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The Great 2015 Sun Belt Head Coach Hot Seat Debate

Where we all yell at each other for being wrong.

What hell hath we wrought?
What hell hath we wrought?
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Our crack team of #FunBelt experts put together a Hot Seat list of all the head coaches in the conference, and of course there was much debate to be had over how wrong our rankings were.

Did we get Petrino wrong?

Idaho fans sure seem to think so.


Maybe we read too much into Akey's unceremonial dumping? On the one hand, it's hard to see any FBS school tolerating three one win seasons in a row. On the other hand, if anyone needs more time, it's Petrino. And they did show improvement in many areas last season, with the notable exception of the win column.

The Petrino/Miles/Martin Triumvirate of Sadness

Nic: RYAN: How in the heck do you give Martin a 6/10? The man is in year three of rebuilding from scratch at a basketball school nobody gives a shit about.

Ryan: Year three's pretty far and 4-20 is pretty bad! Anywhere but NMSU and that's a 9 or 10.

Will: I'll defend Ryan. A 4-20 record is just plain awful, and any small improvements that have come at NMSU have been painfully slow at best.

Martin has the exact same number of FBS wins as Paul Petrino, and Martin's wins were against Idaho and Georgia State. And one of Petrino's two FBS wins came against--guess who--NMSU. Petrino was also tasked with an equally monumental rebuild.

Why does Martin get the benefit of the doubt when Petrino doesn't? Both teams came close to some upsets last season but couldn't get it done. As far as I can tell, they're very similar teams with similar challenges.

Ryan: Also Martin definitely shouldn't get a pass if Miles doesn't. Martin's done more, but Miles is *literally* building from nothing. GSU would have an awfully skewed vision of their program if they let him go after this season, barring a step backwards.


GSU would have has an awfully skewed vision of their program if they and will let him go after this season, barring a step backwards.


Fair enough that Petrino and Martin might be on equal footing. EXCEPT Martin took over a program that had won 21 games in the previous 8 years, last had a winning record in 2002, and has posted a winning record three times in the last 40 years. Petrino runs a team that is five years removed from 14 wins in two seasons, so I would imagine expectations are a touch higher there. Plus the Petrino name carries expectations.

Dennis Franchione: Disconnect between perception and reality?

Our panelists weren't exactly complimentary of Coach Fran's chances of sticking around if he continues to hover around 7-5/6-6.

Nic: Time to get over the 6-6 hump once and for all. You can only be mediocre for so long before expectations change and so does your mailing address.

Cody: He's got to get the Bobcats to a bowl.

CBG: Yeah, it's not your fault that your team was passed over 127,973 times for a bowl game, but don't make excuses. Plus, hey #hottake alert, maybe it is your fault.

Chris: RETIRE, OLD MAN.  Your best years are way behind you, as you only sustained success at TCU.

Nic: Sustained success? He has had one coaching job ever where he was there for more than three years (long enough to have a squad full of his own recruits) and posted a win percentage better than .533, and that was 25 years ago at Pittsburg State. The only thing he does well is win quickly at major programs with someone else's talent. The man is the definition of sustained mediocrity.

However, our Texas State beat writer says all the criticism in the world may not matter.

Will: Harsh, but many Texas State fans share these gripes. But I think y'all may be underestimating just how entrenched Franchione is in San Marcos. Consider the following:

  • The Athletic Director and Franchione go way back. When TXST AD Larry Teis hired him, many of the other candidates publicly voiced their opinion that Teis had his mind made up about Fran well before the interview process. Coach Fran is very much Teis's guy.
  • Teis gave Fran an extension after his 6-6 season in 2013.
  • A common refrain by the administration is that Fran was left with next to no depth to work with in the move to FBS. Although that excuse now rings hollow after four years, Teis likely sees a moderately successful rebuilding job at a program that has failed to sustain success over any period since the 1980's, not Fran treading water.
  • Fans and the athletic department share the same dreams, but they don't share the same expectations. For Fran apologists (and it's highly likely Teis is one), Texas State under Fran climbed from 4 to 6 to 7 wins in FBS despite an offensive rebuild in 2013 and Mike Orakpo's injury in 2014. Skeptics see missed bowls and the latest FCS upstarts passing the Bobcats, apologists see NFL draft picks. But only the latter group holds any power.
Unless he spends a couple of seasons on the wrong side of .500, Franchione's not going anywhere.

#Takes that didn't make the first cut

The rating system

Thomas: No one's at a zero. Even Fritz. If GaSo goes 2-10 this year, they will fire him. They have no patience for losing. Same with ULL and Hud, although that buyout could be imposing.

Haisten, presumably drunk: I stand by my numbers PAWWWWWWWWWWW2wWWWWWL

Cody: If we are working on the premise that were are talking about who's on the hot seat in 2015, then I absolutely agree that Hud, Fitz and Anderson are in ZERO danger of losing their jobs.

Scott Satterfield

CBG: Who? (I mean, I'm still salty that App State ran all over Arkansas State last season.)

Blake Anderson, on whether he should get a "0" rating

Nic: He's like Satterfield. His number is low now, but will change if they're bad early. THIS IS G5 DAMNIT, COACHES DONT GET FIRED AFTER 1-2 YEARS. PERIOD.