In a recent article by CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd, two Big 12 coaches compiled a “Hot Seat Rankings” list, with West Virginia’s Neal Brown and Oklahoma’s Brent Venables both having disappointing 2022 seasons.
In Dodd’s list, each coach is given a number on a scale of 0 to 5, with 0 indicating a coach is untouchable and 5 indicating a coach must win or be fired.
Here’s a quick look at the reference Dodd uses to rank coaches’ hot seats.
- 5 — Win or get fired
- 4 — Start improving now
- 3 – The pressure is rising
- 2 — All good…for now
- 1 — Safe and secure
- 0 – Untouchable
Well, here’s what Dodd had to say about Brown and Venables and what their week 11 seat temperature is.
Neal Brown – Hot Seat Rating: 3
“Brown was part of the next wave of hot young coaches when he signed on in 2019,” Dodd writes. “The Mountaineers are now bottom in the Big 12 (3-6, 1-5). Another loss will ensure Brown’s third losing season in four years. Perhaps most concerning is a 2-10 record against Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor and Oklahoma State. Halfway through the 2020 season, West Virginia is 7-13 in the Big 12. The buyout will be a factor — $16 million if AD fires Shane Lyons Brown after this season.”
Pre-season rating: 2
That was a little less than I expected as there have been rumors for weeks that Brown’s job will be gone as soon as the New Year rolls in, or even sooner if he keeps losing. I think Brown is out, it’s just a matter of timing and resources. The $16 million Brown will be owed if he gets the hook this offseason is pretty daunting, but I’m not sure it will save his job after potentially missing a bowl game in 2022.
Brent Venables – Hot Seat Rating: 2nd
“In May, Venables showed me a thick folder containing the plan for the transition from OU to SEC,” Dodd writes. “Let’s just say the Sooners are busy. Defense – Venables’ specialty – was a big disappointment. The last time OU was that bad in nine games (5-4) was in 1998. After the season, look for the Sooners on the transfer portal to make it big. Venables will certainly make it to a second year, but the job doesn’t get any easier.”
Pre-season rating: 1
Oklahoma’s defense has been abysmal this season, and under the tutelage of Brent Venables, that’s quite surprising. However, it speaks more to the problems Oklahoma has in terms of personnel than to the Sooners’ new scheme. Venables isn’t going to get the boot from Norman anytime soon, at least not until he’s gotten some recruiting courses under his belt. If the problems we’re seeing persist, we may see Oklahoma take a different direction.
Coincidentally, Brown and Venables will go head-to-head in Morgantown this weekend while Oklahoma tries to qualify for the Bowl and West Virginia tries to keep its hopes of Bowl eligibility alive.