The following ten coaches are feeling some heat after tough seasons due to lofty expectations, but picking up a postseason victory would ease the stress and pressure. Sports is always about the expectations and more often times than not coaches get fired over the word ‘potential’.
Without further ado, here are your coaches that would love nothing more than picking up a win as these ten are under the most pressure.
10. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State
The Seminoles had a solid 11-2 season in the ACC, but the expectations were BCS title or bust if you asked some in Tallahassee.
While they did win the ACC and appear in the BCS for the first time since 2005, FSU cannot suffer an Orange Bowl loss to the first non-AQ team in a BCS bowl that has a loss entering the game.
9. Dabo Swinney, Clemson
Talk about a coach that would love a postseason victory after getting demolished and embarrassed on national television (from one season ago).
Having l0st to in-state South Carolina four seasons in a row is tough, but another beatdown and or a loss to the SEC would be a struggle of an offseason.
If they stun the Bayou Bengals then we could see the stars aligned for at least a run towards a BCS bid in 2013-2014, which would included a preseason top 10 ranking.
8. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
The Aggies just entered the SEC and while there is hardly any pressure after stunning the nation with a 10-2 season (6-2 SEC), they still need to prove on the national stage that it was no fluke when they won in Tuscaloosa. A victory over the Sooners would make another major statement, plus the Heisman winner would love nothing more than a springboard victory to turn into a potential number one preseason squad.
7. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
The Wildcats have not won a bowl since 1949, which means there is some pressure on a program that despite exceeding expectations, better not lose another bowl. They enter as ever so slight underdogs to a respectable SEC program (Mississippi State), but a victory would end this abysmal losing streak in bowls (program has only appeared in ten bowls, ever).
6. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
Michigan State has been brutal to watch and that is saying something for a conference that has brought offensive football back a few decades. If Sparty cannot get up for TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, it will be an excruciating offseason.
5. Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech
The Hokies heading into the season had won double digit games for eight consecutive seasons and that was thrown out the door after a tough 6-6 season where they were a tad lucky just to appear in a bowl game.
They are barely favored over Rutgers, which could be a game that is an absolute slugfest on defense. If the Hokies cannot play their best game of the season, it would be just the first losing season in Blacksburg since 1992!
4. Nick Saban, Alabama
Poor Nick Saban is only attempting to garner his third BCS title (with Alabama, fourth overall), but in all seriousness the SEC is attempting to win a seventh straight BCS title. Losing to the Irish would hurt a lot since all offseason there could be (not from me) talks of whether or not Alabama can slow down spread offenses like A&M, which could be a thorn in their sides for quite a while. This may seem like a joke to even the ponder the thought of Saban getting outsmarted, but Saban is considered as one of the greatest coaches to ever live and another title wouldn’t hurt.
3. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
I wonder if winning the program’s first title since 1988 would change the way we think about college football at all?
This game will be watched by more fans than arguably any title in the history of the sport. This is like the Super Bowl but better according to some, and a BCS National Championship victory over the bullies of college football would be one of the better moments in the illustrious program of Notre Dame. All of the chatter of how they lucked out and barely squeezed by many teams will be thrown out the door if they manage to upset the top program out there.
2. Lane Kiffin, USC
Remember when it was towards the end of the summer and people were wondering if the Trojans would cruise to a BCS title appearance?
Five losses as the preseason number one team is an absolute frightening thought since many believed they were the most talented team in the country. Well, they better not lose a Sun Bowl game in which they are double digit favorites over a Yellow Jackets squad that is currently 6-7.
1. Mack Brown, Texas
The Longhorns were expected to play in some sort of BCS bowl and a pair of brutal losses to Oklahoma and Kansas State took them back to essentially where they were last year. A loss to Oregon State that does not have half the amount of high school All-Americans would be the icing on the cake for Mack Brown haters.
They need to find a way to take care of the ball, and Mack Brown is the one who is in charge. Whispers of whether or not he can ever get this program back to a BCS title will not be doubted if they were to dominate and or look impressive over a solid Pac-12 team.