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Coaches Hot Seat: Kentucky’s losing ways doom Phillips

It’s getting late in the season, so the any coach not winning has to be looking over his shoulder.

We all know how much money football coaches make these days so the expectations are always high. This list could be much longer than 10, but in fairness we won’t include Arkansas’ John L. Smith since he was pretty much on this list the day he was brought in as a hired gun.

So which coaches have the hottest seats?

1. Joker Phillips, Kentucky

Kentucky is never going to be confused for an SEC power, but the Wildcats don’t expect to lose to Western Kentucky and get blown out by rival Louisville.

In three seasons, Joker Phillips has never enjoyed a winning record. This year is even worse.

The Wildcats probably blew their only chance or a conference win this past weekend against Missouri.

Firing Phillips probably isn’t fair, but Kentucky needs a reboot.

derek-dooley2. Derek Dooley, Tennessee

Even if Tennessee had pulled off the win against South Carolina this past weekend, Derek Dooley was probably still on the chopping block.

Now it’s a done deal.

Hell, there’s even a rumor that Jon Gruden might be interested in moving to Knoxville.

One thing is clear, Dooley’s days appear over.

3. Frank Spaziani, Boston College

I can’t believe this guy got another season.

He may have been a popular choice when he took over, but Boston College has consistently gone down hill since.

The Eagles did get a much-needed ACC win over Maryland this weekend, but it’s not enough.

4. Skip Holtz, South Florida

When South Florida hired Skip Holtz, I thought it was a great fit. After the Jim Leavitt era, Holtz certainly looked like someone who could get the Bulls over the hump.

After going 8-5 in his first season, South Florida has struggled the past two seasons. Blowing a late lead to Syracuse this past weekend didn’t help his cause.

His 4-14 record in the Big East, including 0-4 this year, is embarrassing.

jeff-tedord5. Jeff Tedford, Cal

Jeff Tedford will always be remembered or making Cal relevant again, but the past few years have been substandard and it’s time for a change.

Cal entered the season with all kinds of promise, especially with a refurbished stadium and the belief the Bears could be an eight-win team. At 3-6, that is impossible.

The loss to Utah this past weekend pretty much sealed his fate.

6. Bobby Hauck, UNLV

Remember when Bobby Hauck was a huge winner at Montana? Well, it appears making the jump to UNLV was tougher than he thought or he miscalculated what it would take to win in Vegas.

The Rebels are 1-8, but there is a legitimate chance UNLV could win its final four games against New Mexico, Colorado State, Wyoming and Hawaii.

If that happens, then Hauck may have the momentum he needs to stick around in 2013.

gene-chizik7. Gene Chizik, Auburn

As Auburn was losing some early games and you started hearing the rumors about Gene Chizik’s job, I just sort of laughed.

Come on, this guy just won the BCS Championship two seasons ago.

But Auburn has fallen so far since that championship season that it looks more realistic these days.

Now the Tigers are 1-7 and winless in the SEC. This was supposed to be the season Auburn challenged Alabama for the SEC West title again. Instead, the Tigers are the butt of jokes for Bama fans.

8. DeWayne Walker, New Mexico State

Last year, New Mexico State looked like it was moving in the right direction under DeWayne Walker.

But now the Aggies have slipped back to mediocrity at 1-7. What’s interesting is they get a chance to play at Auburn this week.

Since Auburn is so bad this year, it would be interesting if the Aggies win what it might mean to his future.

It’s unlikely a two-win season will save him this year

jon-embree9. Jon Embree, Colorado

Have you ever seen a coach so overmatched in your life? I guess there were Ron Prince and Mike Locksley.

At $725,000 per season, Embree is not delivering for the Buffs. He was supposed to recast Colorado into a respectable program as it switched from the Big 12 to the Pac-12.

Instead, the Colorado alumnus is continually outcoached week in and week out. He’ll likely get at least one more season to fix what Dan Hawkins screwed up, but this once proud program is far from good.

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