Pat Forde has thoughts about the SEC’s hot-seat situation.
On Monday, the Yahoo Sports columnist dropped his opinion on who’s most in danger within the conference. Not surprisingly, the usual suspects are included within his column. Here’s how he ranks the so-called “endangered list,” with the No. 1 spot being the hottest seat. (For what it’s worth, he already considers Ole Miss interim coach Matt Luke to be on his way out.)
1. Tennessee’s Butch Jones
2. Arkansas’ Bret Bielema
3. Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin
4. Missouri’s Barry Odom
5. LSU’s Ed Orgeron
6. Florida’s Jim McElwain
And here’s how Forde described Jones’ standing at Tennessee:
Hottest seat: Butch Jones (14), Tennessee. The Volunteers had a bye week after their worst home loss in a century, and while there was no in-season firing forthcoming, the downtime only allowed the toxicity to fester. Predictably, a bogus rumor was started late in the week about Jones being on the verge of a dismissal. That didn’t happen, but it’s clear that there are plenty of fans who would like it to be so. Jones is 14-20 in SEC games, and in year five that’s not getting it done. Tennessee is 3-2 and, aside from a trip to Alabama on Oct. 21, the rest of the schedule is not daunting. But only a very strong finish would seem likely to save Jones at this point.
The coming weeks will be so important for the names listed above. Jones, in particular, needs a victory in a major way against South Carolina on Saturday in Knoxville. Bielema’s team has collapsed in recent weeks, and questions about his future are fair. Sumlin has shown progress with Texas A&M after that stunning loss at UCLA, but he needs more wins in a hurry. Odom must produce steps forward as well.
Orgeron and McElwain, meanwhile, would seem to be locks to survive this season. However, LSU and Florida should be better. Both coaches must do more fast.
Seats are sizzling throughout the SEC, for sure.
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