1. Mike Locksley—The Mike Locksley era at New Mexico is a train wreck. He is 2-22, with New Mexico getting massacred in most of those 22 losses. The Lobos ranked dead last in total offense last season and second-to-last in total defense out of 120 FBS teams. Toss in his off-the-field infractions and you have an absolutely pathetic head coach.
2. Paul Wulff—Paul Wulff is lucky to be coaching at a school that allows you to come back after going 5-32 in three seasons. Any other school, no matter what the circumstances, would not accept a .135 winning percentage. Wulff needs to turn the Cougars around 180 degrees this season.
3. Bob Toledo—The Green Wave have finished in last place in the C-USA’s West Division each of the last two seasons and have never won more than four games in a season under Toledo’s leadership. If Tulane does not become bowl-eligible, Bob Toledo is going to get kicked to the curb.
4. Neil Callaway—The Blazers have not had a winning season under Callaway, nor finished better than fourth in their division. With 15 starters returning, UAB should be able to string together wins and possibly save Coach Callaway’s job.
5. Steve Fairchild—Fairchild is heading into his fourth season, going 3-9 in both 2009 and 2010. The Rams have an uncompetitive 2-14 record in the Mountain West the past two seasons. Fairchild will get canned if he cannot produce at least a half dozen wins in 2011.
6. Dennis Erickson—This is the final year of Erickson’s contract, and if he does not win at least seven games, it is certain is contract will not be renewed. Erickson has lost 21 games over the last three seasons, making his last three years in Tempe the worst three seasons of his head coaching career.
7. David Bailiff—The Owls have gone 6-18 over the last two seasons since their great run in 2008. The Owl pass defense has been almost nonexistent. If Bailiff can get his defense to improve and put together a respectable conference record, he has a chance of coming back for a sixth season.
8. Ron Zook—The question of whether to fire Zook or not has been swirling around Urbana-Champaign over the past three seasons. By going 7-6 last season and getting the Illini’s first bowl win in eleven years, Zook seems to only be on a warm seat at the moment, but a fifth sub-.500 season will get him fired.
9. Rick Neuheisel —Rick Neuheisel’s time at his alma mater has been a subpar 15-22, with a pathetic 8-19 conference record. The Bruins have finished eighth, eighth, and ninth in the final three years of the Pac-10. Slick Rick needs to turn things around at UCLA this season, or he’s out.
10. Mike Price—The Miners have not had a winning season since 2005, Price’s second season in El Paso. With a record of 40-45, Mike Price is going to have to become bowl-eligible like last season to feel safe about his livelihood. It won’t be an easy task with 1 starter returning on offense.
Waiting list: Ron English, DeWayne Walker
We will revisit On The Hot Seat after Week 4.