2024 Hot Seat Rankings: Sam Pittman, Billy Napier among nine college football coaches with jobs on the line



hotseat 2024

Welcome to CBS Sports’ annual Hot Seat Rankings where buyouts meet speculation, job security meets job openings and normal everyday furniture gets torched — all landing with the subtlety of a jackhammer. Hey, the process ain’t pretty, but it is all a part of the game.

This offseason, 29 programs changed coaches. That makes 83 coaching changes in the last there years and 125 in the last five seasons. 

The Hot Seat does not wish ill will on anyone, but it has shown a bit of success in this endeavor. Last year, only three of the seven coaches on this list survived into 2024. Over the last six years, 50 coaches found their way onto this list rated 4 or hotter in the preseason. Thirty-four of those coaches (68%) have either been fired or resigned under pressure. (The hit rate for Power Four coaches is nearly identical at 70%.)

Whether there will be any openings at big-time programs next offseason — after a massive sea change following the 2023 campaign — remains to be seen. Arkansas’ Sam Pittman holds the only 5 rating (win or be fired), though Florida’s Billy Napier is the highest-profile coach at the most notable program on the list.

Like Napier, Baylor’s Dave Aranda has shuffled his staff; the Bears will feature a fresh set of coordinators for the third time in five years. Then there’s Clark Lea, who is 9-27 at Vanderbilt entering Year 4; he must show improvement immediately. The school is investing $300 million in facilities upgrades with a focus on sprucing up the SEC’s smallest football venue (FirstBank Stadium). 

Beyond those firmly on the hot seat are a pair of “Notable 3s” in special situations. No one this season features more unique circumstances than Ohio State’s Ryan Day. He is the winningest FBS coach (56-8) but absolutely must beat Michigan after three straight losses or face dire consequences. Miami’s Mario Cristobal only holds a 3 rating due to his contract and the love for him in Coral Gables, Florida; otherwise, looking at his 12-13 record, he’s only one victory past Napier despite generally facing less-difficult opponents.

Check out our ratings key showing how the 134 FBS coaches sort out. There are nine on the proverbial Hot Seat entering the season with another 19 starting to feel the heat (both figures slightly up from 2023).

5

Win or be fired

1

4

Start improving now

8

3

Pressure is mounting

19

2

All good … for now

49

1

Safe and secure

44

0

Untouchable

13

That leads us to the annual Hot Seat Rankings and the nine coaches that need to figure out a way to cool things down before 2024 comes to a close. Check out our complete set of 2024 Hot Seat Rankings for ratings of all 134 FBS coaches entering the season.

2024 Hot Seat: Now or never

Check out the full set of 2024 Hot Seat Rankings for all 134 FBS coaches.

2024 Hot Seat: Getting warmer

Check out the rest of the coaches rated “3” as part of the complete set of 2024 Hot Seat Rankings for all 134 FBS coaches.





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