ESPN has been keeping track of a “hot seat rankings” throughout the season, tracking which FBS coaches might be the next ones to get fired.
Texas head coach Charlie Strong had been at the top of the rankings for a while, but now his spot has been usurped by Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich.
It takes an especially dramatic decline, even in this age of impatience and inflated salaries, for a coach two years removed from the national title game to be fired. But Oregon has fallen off sharply, and its personnel deficiencies, especially on defense, are glaring. The Ducks were noncompetitive in their past two games, falling behind both USC and Stanford 31-6. Oregon hasn’t fired a coach in 40 years and Helfrich is well-liked, but Nike U has little choice.
Oregon has plummeted hard this season, as the Ducks are now an awful 3-7 on the season. Recruiting woes have started to strike the Ducks, and now it looks like the school’s boosters are looking for alternatives to Helfrich.
Helfrich did have a hot start at Oregon after taking over for Chip Kelly, but now it looks like the success was more Kelly’s doing than Helfrich’s.