The first firing of the college football season came Sunday. Idaho let go of Robb Akey in a move that was not unexpected.
With a little more than a month to go, there are other axes to fall. It’s safe to say Arkansas will not be signing up for another year of the John L. Smith experience.
Here are 10 more coaches who could be bracing for bad news.
DEREK DOOLEY, TENNESSEE
Dooley took over a program in disarray, following Lane Kiffin’s one-and-done in Knoxville. The Vols have improved, but there have been no big wins. Dooley is 0-14 against ranked opponents. A $5 million buyout might not stand in the way of AD Dave Hart, who did not hire Dooley.
GENE CHIZIK, AUBURN
Two years removed from a national championship, Chizik is in trouble. No team had started a season 1-6 two years after finishing No. 1 in the AP poll — until the Tigers. It’ll cost $7.5 million for Auburn to buy out Chizik as of Dec. 1, but if the Iron Bowl gets really ugly, money might not be an issue. “I’m the head coach at Auburn,” Chizik said. “It’s really not about me. It’s about everybody else, and everybody else’s expectations. I don’t take that lightly. I feel a very, very high sense of responsibility.”
JEFF TEDFORD, CALIFORNIA
The Bears’ 21-3 loss to archrival Stanford at their newly remodeled stadium (cost: $321 million) felt like the final blow. Tedford has been at Cal for 11 years and won 82 games. He’ll leave the program in far better shape than when he arrived, but it has slipped over the past few years.
FRANK SPAZIANI, BOSTON COL.
The Eagles have been moving backward in four years under the former longtime BC assistant. Boston College was 4-8 last year and is 1-6 this season, with its victory coming against Maine. This seems a more a matter of when then if.
JOKER PHILLIPS, KENTUCKY
Phillips is in his third season as Rich Brooks’ successor, but each season has gotten worse. The Wildcats (1-7) have been hammered by injuries, but they are staring at a winless SEC season, and even at a basketball school, that’s hard to abide.
DAVID BAILIFF, RICE
Bailiff has had one winning season in six at Rice since taking over for Todd Graham, and is 2-6 this season, 0-4 in Conference USA. It’s a tough place to win, but other than that 10-3 season in 2008, Bailiff is 15-41.
MIKE PRICE, UTEP
Price is 66 years old, so retirement might be on his mind anyway. The Miners are 2-6, 1-3 in C-USA, and haven’t finished over .500 since his second season in El Paso, Texas, which was 2005.
DAN ENOS, CENTRAL MICHIGAN
The former Michigan State quarterback is in his third season at CMU, but this is a program that grew accustomed to being a Mid-American Conference contender under Brian Kelly and Butch Jones. Enos has eight victories. The Chippewas are 2-5 overall and 0-3 in the league this season, though they did beat Iowa.
BOBBY HAUCK, UNLV
Another guy in his third season, but even at places such as UNLV, patience is thin these days. Hauck played in three national title games at Montana, so clearly he knows how to coach. But the Rebels are 1-7 and have won five games total under Hauck.
DOUG MARRONE, SYRACUSE
There is no doubt Syracuse is better off than when Marrone took over four years ago, and sitting at 3-4 (2-1 in the Big East), he might not need to get to a bowl game to be safe. But the school is moving to the ACC next season and if the Orange finish poorly, it might be tough to bring a coach already on shaky ground along for the ride.