- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Greg Robinson, Syracuse

The Orange have been laughably bad the last three years, compiling a 7-28 record under coach Greg Robinson. He somehow received a reprieve after last year’s 2-10 debacle but is a prime candidate to find himself unemployed in December.

Mike Sanford, UNLV

Sanford was Urban Meyer’s offensive coordinator at Utah, so it seemed like a good idea for the Rebels to hire him. But UNLV remains ensconced in the bottom third of the Mountain West. Sanford has won six games his first three years; he might need to match that total to stick around after 2008.

Randy Shannon, Miami

Yes, Shannon is only in his second season at The U. But an abysmal 5-7 season last year coupled with the arrival of a new athletic director makes this a sleeper possibility for a job change after this season. Shannon has mined the Hurricanes’ traditional Florida recruiting grounds the last two years, but with another losing season, Shannon might not see a lot of those guys make it onto the field.

Mike Stoops, Arizona

A funny thing about rebuilding projects: Whenever there’s an obvious setback, the architect is seriously questioned. So it was last season with Stoops, whose Wildcats went 5-7. This will be Stoops’ fifth year, and his chances are slim of earning a sixth if Arizona can’t snap a bowl drought dating back to 1998.

Tyrone Willingham, Washington

Sometimes, life just isn’t fair. Willingham was run out of Notre Dame after the 2004 season, and successor Charlie Weis hasn’t performed markedly better. Willingham landed in Seattle, where the Huskies were an utter mess but have gradually improved. Fans still want a lot more, and chances are Willingham needs to find his way into a bowl game to hang on and finish his five-year contract.


Five teams that could surprise


A year ago, the Bearcats won 10 games for the first time since 1951. This was not a fluke, and the program’s sudden spike can be attributed largely to second-year coach Brian Kelly. Cincinnati should not be overlooked despite quarterback Ben Mauk’s ongoing battle with the NCAA for another year of eligibility. The defense should be stingy, and this is a team that could be playing on New Year’s Day.

Story Continues →