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Big 12 coaches on hot seat: Where it is somehow possible for nobody to have a hot seat in 2019

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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.

Frozen solid

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.

Chip Kelly won’t make QB change despite UCLA offensive woes

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Chip Kelly revolutionized college football back when he was at Oregon, becoming so successful that not one but three NFL teams tried or succeeded in hiring him.

Kelly’s return to the sidelines in the college game however… could be going better. UCLA was blown out of the water on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl by No. 5 Oklahoma and the Bruins offense is actually among the worst in all of FBS.

They’re dead last in yards per play, second to last in total offense and No. 127 in scoring offense. Oh and sophomore quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson is No. 99 nationally in passer rating.

Despite those numbers, it appears Kelly isn’t contemplating a new face behind center as the team moves into Pac-12 play.

“We didn’t,” Kelly said when asked by the LA Times whether he thought of making a change at quarterback on Saturday. “…we felt confident in Dorian.”

To be fair, Thompson-Robinson did seem a little improved against the Sooners than he did in his first two starts of 2019 against Cincinnati and San Diego State. But those numbers speak for themselves with road trips to Washington State and Arizona coming up for the 0-3 side from Westwood.

Pony Up! SMU off to best start since 1984 at 3-0

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TCU may have moved into the top 25 of the AP Poll this week after dispatching Purdue on Saturday but upcoming opponent SMU is off to an equally hot start coming into Week 4 after topping Texas State.

In fact, it’s a historic one down in Dallas.

As the school noted recently, the 3-0 start to the 2019 campaign is the Mustangs’ best since… 1984. That’s just after the Pony Express days on the Hilltop and right before the program got hammered by the NCAA for major violations.

Sonny Dykes’ tenure got off to a rough start after going 5-7 last season but the team looks much improved thanks in part to the play of Texas transfer QB Shane Buechele.

We’ll see if the two can keep things rolling against the rival Horned Frogs but the AAC might just have another intriguing team in the mix after such a hot start by SMU.

Schools reportedly spent an average of $8,200 on hotel rooms before home games last season

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College football coaches love controlling every element that they can in the lead up to a game in order to minimize distractions. As a result, it’s become common place for nearly every football team in the country to spend the night at a hotel before home games.

Now most folks might think it’s strange to have teams shack up in rooms when they can spend the hours before a game at home but that’s not what schools do. And those hotel bills add up to quite a pretty penny in most cases as an investigation into the practice by Gatehouse Media shows.

In 2018 alone, public schools spend a median of $44,000 on hotels and nearly $5 million total across some 109 programs according to the report. That included low spenders like Coastal Carolina (just $2,800 per game) to those rolling in cash like Texas A&M ($278,000 total, or nearly $40k per home game).

Remarkably the Aggies spent so much because the hotel they stay at requires a two-night minimum and they leave the rooms unoccupied for one of those nights.

“We believe we would be breaking sleep routine if we did not stay in a hotel before a football game,” said OSU Associate Athletics Director Jerry Emig told the site after the Buckeyes spent nearly six figures on hotels for home games. “Ohio State has stayed in a hotel the night before every road game and every home game for more than 50 years.”

There’s some interesting sortable data in the full report, which includes noting that the SEC spends the most rooms on average and the Big Ten the least.

So next time you see the buses pull up to your favorite team’s stadium on a Saturday in college football, just remember it cost a decent chunk of change for the school to house those kids in a hotel prior to the game.

Florida drops in latest Super 16 poll, UCF moves in, UGA-Notre Dame battle set to be a top seven affair

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Uncertainty over Florida’s future without starting quarterback Feliepe Franks is already causing voters to drop the Gators in national polls following the team’s escape at Kentucky over the weekend.

Dan Mullen’s squad dropped two spots to 11th despite winning to move to 3-0 on the season, a good indication that a forthcoming slide might happen in the AP and Coaches Polls as well. They weren’t the only ones to drop however, as Michigan slid from No. 10 to No. 12, Texas A&M dropped out altogether and Oregon moved down a spot to No. 16.

The SEC once again occupies slots 2-4 in the poll and have five of the top 16 teams overall. There was a slight change however as some voters apparently forgot about LSU’s win over new No. 9 Texas and flipped the Tigers with Georgia in the 3/4 spots. That makes the upcoming battle in Athens between the Bulldogs and No. 7 Notre Dame a top seven affair with huge College Football Playoff implications.

It should be noted that three writers (Kevin McGuire, Zach Barnett and Bryan Fischer) here at CFTalk have weekly votes in the Super 16 poll. Without further ado, here’s the full rankings heading into Week 4:

  1. Clemson (34 first place votes)
  2. Alabama (8)
  3. Georgia (1)
  4. LSU (3)
  5. Oklahoma
  6. Ohio State
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Auburn
  9. Texas
  10. Utah
  11. Florida
  12. Michigan
  13. Wisconsin
  14. Penn State
  15. UCF
  16. Oregon

Also notable were the debut of UCF in the poll, the highest ranked Group of Five team as a result of their thumping of Stanford down in Orlando.