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Hot Seat Week 9: Pressure builds on Dan Mullen, while more ACC and Big 12 coaches might be on the way out

There’s a firestorm brewing in Gainesville, and it might not be the only place.

NCAA Football: Georgia at Florida
Florida Gators head coach Dan Mullen reacts after greeting Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart following a 34-7 loss at TIAA Bank Field.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve hit Week 9 of the college football and there’s already been some prominent candidates from Hot Seat Watch to bite the dust. USC’s Clay Helton and Texas Tech’s Matt Wells are no longer head coaches, while LSU’s Ed Orgeron is stepping aside at the end of the year. There will be more names joining the pool by the end of the season as the coaching carousel continues to spin. This week, it lands at two massive programs with head coaches who have been under the microscope for some time.

Dan Mullen, Florida

It’s hard to see Florida parting ways with Mullen just to engage in a coaching search against USC and LSU. This is his first down season in Gainesville, but it’s been a straight drop. The recruiting numbers aren’t great and Florida’s quarterback play has been subpar. Losses to Alabama, LSU, and Georgia in the same season don’t help Mullen’s cause. He’s likely going to get another season but Mullen needs to have a strong finish to convince the Florida brass he’s the man for the job.

Gary Patterson, TCU

The Horned Frogs have dropped off the map in the Big 12 and while a large part of this can be attributed to the constraints during the pandemic, Patterson’s team should be better than this. A 31-12 loss to Kansas State to make it three defeats in a row is not something to get excited about. Outside of Kansas, there’s not really a winnable game left on the schedule. Patterson has done a lot for TCU, but maybe it’s time to move in a different direction.

David Cutcliffe, Duke

Cutcliffe was here last week and his next stop will be joining Peyton and Eli on Monday Night Football breakdowns. There’s no redeeming this situation, even if the Blue Devils have become pretty decent under Cutcliffe’s tenure. Duke likely allows Cutcliffe to coach out the season, and he’s been a great leader for Duke football, but it’s time to turn the keys over to someone else.

Honorable mentions

  • Scott Frost and Mike Norvell lost again this week to Purdue and Clemson, respectively. Norvell saw his winning streak end, while Frost saw yet another winnable game slip through his team’s grasp. Only hefty buyouts can save these two now.
  • Manny Diaz got a win over Pitt and Heisman contender Kenny Pickett. It’s not enough. The Hurricanes have been a dumpster fire for a while now and while the timing of the move isn’t great given the other schools looking for coaches, Miami has to move on at the end of the year.
  • Well, well, well...if it isn’t Jim Harbaugh. Everything seemed to be going great for the Michigan head coach until Kenneth Walker III decided to show up. It’s back to the same old story with Harbaugh, and things don’t get easier. If the Wolverines lose to Penn State and Ohio State, there will be some conversations around the coach’s future in Ann Arbor.