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CFB Hot Seat Watch: Brady Hoke apologizes for 'Stake Gate'

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Carlos Osorio/Associated Press
Michigan coach Brady Hoke apologized for his team planting a stake into the field at Spartans Stadium on Saturday.

As if he didn't already have enough to worry about, Michigan coach Brady Hoke now is apologizing for his players' pre-game actions.

Michigan players pounded a tent stake into the field at Michigan State's Spartans Stadium on Saturday. Whatever the motive, it didn't work -- Michigan State rolled 35-11.

Hoke apologized on Sunday.

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"The stake was brought into our locker room (Friday) as a visual reminder (about commitment and teamwork), and one of our team leaders chose to take it out on the field," Hoke told reporters. "As the leader of our football program, I take full responsibility for the actions of our team. We believe in displaying a high level of respect at the University of Michigan, and unfortunately that was not reflected by this action prior to kickoff."

Hoke also said he called Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio to apologize.

The question with Hoke is not if he will be fired, but rather when.

Meanwhile, there already are four coaching vacancies (Buffalo, Kansas, SMU and Troy). And 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, Oct. 6, Oct. 13, Oct. 20

Already gone

The particulars: SMU's June Jones resigned Sept. 8, Kansas' Charlie Weis was fired Sept. 28, Troy coach Larry Blakeney announced Oct. 5 that he will retire at the end of the season and Buffalo's Jeff Quinn was fired Oct. 13.

10. Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech

The particulars: 11-10 in his second season at Texas Tech, including 3-5 this season.
The skinny: Let's get this out of the way -- Kingsbury is not going to be fired this year. But the Red Raiders have gone 4-10 since starting 7-0 last season, and there is zero momentum with the program after Tech was absolutely eviscerated by TCU this past Saturday. The defense is a joke, and QB Davis Webb is inconsistent, which should be causing some angst among Red Raiders fans because Kingsbury is seen as an offensive guru. It's unlikely the Red Raiders get to a bowl this season; they have been in the postseason in 13 of the past 14 seasons.

9. Al Golden, Miami

The particulars: 27-18 in his fourth season at UM, including 5-3 this season.
The skinny: The Hurricanes look to have righted themselves and still have what looks to be a legitimate shot at getting to eight wins. But if they max out at six or seven, things could be dicey for Golden. 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 means tens of thousands of calls for Golden's scalp. Saturday's game against North Carolina will be a good gauge for both teams -- and both coaches.

8. Paul Petrino, Idaho

The particulars: 2-17 in his second season at Idaho, including 1-6 this season.
The skinny: He seemed to be a bad cultural fit when he was hired, and the Vandals got just their second win in his tenure in their most recent game, against New Mexico State. That snapped a 13-game losing streak, which had been the longest such streak currently in the nation. To be fair, Petrino took over a reeling program, and as bad as the Vandals seem to be, there still are two more eminently winnable games this season.

7. Mike London, Virginia

The particulars: 22-35 in his fifth season at Virginia, including 4-4 this season.
The skinny: The Cavaliers started 4-2 and London seemed to be safe. But they have lost two in a row, including an exasperating loss to North Carolina at home on Saturday that they basically gave away. A bowl bid likely would save his job, but three of the Cavs' final four games are on the road, including a trip to Florida State; the one home game left is against Miami. If UVa doesn't get to a bowl, London should be fired.

6. Kevin Wilson, Indiana

The particulars: 13-30 in his fourth season at IU, including 3-4 this season.
The skinny: The Hoosiers' offense is in trouble. Starting QB Nate Sudfeld is out for the season with a shoulder injury, and backup Chris Covington also has been lost for the season with a knee injury. That means true freshman Zander Diamont, who was supposed to redshirt, is the guy the rest of the way. The defense already was a huge concern. Other than a trip to Ohio State, the remaining schedule isn't that daunting. At the same time, considering the quarterback situation, IU could finish 3-9. The question seems to be whether the injuries to the top two quarterbacks is enough of an excuse for Wilson to keep his job.

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5. Tim Beckman, Illinois

The particulars: 10-22 in his third season at Illinois, including 4-4 this season.
The skinny: The Illini upset Minnesota on Saturday, which eased some of the pressure on Beckman. Still, 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 two more wins from among this group of opponents: Iowa, Northwestern, Ohio State and Penn State.

4. Norm Chow, Hawaii

The particulars: 6-26 in his third season at Hawaii, including 2-6 this season.
The skinny: One of the wins this season has come over a FCS school. There definitely are some winnable games remaining, but there are enough issues to make you wonder if Hawaii can get to four wins. Would that be enough for Chow to keep his job? Chow is dealing with pressing personal issues, as well, as his wife suffered a brain aneurysm earlier this month.

3. Bill Blankenship, Tulsa

The particulars: 23-23 in his fourth season at Tulsa, including 1-6 this season.
The skinny: Tulsa, which was off this weekend, has lost six in a row, and two wins looks to be the ceiling for the Golden Hurricane this season. This program has fallen a long way in a short time -- at least eight wins per season eight times in 10 seasons from 2003-12, but just three victories since. Blankenship is a Tulsa alum, but that might not save him.

>> Winners and losers from Week 9 in college football

1B. Brady Hoke, Michigan

The particulars: 29-18 in his fourth season at Michigan, including 3-5 this season.
The skinny: Michigan was beaten up by "little brother" Michigan State, which has won six of the past seven in the series. The Wolverines went 11-2 in Hoke's first season, but they've been on a steady descent ever since.

1A. Will Muschamp, Florida

The particulars: 25-19 in his fourth season at Florida, including 3-3 this season.
The skinny: As with Hoke, it seems a matter of "when" and not "if" he will be let go. Florida was off this weekend and now heads to Jacksonville for the annual showdown with Georgia. Muschamp was a safety at Georgia during his playing days and never has been on the winning side of the rivalry (0-7). Florida's offense remains a disaster, and Muschamp and his staff don't seem to have a clue as to how to fix it. The Gators have lost eight of their past 10 SEC games and 12 of their past 19 overall.

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

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