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Hot Seat Week 8: Will Healy’s dismissal shows mid-majors hold desire to compete

The pressure of being head coach isn’t exclusive to Power 5 gigs.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 02 Charlotte at Illinois

The Charlotte 49ers decided not to drag their heels on making a coaching change, firing Will Healy after a 1-7 start. Healy, who was considered a rising coach in many circles during last season’s wild hiring cycle, is now out of a job with a 15-24 record. There was promise early in his tenure but the 34-15 embarrassment against FIU was the last straw.

Healy’s dismissal highlights the desire to win at every level in college football. The pressure of being a head coach is certainly magnified at programs with a higher profile but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist elsewhere. Here’s a look at some of the coaches feeling the heat as the college football season moves into the CFP rankings portion of the schedule.

Willie Taggart, FAU

It’s been a fall from grace for Taggart, who was once tabbed as the man to lead Florida State back to prominence. He’s been struggling to make bowl eligibility regularly at FAU, which saw some recent success under Lane Kiffin. The Owls are one of the better programs in that conference and likely expect more given the resources they have.

Justin Wilcox, California

Wilcox started the season well and even had a chance to send Notre Dame to 0-3 before some unfortunate plays late. His Cal squad has lost three straight Pac-12 games and now faces Oregon and USC in back-to-back weeks. This could get ugly real quick and Wilcox doesn’t have a previous 10-win season he can bank on to show he knows how to get the job done here.

Kalani Sitake, BYU

Sitake appears to be a lifer at BYU, although this season is starting to throw some doubt on that thought process. The Cougars have not been able to deliver a signature win and just got dropped by Hugh Freeze’s Liberty squad. Sitake will get some time to turn this thing back around but this has been a rough 2022 campaign after back-to-back seasons with double-digit wins.

Honorable mentions

  • We didn’t forget about Bryan Harsin at Auburn and Jeff Scott at South Florida just because both were on bye weeks. They’re still very much on the hot seat.
  • Things are starting to get awkward at Texas A&M, as there’s a real chance Jimbo Fisher’s squad won’t make a bowl game this year. You can get all the top recruits you want; it won’t matter if they deliver you six wins every year. The contract is too much right now but Fisher probably no longer has the time leash he previously might have.
  • Iowa football deserves better than Kirk Ferentz at this point. That’s all I’ll say on the matter.