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Butch Dill/Associated Press
Many teams are several games into the 2020 season, so that means there are a bunch of fanbases weeping and gnashing their teeth. After all, in college football, there are equal parts angst and elation.
Coaches get paid big bucks, and the stakes are high. So, when they don’t win games, the sweat begins to roll, and there’s the possibility they’ll be put on the hot seat.
In other cases, there are coaches who will be under immediate pressure when their teams finally suit up. In the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world of the sport, things can change week to week.
Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt was lauded at halftime of last week’s Georgia game, and then the Bulldogs thrashed the Vols. On Saturday, Kentucky embarrassed UT 34-7 in Neyland Stadium. Pruitt may be edging closer to a temperature check. But he just signed a contract extension, so he’s safe. For now.
Houston’s Dana Holgorsen led the Cougars to a season-opening win over Tulane a week ago after a pandemic-delayed start to the year, and the team looked great early against BYU on Friday. But four unanswered BYU touchdowns led to a 43-26 loss, and Houston has major defensive concerns again.
In college football, life comes at you fast.
Neither of those coaches made this list, but they were close and are future candidates to get here. Let’s take a look at the guys who did. These coaches either have teams off to rocky starts or need immediate good fortune to keep their jobs.
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Nati Harnik/Associated Press
Out of everybody on this list, Nebraska’s Scott Frost is probably the coach with the longest leash, but the Cornhuskers aren’t going to wait forever.
The favorite son came to corn country after leading UCF to a mythical national championship three years ago with a 13-0 record after a tough 6-7 first season in Orlando, Florida.
Frost was tasked with turning the once-proud Huskers program into what it once was, and he has done some rebuilding on a team that needed far from an overnight overhaul.
But a 4-8 season followed by a disappointing 5-7 campaign that began with Nebraska ranked will not cut it. Now, he has a veteran quarterback in Adrian Martinez, but there is little margin for error in a Big Ten season that will begin for Nebraska on Saturday at No. 5 Ohio State.
After that daunting opener in Columbus, Nebraska will head home to play No. 14 Wisconsin, visit Northwestern for a minor respite and then hosts No. 8 Penn State. That schedule has the Huskers playing the three top programs in the conference over the first four weeks of an eight-game schedule.
It’s going to be tough for Frost to build any goodwill with a slate like that, and you have to think he needs to pull off an upset somewhere to remain in Nebraska’s good graces.
Will Frost lose his job with another tough campaign in 2020? It’s hard to