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Hot Seat Week 10: Dan Mullen has another dud while the Diaz-Frost-Norvell trio deliver signature letdown games

A familiar name stays at the top of the list, while the old guard returns with some classic moments in Week 10.

NCAA Football: Florida at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Week 10 of the college football season appeared to be a relatively calm week on paper, The big teams were heavily favored against supposedly lesser opponents, making for a potentially uneventful day. However, it’s become evidently clear no one is truly safe in this college football season. Michigan State and Wake Forest saw their unbeaten runs end, Alabama had a tight contest against LSU and Cincinnati nearly fumbled away its CFP hopes. With that sort of chaos in mind, let’s take a look at which coaches are on the hot seat after Week 10.

Dan Mullen, Florida

Things have spiraled on Dan Mullen in Gainesville fast. The Gators are under .500 in the month of November and they were utterly embarrassed in a 40-17 loss to South Carolina on Saturday. When you’re in year four as the head football coach at the University of Florida, there’s no circumstance where you should lose to South Carolina like this. And if he was tired of people questioning him about recruiting and the direction of the program before, that’s only going to intensify in the next week. UF has dropped four of its last five contests and missing a bowl game is now within the realm of possibility.

They’re an SEC school, so a $12 million buyout isn’t unreasonable.

Justin Wilcox, California

This is gone from bad to worse for Wilcox, who is in Year 5 at Berkeley. He gets a pass for 2020 due to the condensed schedule but this has become an embarrassment. Losses to TCU, Washington, and Washington State were somewhat tolerable at the time. Now to be fair, Cal was ravaged by a COVID outbreak this week. But a loss to previously winless Arizona doesn’t look good under any circumstance.

Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech

The Hokies were thrown a curveball Friday when Boston College got Phil Jurkovec back. That’s no excuse to lose by two touchdowns. Time has quickly run out on Fuente, who has failed to come close to the 10-win season in his first year at Blacksburg. With the entire conference seemingly set for change, the Hokies are going to be in the market for a head coach. The question is how much of a choice they’ll actually have, given USC and LSU headlining job openings.

Scott Frost, Nebraska

Nebraska gave a valiant effort against Ohio State on Saturday, but ultimately fell short in a 26-17 loss. This dropped the Cornhuskers to 3-7 on the year, officially eliminating them from bowl contention and guaranteeing them a fourth straight losing season under Frost and a fifth straight losing season in Lincoln overall. It seems that the “prodigal son” experiment at Nebraska is all but over and interestingly enough, the team is on a bye next week. That could give new athletic director Trev Alberts time to contemplate his move if he hasn’t already.

Honorable mentions

  • David Shaw might’ve saved his job with wins over USC and Oregon but a 52-7 loss to Utah has the brass at Stanford thinking of change. Shaw is looking at a third straight season with four wins or less, although the upcoming schedule could see him get to five victories easily.
  • Mike Norvell might’ve been feeling good after getting three consecutive victories prior to a close loss against a down Clemson team. That feeling evaporated as NC State thoroughly beat the Seminoles in Week 10. This loss was just a reminder of whenever you think things will improve at Florida State, there’s a disappointing performance to set you straight.
  • Manny Diaz needed some late heroics to avoid what would’ve been a truly “nail in the coffin” loss to Georgia Tech but this is simply delaying the inevitable. There’s a good chance Miami is competing with Florida and Florida State for a coach this offseason, along with USC and LSU. It might be time to look at young up-and-coming coordinator instead of swinging for the fences on a retread.
  • Speaking of Georgia Tech, this Geoff Collins thing isn’t really going anywhere, isn’t it? Saturday’s loss to Miami dropped them to 3-6 on the year and with games against Notre Dame and in-state rival Georgia to close the season, they’re most assured to finish the season with eight losses. It’s a shame considering Collins and company could’ve taken advantage of a chaotic ACC this year to make his stamp on the program.