Elaine Thompson/Associated Press
14. Kyle Whittingham, Utah
Record: 76-39 in nine seasons.
Buzz: Whittingham took what Urban Meyer built and made it even better. But the Utes have hit a lull, going 5-7 in each of the past two seasons, lending credence to those who said the move from the Mountain West to the Pac-12 would be too taxing for the program. In three seasons in the Pac-12, Utah is 9-18 in conference play, with the league wins total decreasing from four in 2011 to three in 2012 to two last season. New coordinator Dave Christensen needs to rev up the offense, which has poked along for three seasons in a row. It seems unfathomable that Utah would fire Whittingham, but a third consecutive losing season certainly would add fuel to what already is a small fire.
David Zalubowski/Associated Press
13. Troy Calhoun, Air Force
Record: 49-41 in seven seasons.
Buzz: Calhoun enjoyed success in his first four seasons with the Falcons, winning 34 games from 2007-10. But after a 7-6 season in year five in 2011, Air Force has won a total of eight games the past two seasons, including a 2-10 mark last season that was the school's worst since 1980 (that was Ken Hatfield's second season with the Falcons after he replaced Bill Parcells). Air Force has lost 14 of its past 17 games overall, with the wins coming over Army, Colgate and Hawaii. This season looks as if it will be a long one; the offense returns just three starters, and a defense that was shredded last season doesn't look all that good, either. Calhoun is an Air Force alum, and his passion for the program runs deep. But would that be enough if the Falcons again struggle?
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press
12. Kevin Wilson, Indiana
Record: 10-26 in three seasons.
Buzz: Wilson is a good offensive coach, but IU is not a good football program. Therein lies the conundrum for any good coach: Do I take a risk and coach the Hoosiers, or do I wait for a better job? Wilson has increased the talent level, especially on offense, but last season's team underachieved a bit, and if IU doesn't get to a bowl this season, school officials may decide to jettison Wilson and look for a new coach. The offense will be good, but can what has been a rancid defense make some strides? Any hope for a bowl rests on going at least 3-1 in non-conference play.
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press
11. Brady Hoke, Michigan
Record: 26-13 in three seasons.
Buzz: Michigan regressed badly last season, and it certainly can't be comforting to Wolverines fans that archrival Ohio State and in-state "little brother" Michigan State have stronger programs right now. This will be the first season that the majority of Hoke's key players were recruited by him and not by predecessor Rich Rodriguez. Michigan coaches need to find a running game and hope the defense can hold the fort early. Five of the first seven games are at home, which means a poor start bodes ill. Games against Michigan State and Ohio State are on the road later in the season.
Tony Ding/Associated Press
10. Dan Enos, Central Michigan
Record: 19-30 in four seasons.
Buzz: CMU was flying high when Enos took over; it now is a mid-level MAC program. The Chippewas generally have beaten the bad MAC teams, but not good or even mediocre conference foes. That needs to change. But CMU on paper looks to be no better than fourth in the six-team MAC West this season, and that might not be enough for Enos to remain on the job.
Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press
9. Ron Turner, FIU
Record: 1-11 in one season.
Buzz: He was a bad hire to begin with, and the school could be looking for a new coach again after this season. The offense was abysmal last season and lacks playmakers. The defense doesn't look to be much better. There are two FCS foes on the schedule, and those might be the only two wins.
Doug McSchooler/Associated Press
8. Bo Pelini, Nebraska
Record: 58-24 in six seasons.
Buzz: The Huskers have been incredibly consistent under Pelini, winning either nine or 10 games in each of his six seasons. But they also have lost four games in each of his six seasons, and they haven't exactly played in leagues filled with great teams in that span. The glory days of the 1980s and 1990s under Tom Osborne are not going to be repeated, but the Huskers still should have done a bit more under Pelini, especially on defense. His demeanor also has drawn criticism (and rightly so). His job security was a question last season and it will be again this fall, especially if the Huskers again lose four games.
Danny Johnston/Associated Press
7. Kyle Flood, Rutgers
Record: 15-11 in two seasons.
Buzz: His promotion to coach was a panic move after Greg Schiano left relatively late in the coach-search process in 2012. Rutgers was a mediocre program in the AAC last season and is taking a huge step up in class to the Big Ten this fall. What exactly in Flood's background lends hope that the Scarlet Knights can even compete, much less win, in the Big Ten? Then again, this isn't a great job. Yes, there is talent in New Jersey, but are all those guys magically going to stay home now just because Rutgers is in the Big Ten? The answer is "no." And let's say Flood is fired: Would anyone have faith in the current administration to make the right hire? The answer to that is "no," too.
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press
6. Norm Chow, Hawaii
Record: 4-20 in two seasons.
Buzz: Chow is past his prime, and the results have shown on the field. Hawaii has fallen a long way since it went to the Sugar Bowl under June Jones after the 2007 season. The Warriors won once last season, and unless the offense makes vast improvement, even getting to three wins will be difficult.
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press
5. Charlie Weis, Kansas
Record: 4-20 in two seasons.
Buzz: A lot of folks chuckled when KU hired Weis, and even more people are laughing now. What, exactly, has Weis done on the college level to lead anyone to think he can get this program going in the right direction? He has a five-year contract, but another two-win season may lead KU administrators to pull the plug. There are two eminently winnable games in September. But another 0-9 Big 12 mark looks possible.
Seth Perlman/Associated Press
4. Tim Beckman, Illinois
Record: 6-18 in two seasons.
Buzz: The Illini doubled their win total, from two to four, last season, but still went 1-7 in Big Ten play, beating only hapless Purdue. Illinois should go 3-1 in non-conference play this season, so going 3-5 in league play would mean a bowl. But can Illinois win three conference games? A bowl bid may be necessary for Beckman to keep his job.
Tyler Evert/Associated Press
3. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia
Record: 21-17 in three seasons.
Buzz: Remember when WVU won 11 games for three seasons in a row under Rich Rodriguez? And how WVU fans screamed bloody murder when RichRod deigned to leave for a better job? Well, chances are that every Mountaineers fans would welcome RichRod back with open arms now. WVU won 10 games in Holgorsen's first season in 2011, but the Mountaineers have fallen a long way in the past two seasons, which coincides with a move from the low-rent Big East to the much tougher Big 12. Last season's 4-8 mark was WVU's first losing record since 2001. Since starting 5-0 in the 2012 season, the Mountaineers are 6-14 in their past 20 games. AD Oliver Luck issued a statement after last season saying he had "high expectations" for 2014. WVU opens with Alabama, meets Oklahoma in September and plays three of its final five games on the road. Good luck, coach.
Steve Helber/Associated Press
2. Mike London, Virginia
Record: 18-31 in four seasons.
Buzz: It is a surprise of sorts that London is returning for this season. The Cavs won eight games in 2011, London's second season, and it looked as if the program had turned the corner. Alas, the corner they turned led into a cul-de-sac. Virginia won a combined six games the past two years, and last season's 2-10 mark was the school's worst since 1982, George Welsh's first season. London and his staff have recruited well, and those talented players need to produce this fall. UVa opens with UCLA and has tough games against Louisville and BYU in September; in addition, three of the final four games are on the road. The good news is that five of the first six games are at home. The Cavs have to make some hay early.
John Raoux/Associated Press
1. Will Muschamp, Florida
Record: 22-16 in three seasons.
Buzz: He unquestionably sits on the hottest seat in the nation. Florida suffered numerous injuries and was 4-8 last season, its first losing record since 1979; the season was low-lighted by a loss to FCS member Georgia Southern, which won in Gainesville without completing a pass. Florida was 11-2 in 2012, and there is some talent on hand, especially on defense. New offensive coordinator Kurt Roper was hired away from Duke, and his work with what has been a pitiful unit the past four years is the key to whether Muschamp returns in 2015.
More Photo Essays:
- Who pulled the fire alarm?
- Ranking the Super Bowls
- Top 10 fantasy Super Bowl performances
- Mind-blowing stats for Patriots vs.Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX
- Mind-blowing stats for Super Bowl XLIX
- Mind-blowing stats for Championship Sunday
- 2014 All-Rookie Team
- Fantasy Stock Watch: Divisional Playoffs
- Top 10 most memorable college football 'title games'