver Luck fired Bill Stewart for winning nine gamest three straight seasons, the same Oliver Luck that was just rejected as the Texas AD the same week Holgorsen snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and lost to Texas.
3. RICH ELLERSON, Army (3-7)
Why he stays: He beats Navy. Army is 0-16-1 against Navy in the last 17 years. Beat Navy and the uniform of the day is a naked body running down the streets of West Point.
Why he goes: Another year. Another loss to Navy on top of a loss to Air Force … Dismissed!
4. CHARLEY MOLNAR, UMass (1-8)
Why he stays: Akron and Central Michigan forfeit and Ohio U plays four cheerleaders, three frat boys and the tuba section in the band in the second half.
Why he goes: Compared to Molnar’s UMass offense, Florida looks like the second coming of Baylor.
ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST
1. MACK BROWN, Texas (7-2)
Why he stays: He has no quarterback. His defense stinks. He could still win the Big 12.
Why he goes: He has already sucked up to the new athletic director. Let’s see how much good will that bought him after Okie State blows his doors off this weekend. Even if he wins the next two games, he still has to beat Baylor in the final game. Lose to Baylor and he’s gone.
2. TERRY BOWDEN, Akron (3-7)
Why he stays: Two of his three wins are over Division I opponents. That’s progress, Baby! Last year’s only win was over Morgan State.
Why he goes: At some point it would be nice to beat a Division I team with a winning record.
3. SKIP HOLTZ, Louisiana Tech (4-5)
Why he stays: Loothee Tech (imitation of Lou saying it) is on a roll. The Holtz-men have won their last two. Of course, the combined record of the two teams they’ve beaten is 1-17, but that’s a minor little detail when you consider that two more wins makes Loothee Tech bowl-eligible. Warm up the motor home, Margie Sue!
Why he goes: Someone in the administration figures out that Loothee Tech won nine games last year throwing the ball and Skippy is 4-5 with nearly the exact personnel and he’s trying to run the ball. Square pegs do not fit into round holes.
4. MIKE LONDON, Virginia (2-8)
Why he stays: When he was a Richmond detective, London knew all about what a good lawyer could do for you. That’s why he’s got an $8 million buyout. And what do we call the UVA people who gave him such a contract? Suckers. That’s what.
Why he goes: Athletic director Craig Littlepage finally figures out what everybody else already knows: this dog won’t hunt.
4. CHARLIE WEIS, Kansas (2-7)
Why he stays: Athletic director Sheahon Zenger is a masochist who, even though Charlie begs to be fired, refuses, forcing Charlie to stay and coach another year.
Why he goes: Zenger begs the basketball gods for forgiveness before dipping into hoops revenue for the buyout money ($7.5 million).
5. PAUL RHOADS, Iowa State (1-8)
Why he stays: He’s got nine more years left on a 10-year contract extension signed in 2012. It would cost $4.5 million to buy him out and it’s a down year for hog auctions and corn sales so the boosters say nope.
Why he goes: He loses to Kansas. It’s one thing to give up 70 to Baylor, another thing altogether to lose to Charlie Weis.
ON LIFE SUPPORT
1. KEVIN WILSON, Indiana (4-5)
Why he stays: The Hoosiers scored 28 on Michigan State, which ranks third nationally in scoring defense.
They’ve scored at least 35 in the other four losses and at least 42 in all four wins.
Why he goes: Someone in the administration puts winning ahead of entertainment value. That might work for basketball at IU, but this is football.
2. BOBBY HAUCK, UNLV (5-4)
Why he stays: He wins one of the three remaining games to make UNLV bowl-eligible the first time since 2000.
Why he goes: It’s been a season of progress but the people who write the checks see an 11-37 record for the past four years, so no bowl, no job next year.
3. DAN ENOS, Central Michigan (3-6)
Why he stays: The next three opponents are a combined 4-25. Three wins and CMU could go bowling.
Why he goes: There are only three guaranteed bowl slots for teams from the MAC and not one of the independent bowls is desperate enough to fill a slot with a team this bad.
4. RON TURNER, Florida International (1-8)
Why he stays: The higher-ups decide that Pete Garcia has to live with the guy he hired.
Why he goes: Someone figures out that Ron is just like his brother: a career assistant who has no business being somebody’s head ball coach.
SAFE FOR NOW
1. TIM BECKMAN, Illinois (3-6)
Why he stays: Pur-Don’t is on the schedule in two weeks. That will get the Illini to four wins, a two-game improvement over last year.
Why he goes: Urban Meyer decides he can’t afford to let off the gas Saturday and hangs a 70-spot on his former assistant.
2. RANDY EDSALL, Maryland (5-4)
Why he stays: They can’t afford to spend $6 million buying him out after paying for 11 season-ending surgeries. There is more red ink in this athletic department than at Hallmark during Christmas.
Why he goes: He lost to Syracuse and Wake Forest Gump in the same season. He could lose to a bad North Carolina State team, too.
3. BO PELINI, Nebraska (7-2)
Why he stays: They wanted to fire him three weeks ago but if he beats Michigan State Saturday he probably wins the division and plays Ohio State for the Big Ten championship.
Why he goes: If he loses two out of his last three, then the fans will get their wish. But, remember this: they fired Frank Solich after he went 58-19 in six seasons.
4. DAN MULLEN, Mississippi State (4-5)
Why he stays: This is a tough job and after the obligatory blowout loss to Alabama this weekend, Mullen can win the last two and make it four straight years to a bowl game. That’s never been done in StarkVegas.
Why he goes: Scott Stricklin isn’t going to fire him, but nobody would be totally upset if Mullen decided to take another job. He has options right now that might not be available next year.
5. KIRK FERENTZ, Iowa (6-4)
Why he stays: They are going bowling this year. The Motor City Bowl awaits so fans can spend a few days seeing the urban blight that is Detroit.
Why he goes: They wish – oh how they wish – someone would offer him a job, but nobody is stupid enough to pay $4 million with an impossible buyout. Well, no one but Iowa.
6. BRETT BIELEMA, Arkansas (3-7)
Why he stays: The losing streak is now seven straight but this is AD Jeff Long’s boy. If Bielma thinks his seat is hot now, just wait until next year.
Why he goes: Bielema is the son of Illinois hog farmers. That might impress the folks in Delight, Arkansas but not the people who write the big checks with last names like Walton, Reynolds or Tyson.
7. JIM GROBE, Wake Forest (4-6)
Why he stays: This was supposed to be a two-win season and the Deacs have already won four. Beat Duke and Gloria Vanderbilt and they go bowling. Even getting close to a bowl trip excites the faithful in Winston-Salem.
Why he goes: Grobe isn’t ready to retire. He’s earned the right to leave on his own terms and it won’t be this year.
8. WILL MUSCHAMP, Florida (4-5)
Why he stays: Jeremy Foley likes him and thinks he deserves another year.
That’s about it.
Why he goes: As long as the big bucks boosters support any decision he makes, Foley will stick with Muschamp. Let’s see what the boosters have to say if Stevie Wonder lights up the Gators for 50 this weekend in Columbia.