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Hot Seat Week 4: Big 12 coaches are starting to feel the pressure

These coaches are under the microscope in a conference undergoing significant change this year.

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Texas
Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach Matt Wells claps for his team as they perform warmup drills before the game against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports

Week 4 had some big upsets, but none impacted coaches who really needed to have strong seasons in 2021. The most notable results putting coaches under the microscope came in the Big 12. The conference has undergone a huge shakeup this season and will continue to see change over the next few years. Here’s a look at which coaches are feeling the heat heading into Week 5 and beyond.

Mike Norvell, Florida State

They’re 0-4. They lost to Jacksonville State. They lost by three touchdowns to Wake Forest. They lost by eight points to Louisville at home, but only because the backdoor was open, it wasn’t really that close.

Willie Taggart got way more fired for way fewer offenses. Just saying.

Scott Frost, Nebraska

Bruh. BRUH. You’re still here?

You got pics of someone in a compromising position? Scott frost is 14-22 at Nebraska in four seasons, and they don’t seem to be getting better. Plus the NCAA is sniffing around. What’s taking so long here?

Matt Wells, Texas Tech

Wells entered the year with back-to-back four-win seasons and needed to improve. This wasn’t exactly a statement game in Week 4, but a sign of progress against the biggest program in the state would’ve been nice.

The Red Raiders gave up SEVENTY points to Texas in an embarrassing defeat, putting some fire under Wells’ seat going forward. The schedule doesn’t get much easier with a trip to Morgantown to face a pesky West Virginia team next week. Wells needs at least one signature win to show he is on the right track in Lubbock.

Gary Patterson, TCU

The Horned Frogs are no longer the darlings of the late 2000s from the Mountain West but this is starting to get frustrating for fans. Patterson did put together a big season with the team in 2017, but got snubbed from the playoff due to his own conference’s ineptitude. He’s a legend at TCU and should be safe for now. However he could use some big results in the near future.

Matt Campbell, Iowa State

Similar to Patterson, Campbell isn’t truly on the chopping block. Iowa State couldn’t dream of having this level of success in football for years, but Campbell made it possible. But this is not the right way to start a season where expectations were extremely high. The Cyclones were coming off a 9-3 season which ended in a Big 12 title game berth. They returned every key player on their team. The schedule set up well. After four weeks, Iowa State is 2-2 and has not looked convincing in any game. Campbell might be regretting not taking any of the massive contract offers he got during the last coaching silly season.

Honorable mentions

  • P.J. Fleck entered the year with Minnesota looking like a Big Ten West contender. It has quickly gone from bad to worse for the Golden Gophers, who blew a chance to beat Ohio State in the opener and lost star RB Mohamed Ibrahim for the season. A 14-10 defeat against Bowling Green after being favored by 30.5 points is not a good look for a program that was on the rise.
  • It’s only been four games, but Bryan Harsin is already starting to get some questionable looks at Auburn. A loss on the road to Penn State is acceptable, but being on the ropes against Georgia State at home? Not a good sign for an SEC program used to competing for a spot in Atlanta. The Tigers paid a hefty price to let Gus Malzahn go, and expect winning right away.
  • Have we mentioned Mike Norvell and Scott Frost already? What must be done eventually should be done immediately. Just pull the trigger, athletic directors.