We looked at the ACC Basketball Coaches Hot Seating a month ago, now it is time to turn the page towards the football coaches.
We go from coldest to hottest.
0 – Ice Cold
1 – Still cool
2 – There’s smoke
3 – Getting Warm
4 – On Fire
5 – Start working on the resume
Dabo Swinney, Clemson = 0
By any measure, over the last 7 or 8 years, Clemson has become the 2nd best program in College Football behind Alabama. That’s rarified air, and Dabo Swinney has guided Clemson to that position. Swinney has 2 National Titles, and hasn’t finished outside the top 5 since 2014. Any questions?
Jeff Hafley, Boston College = 0
Jeff Hafley had solid first at BC. The Eagle offense looked as dynamic as it’s been in years, and with a great returning offensive line and starting QB Phil Jurkovec back, Boston College is a darkhorse team in the Atlantic to finish behind Clemson. There’s no hot seat here.
Mack Brown, UNC = 0
The Tar Heels are opening in the top 15 of ever pre-season poll. They have Heisman contending QB Sam Howell, they just went to the Orange Bowl, and recruiting is going well. UNC fans couldn’t be happier with how Mack Brown’s hiring went.
Dave Clawson, Wake Forest = .5
Dave Clawson does more with less than any coach in the ACC. The Deacs are a bowl fixture, and always a tough out. Clawson isn’t going anywhere and Wake Forest fans are really pleased with him. There was a losing season last year, so you don’t want to go back to back with years like that.
Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia = .5
Bronco Mendenhall and Virginia are only a year removed from a Coastal Division title and an Orange Bowl appearance. Virginia is definitely better now than when Mendenhall arrived too. Only the 1-4 mark against Virginia Tech might raise an eye brow for a Virginia fan.
Mike Norvell, Florida State = 1
Unless you are winning big, there will always be an undercurrent of the hotseat at Florida State. Mike Norvell had the win over UNC last year, but not much else in year one. That said you aren’t firing any head coach after 1 year, but I would recommend for Norvell to show some improvement in year 2.
Scott Satterfield, Louisville = 1.5
Satterfield inherited a disaster had a great first year at Louisville. That bought him a lot of goodwill, despite a disappointing 2020. Long-term Louisville looks in good shape, but Satterfield’s interest with other jobs in the off-season won’t make Cardinal fans very forgiving if there is a bad season this year.
Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech = 1.75
Georgia Tech have been patient with Collins. Two 3 win seasons and some really ugly losses have been tolerated knowing that Collins was transitioning from Paul Johnson’s option offense. That said a non-bowl year in 2021 will really ramp up frustration from the Jacket fan base.
Dave Doeren, NC State = 1.75
How do you go from the ACC coach with the hottest seat to a relatively cool one in one year? Exceed all expectations, and have your third 8+ win season in your last 4 years. That’s what Dave Doeren did and he should have been the ACC Coach of the Year. He enters 2021 with more latitude than he’s had in a long while. It can turn quickly so Doeren needs to keep the momentum going.
Manny Diaz, Miami = 2
Like FSU fans, the Miami fanbase isn’t going to be especially patient. After year one Manny Diaz was already dealing with hotseat rumblings after an awful finish to the 2019 year. In walks transfer QB D’Eriq King, and the Canes had a top 25 season. I don’t think Diaz is all the way out of the woods, but he’s in far better position going into 2021 than 2020.
David Cutcliffe, Duke – 2.5
David Cutcliffe has accomplished more at Duke than any coach in some 30 years, but Duke hasn’t finished .500 or better in the ACC since 2015. Cutcliffe is probably fine and can decide when he’s done, but if Duke has a 5-7 type season or worse some fans might say it might be time to move on.
Dino Babers, Syracuse = 3.5
There have been some really good moments for Dino Babers at Syracuse. They’ve beat Clemson, and had a ten win top 15 2018 season. Here’s the problem. Other than the 2018 year, Babers and Syracuse are 7 – 27 in the ACC the other four seasons. Another poor season, and Syracuse may thinking real hard about a new direction.
Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh = 4
Pat Narduzzi has been at Pittsburgh six full seasons, and never lost fewer than 5 games. That’s not going to get it done in year 7. Pitt has never been terrible under Narduzzi, but they’ve never been better than slightly above average. Narduzzi has never had a top 25 finish at Pitt either. Leading the ACC in NFL Draft picks in 2021 was nice, but why hasn’t Pitt been better is the real question.
Justin Fuente = 4.25
Virginia Tech just had their worst season under Justin Fuente. That’s not you’d expect in year 5 – COVID or no COVID. What looked like a can’t miss hire, just hasn’t panned out. Fuente’s seat is hot, and it will be on fire with a sluggish start. He won’t survive a mediocre season.