Charlie Weis, Al Groh, Mark Mangino Steve Kragthorpe got early Christmas 'presents' in the form of pink slips after the regular season ended, but here's 10 more coaches we think have reason to be worried if their team doesn't improve come the end of the 2010 season.
1) Ron Zook (Illinois)
Despite having one of the best recruiters in the land, Illinois was terrible this year. They beat Michigan and Indiana, only because Michigan and Indiana sucked worse than they did. Their 'key' quarterback, Juice Williams, sucked. Which means that if Illinois sucks in 2010 (2009's record was a 'wonderful 3-9), Zook'll be out.
2) Paul Wulff (Washington State)
Is the State of Washington so poor that firing Wulff- who's only won three games in two seasons - would be a massive financial blow to them? The Wazzu was, well, up the wazoo last year, winning only 1 game (an improvement on 2008's Zero).
4) Dennis Erickson (Arizona State)
Erickson did one great job at ASU, and sorted out the Sun Devil's leaky-as-hell defense (they were best in the Pac-10 in conceding points). The biggest problem is that he couldn't sort out the offense to make the Devils a double threat (third last at scoring them). The horrifying six losses in the last six games kept the pretty boo-boys and girls pretty in Sun Devil Stadium, who'll want Erickson's job if ASU finish bottom - or near to the bottom - of the Pac-10 again.
5) Gene Chizik (Auburn)
After saying that Auburn was one of this year's pleasant surprises, I'll throw this one out there: Auburn also managed to blow leads against Georgia and Alabama. A winless coach against your biggest rivals doesn't win you many friends. Nor does a whole lot of SEC losing records. Chizik better win fast, or the 'loser' tag might stick and he'll be learning new routes....to the job center.
6) Rich Rodriguez (Michigan)
The fans are beginning to think Michigan may have got the wrong guy in hiring Rich Rodriguez. Coaching Year 1 is forgiveable if you finish a pitiful 3-9, but Coaching Year 2 with 'your own players?' with a 5-7 record when only one of the wins was against notable opposition (Notre Dame)? If Forcier & Co don't sort out themselves out, RichRod's out of a job.
7) Mike Sherman (Texas A&M)
High things were expected of Mike Sherman when he took over A&M a couple of years ago, but the Aggies have been utterly disappointing this year. The Aggies gave up more points than anyone else, and they were wildly unpredictable. And losing against Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State wasn't good for the former Packers' coach's credentials, either.
8) Mark Richt (Georgia)
Georgia's alumni rule the school - hence the fact that Willie Martinez was given the boot a few weeks ago when the defending was shoddy at best. We'll put this one out there: if Richt's team perform as badly as they did this year - losing to Tennessee and Florida in laughers - Richt may well be looking for another job.
9) Jimbo Fisher (Florida State)
We know Bobby Bowden was the longtime head coach at Florida State (well, he still is until after the bowl game against West Virginia), but Fisher had been the man-in-charge for a while now, and everybody knew it. Florida State - the win against BYU aside - was bad this year, and defensively they were laughable. The proud Seminoles tradition won't stand for it.
And.....(take a deep breath).....
10) Pete Carroll (USC)
I'll make this plain and clear: The VFA is a Pete Carroll fan. We love the work he does with the kids in LA. We love the fact that he makes a difference to disabled people's lives. If there was a reward for common decency, Pete Carroll would be a National Champion every year. However, USC hasn't won a National Title since 2004 and they have continually lost games to teams they have hugely underrated. The Trojans have stunning lost to Washington, Stanford (twice) and continually lose in the State of Oregon. This year, they finished sixth in the Pac-10 after losing at home to mighty Arizona (don't make the excuse about Mike Stoops' team being 'back', SC fans, your team sucked all day).
If Carroll's has a record in 2010 like it did in 2009, you'll begin to hear the noises of anger. And it won't just be on the LA Freeway, either!
Highlights: (25) Stan. - (11) USC - A funny movie is a click away