LSU Team News

Only three SEC coaches appear to be sitting on ‘hot seats’ in 2018

LSU coach Ed Orgeron

To say there was a lot of coaching turnover in the SEC following the 2017 season would be an understatement. If you take into account Matt Luke getting the interim-coaching label taken off him in Oxford, there are going to be six new full-time head coaches on SEC sidelines in 2018:

• Chad Morris at Arkansas
• Dan Mullen at Florida
• Joe Moorhead at Mississippi State
• Matt Luke at Ole Miss
• Jeremy Pruitt at Tennessee
• Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M.

With so much coaching turnover from last season, one would think that not too many SEC head coaches enter 2018 on the “hot seat.” But, the coaching carousel never truly stops, and there are SEC coaches who need to win this fall if they want to avoid the unemployment line come December.

Here is a look at the SEC head coaches under the most pressure to win to protect their job security entering the 2018 season.

Ed Orgeron

While many college football fans and experts will tell you that it is not fair or right to put Orgeron on the hot seat after just one season as head coach at LSU, we’re here to tell you that life in the SEC isn’t always fair.

Orgeron is coming off a 9-4 campaign in 2017, a season that was salvaged after a 3-2 start, which included a 24-21 home-loss to Troy in late September.

While the loss to Troy immediately put Orgeron in bad standing with some LSU fans, Coach O rebounded nicely to beat Florida, Auburn and Ole Miss in back-to-back-to-back weeks.

That Orgeron wasn’t exactly the home run hire that many around the LSU football community were looking for following the firing of les Miles is working against him here. Most times a 9-4 season in year-one of a coaching tenure would be looked at as a success, but not at a program like LSU.

When you take into account that LSU’s schedule in 2018 includes Miami, Auburn, Ole Miss, Florida and Georgia, all before mid-October, it is vital for LSU to get off to a quick start in 2018 or the noise surrounding Orgeron’s job status will grow louder and louder.

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RELATED: No. 1 reason for optimism and concern for LSU heading into 2018.

Derek Mason

Derek Mason enters his fifth-season as Vanderbilt head coach, but things have not gone according to plan to this point. Mason is just 18-31, including a 6-26 record against SEC opponents.

Vanderbilt has never won more than six games in a season under Mason and has never finished higher than a tie for fourth in the SEC East with Mason in charge.

Mason did have a tough act to follow in Nashville when he took over from James Franklin who left Vanderbilt for Penn State in 2014. Franklin was 24-15 in his three seasons at Vanderbilt, including back-to-back nine win campaigns in 2012 and 2013.

Vanderbilt went to a bowl in all three years with Franklin on the sidelines, something they have done only once in Mason’s four years on the job.

There is no question that Vanderbilt is a tough job, but Franklin proved you can win there. To this point that is something Derek Mason hasn’t done.

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