CFB Hot Seat Watch: Heat turned up on Michigan's Brady Hoke

Rich Schultz/Associated Press
The heat is turned up on Michigan's Brady Hoke after a 2-4 start to the season.

Michigan coach Brady Hoke entered the season on the hot seat. That thing is a-blazin' now.

A horrible week at Michigan ended with a loss to Rutgers in which the Scarlet Knights -- whose best offensive player, tailback Paul James, has been lost for the season -- rolled up 476 yards on the Wolverines. Rutgers couldn't run, but the Wolverines couldn't stymie Scarlet Knights quarterback Gary Nova, who torched them for 402 yards.

The Wolverines will try to regroup this week in advance of Saturday's home game against Penn State, but the season already looks to have spun out of control.

Meanwhile, we're barely into October, and there already are three coaching vacancies (Kansas, SMU and Troy). Long-time Troy coach Larry Blakeney, who was on this list last week, announced Sunday that he will retire at the end of the season.

By no means is this a complete list of the hot-seat coaches. These are just the guys on the hottest seats this week. This list will be updated on a weekly basis as coaches' fortunes rise and fall.

CFB Hot Seat Watch: Sept. 22, Sept. 29


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» Inside the Pocket: Fallout from wild weekend
» Hot Seat Watch: Heat turned up on Hoke
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» Notre Dame wins on fourth-and-11 TD play
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» Photos: Best of Week 6 | Cheerleaders | Alt unis

Already gone

The particulars: SMU's June Jones resigned Sept. 8, Kansas Charlie Weis was fired Sept. 28 and Troy coach Larry Blakeney announced Sunday that he will retire at the end of the season.

10. Al Golden, Miami

The particulars: 25-18 in his fourth season at UM, including 3-3 this season.
The skinny: Calling this version of the Hurricanes "The U" is disrespectful to the powerhouse teams from the 1980s, '90s and earlier this century. Golden took over in a tough situation, and the specter of an NCAA investigation lingered over the program for the first three-and-half years of his tenure. The offense is going through some growing pains this season with true freshman QB Brad Kaaya, but those growing pains were expected. The defense, however, has been egregiously bad throughout Golden's tenure and it once again is not holding up its end of the bargain. The ACC Coastal race was considered wide open before the season and it remains so. Yet, Miami already has two league losses and doesn't appear capable of winning the division. Miami hasn't won double-digit games since 2003 and won't this season unless it wins out, including its bowl game. Given that UM's fan support is a mile wide but an inch deep, a few more losses will mean tens of thousands of calls for Golden to be dismissed.

9. Larry Fedora, North Carolina

The particulars: 17-13 in his third season at UNC, including 2-3 this season.
The skinny: Fedora inherited a program with NCAA issues, and they still linger. Still, even in a league as mediocre as the ACC, the Tar Heels might not go bowling. The defense has been rancid early on, and it doesn't help that the next two games are against Notre Dame and Georgia Tech. UNC finished with a flourish last season and obviously could do so again this season. Still, there is not a "for-sure win" left on the schedule. And because Duke and North Carolina State remain on the schedule, that there is no "for-sure win" likely is causing some angst for Tar Heels fans -- and that, in turn, should create some angst for Fedora.

8. Tony Levine, Houston

The particulars: 16-15 in his third season at Houston, including 2-3 this season.
The skinny: Houston went 13-1 in 2011, and then-coach Kevin Sumlin left for Texas A&M. Levine, who had been the Cougars' inside receivers coach, was promoted to replace Sumlin, but the Cougars have struggled under his watch, especially offensively. The Cougars still can get to a bowl -- and even to eight wins. But they also could lose four or five more times; Saturday's game at Memphis will be a good gauge as to where Houston belongs in the AAC pecking order. A loss bodes ill.

7. Kevin Wilson, Indiana

The particulars: 13-28 in his fourth season at IU, including 3-2 this season.
The skinny: The Hoosiers' inconsistency continued Saturday with a win over North Texas. That followed a 22-point loss to Maryland, which followed a road upset of Missouri, which was preceded by a home loss to Bowling Green. The defense remains a huge concern. If IU can get to a bowl, Wilson should be fine. But even with the Big Ten looking quite mediocre overall, that's a big "if."

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6. Paul Petrino, Idaho

The particulars: 1-16 in his second season at Idaho, including 0-5 this season.
The skinny: He seemed to be a bad cultural fit when he was hired, and the lone win in his tenure came last season over Temple. The Vandals currently are riding a 12-game losing streak. To be fair, Petrino took over a reeling program, and as bad as the Vandals seem to be, there still are three winnable games remaining this season.

5. Tim Beckman, Illinois

The particulars: 9-21 in his third season at Illinois, including 3-3 this season.
The skinny: The Illini defense was manhandled Saturday by Purdue -- Purdue! -- and that says all you need to know about Beckman's job prospects. The three wins have come over FCS foe Youngstown State, Western Kentucky and Texas State. It would seem to be a must for Beckman to get to a bowl to keep his job, so that means Illinois must come up with three more wins from among this group of opponents: Minnesota, Iowa, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin. It seems more likely that the Illini win zero or one.

4. Bill Blankenship, Tulsa

The particulars: 23-21 in his fourth season at Tulsa, including 1-4 this season.
The skinny: Tulsa dropped its fourth in a row Saturday, getting drilled by Colorado State. And that came on the heels of a loss to relative FBS newcomer Texas State -- at home. Three wins looks to be the ceiling this season. The Golden Hurricane has fallen a long way in a short time -- at least eight wins per season eight times in 10 seasons from 2003-12. Blankenship is a Tulsa alum, but that might not save him.

3. Norm Chow, Hawaii

The particulars: 5-24 in his third season at Hawaii, including 1-4 this season.
The skinny: The lone win this season was a three-pointer over FCS foe Northern Iowa. There definitely are some winnable games remaining, but there are enough issues to make you wonder if Hawaii can even get to four wins. Would that be enough for Chow to keep his job?

2. Will Muschamp, Florida

The particulars: 25-17 in his fourth season at Florida, including 3-1 this season.
The skinny: Muschamp and the Gators squeezed out an ugly 10-9 win over Tennessee, and given the state of the SEC East, if Florida continues to play that well defensively, it has a legit chance to win the division despite a rancid offense. (Hmm -- "rancid offense" and "Florida Gators" each have 13 letters. A coincidence?) The knives will be back out if the Gators fall at home this week to what looks to be the worst LSU team in Les Miles' tenure. On Monday, Florida announced that true freshman QB Treon Harris has been suspended indefinitely after being accused of sexual assault. Harris had sparked UF's rally Saturday against Tennessee and seemed likely to be the starter moving forward. The suspension would seem to mean ineffective junior Jeff Driskel will remain the starter, and Driskel's mediocre play is a big reason Muschamp is on the hot seat.

1. Brady Hoke, Michigan

The particulars: 28-17 in his fourth season at Michigan, including 2-4 this season.
The skinny: Oh, man, things are going bad for Hoke and the Wolverines. This might be the worst team in the Big Ten. Think about that for a second: In a league that includes Indiana, Illinois and Purdue, Michigan might be the worst team. To cap off a bad week because of the fallout involving injured QB Shane Morris, Michigan lost to a Rutgers team that was missing its best offensive player. The Wolverines went 11-2 in Hoke's first season, but they've been on a steady descent ever since. The only question about Hoke's future now seems to be whether he will finish out the season.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.