We’re deep in the thick of the offseason as the calendar becomes entrenched in the summer months but talking about college football never stops at a place like CFTalk.
As part of our continuing series taking a look at coaching hot seats around the sport, it’s time we turned our sights onto the Big 12. The league is perhaps the most rarest of commodities nowadays in that there’s really little to no hot seat talk at all for the 10 coaches in the conference. Some of that has to do with recent new hires at a four schools but also a lot more with the fact that the rest of the Big 12 has hired very well the past few cycles and are remarkably stable.
Don’t get us wrong, there’s pressure to win everywhere in the conference but in terms of actually having one’s job on the line in 2019, there’s not much to see under the Bob Bowlsby umbrella this upcoming season. You can check out the hot seat status of head coaches in the ACC here too.
Without further ado though, a look at the various stages of hot seats in the Big 12:
The new guys
Neal Brown (West Virginia)
Chris Klieman (Kansas State)
Les Miles (Kansas)
Matt Wells (Texas Tech)
Safe and secure
Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State)
The mullet has flirted with other gigs in the past but has chosen to remain at his alma mater, where he has seemingly turned into a coach for life with the Cowboys. Though fans gripe about his record against the rival Sooners and the recent dip in play, he’s still made OSU extremely competitive each season despite being in one of the league’s outposts and consistently has a pretty fun offense to watch. Tensions with the athletic department (and boosters) have seemingly smoothed over recently too.
Matt Rhule (Baylor)
Rhule has done a terrific job in digging the Bears out from the scandal that enveloped the program under Art Briles and is looking to improve the team’s record for a third straight season. While he’s been beloved by Baylor fans for what he’s done on and off the field with the program, the biggest issue Rhule faces is that he’s a hot commodity after interviewing with NFL teams each of the past two years. He has stayed put in Waco but bigger names are certainly searching given the job he’s done.
Matt Campbell (Iowa State)
There was worry among Cyclones fans that Campbell could have been in line to replace Urban Meyer at Ohio State, among other gigs, but he’s remained in charge down in Ames and continues to keep building up the program into a true Big 12 contender. Making ISU competitive is reason enough for his name to appear on coaching lists for bigger and better jobs but for now he’s certainly happy where he is.
Tom Herman (Texas)
Are the Longhorns back? Yes they most certainly are after winning the Sugar Bowl over Georgia and loudly proclaiming as such. The pressure has been ratcheted up in Austin as a result but that’s exactly why Herman was hired in the first place.
Gary Patterson (TCU)
Hard to believe but Patterson trails only Kirk Ferentz by a season for longest tenured active head coach in all of FBS nowadays. He’s guided the Horned Frogs into several new conferences and consistently churns out the Big 12’s best defense year after year. Few coaches have a statue at their school but Patterson does and he’s still coaching at TCU, which says all that needs to be said about his place on campus.
Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma)
There was some fretting that Riley would be plucked by an NFL franchise to become a head coach at the next level after producing back-to-back No. 1 overall picks and making the Sooners a regular in the College Football Playoff since taking over for Bob Stoops. He’s chosen to remain in Norman for the time being and will instead be gunning for a third straight Big 12 title in as many seasons at the model program in the league.