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Hot Seat Week 5: Tom Allen, Dino Babers fall flat in crucial contests

These are the coaches that should be worried about their employment after another week of college football action.

NCAA Football: Indiana at Maryland
Indiana Hoosiers head coach Tom Allen walks on the field during the first half against the Maryland Terrapins at SECU Stadium.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Week 5 of the 2023 college football season featured some big road contests for top 25 teams, but also had a few matchups where second-tier programs were looking to establish themselves in this campaign. Those secondary matchups also featured coaches who needed something to show they had the program going in the right direction. Here’s a look at which coaches failed to deliver in Week 5 and are on the hot seat.

Tom Allen, Indiana

There are no moral victories in this business, and Allen has definitely run out of those too. After battling against Ohio State and Louisville, the Hoosiers completely disappeared against a Maryland team which could make some noise in the Big Ten. Two late touchdowns made the 44-17 final score a bit more respectable, but Allen may have run his course in Bloomington. The only thing that could save him is the low expectations for this football program.

Dino Babers, Syracuse

Babers did win seven games last season and get to a bowl game, which did take some pressure off. However, this season might go very similarly to last year. The Orange were unbeaten heading into the Clemson game last year and unraveled after losing to the Tigers. Babers’ squad got taken down by Clemson for its first loss of 2023, and that cannot spiral into a long losing streak. Syracuse has North Carolina and Florida State in the next two games, so the outlook isn’t too promising.

Billy Napier, Florida

The second-year coach may have staved off some heat with the win over Tennessee, but the loss to Kentucky in Week 5 puts Napier back on the boiler. This is a rivalry Florida used to dominate, but the Gators have lost to the Wildcats three seasons in a row. That’s simply unacceptable for a program of this caliber. Napier will likely survive this season barring some truly ridiculous results but Florida is in danger of falling a few more steps behind the top dogs in the SEC.

Honorable mentions

  • It’s a tough situation for Tony Elliott at Virginia but at some point, there has to be some sort of change in a positive direction. After nearly pulling off the upset over NC State in Week 4, the Cavaliers failed to take out Boston College in another close call. Elliott should get time but the questions will start to mount.
  • Arkansas turned a lot of heads when the school hired offensive line coach Sam Pittman away from Georgia for the lead job. Pittman did well in his first two seasons, but he hasn’t been able to break through. Shane Beamer at South Carolina is experiencing a similar situation. These schools aren’t expected to be regular contenders, but they do need to eventually put together a strong season. With reinforcements coming to the SEC, the road is only going to get tougher.