College football hot seat rankings: Mike Norvell, Manny Diaz other coaches feeling heat, CBS Sports says


College football's coaching hot seats are beginning to warm at this point of the season, especially in the Sunshine State where a pair of early-tenured coaches are feeling heat under their collars following disappointing starts. Miami's Manny Diaz and Florida State's Mike Norvell are a combined 3-7, and they have been slammed after failed performances this season, including late-game execution errors that have cost both teams wins.

In the SEC, LSU is moving in the wrong direction under Ed Orgeron, who faces a gauntlet of nationally-ranked opponents with little belief the Tigers can turn things around. The worrisome start for Orgeron follows a season in which LSU finished 5-5 coming off a national championship campaign.

Could it get worse before it gets better for these three aforementioned coaches?

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Not all sideline leaders who entered the season on the hot seat are warming, however.

Here are the latest hot-seat picks from CBS Sports college football analyst Dennis Dodd, who has updated his preseason projections moving into Week 6. We have slotted them in descending order from blazing temperatures to cooling off a bit:

College football hot seat rankings: Mike Norvell, Manny Diaz other coaches feeling heat, CBS Sports says

Hot-seat scale: 5 (win or be fired)

CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd: "Halfway through his fifth season at FIU, he has lost 11 of his last 12 games (1-4 this season). At the end of Davis' five-year deal, the administration may not have to pay a buyout for the 69-year-old."

The word: Davis is one of three coaches who received the threat level 5 designation from Dodd, which falls under the "win or be fired" category. A recent FIU job posting calling for head coaching applications led some to believe that football coach Butch Davis would soon be retiring. The listing, posted on the American Football Coaches Association’s job board, shows that FIU is searching for a non-descript head coach for one of its various athletic programs.

A recent report from FootballScoop claims that multiple sources confirmed ahead of the 2021 season that Davis planned on retiring following its conclusion. But according to Action Network’s Brett McMurphy, Davis has no intentions to move on from coaching any time soon.

College football hot seat rankings: Mike Norvell, Manny Diaz other coaches feeling heat, CBS Sports says

Hot-seat scale: 4 (start improving now)

What Dodd says: "Is it me, or has Orgeron's job security become a week-to-week proposition? The loss to Auburn didn't help. The Tigers are now 3-2 with Alabama and Georgia running away with the SEC."

The word: The losses are one thing along with the program's noticeable decline in terms of trajectory, but how the Tigers have looked is what is most alarming. LSU is not winning at the line of scrimmage and you could make the argument this team has looked soft in the trenches on both sides of the football.

College football hot seat rankings: Mike Norvell, Manny Diaz other coaches feeling heat, CBS Sports says

Hot-seat scale: 4 (start improving now)

What Dodd says: "A last-second loss to Florida State makes Babers 6-17 in his last 23 games (3-15 in last 18 ACC games). A 3-2 start has brightened prospects, however, especially the tight win over Liberty."

The word: Syracuse had a chance to put to bed a bad performance against Florida State by simply getting a stop in the final moments before overtime and instead let Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis get loose for a big gain to put the opposition in range for a game-winning field goal. The Orange have failed to accomplish the little things during Babers' recent tenure, but perhaps the move to Garrett Shrader under center is going to help.

College football hot seat rankings: Mike Norvell, Manny Diaz other coaches feeling heat, CBS Sports says

Hot-seat scale: 4 (start improving now)

What Dodd says: "This could be one of the more notable departures of 2021. Rolovich put the administration through a ringer with his refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine. He not only set a bad example for his players, but as the state's highest-paid public employee, he basically spit in the face of public health. Sources indicated Rolovich was going to apply for an exemption, but that hasn't happened."

The word: Nick Rolovich has only coached in nine games with the Cougars, but he has only won three of them and Washington State is a relative unknown nationally. There are three games left against top 25 teams and the finale at Washington may determine bowl eligibility. The off-the-field stuff is enough for the administration to rid its hands of their head coach, and mounting losses would fast-track that decision.

College football hot seat rankings: Mike Norvell, Manny Diaz other coaches feeling heat, CBS Sports says

Hot-seat scale: 4 (start improving now)

What Dodd says: "Winning cures everything, and right now, the Sun Devils are winning big. At 4-1, ASU is the favorite in the Pac-12 South. The defense (Herm's specialty) is the best in the league by far. QB Jayden Daniels just came off one of the best games of his career. There remains a damning dossier detailing an alleged improper scheme during COVID-19."

The word: At some point, the NCAA hammer is going to come down and it remains to be seen whether or not Edwards' head will be underneath the gavel.

College football hot seat rankings: Mike Norvell, Manny Diaz other coaches feeling heat, CBS Sports says

Hot-seat scale: 4 (start improving now)

What Dodd says: "To be fair, thinks are looking up for the Huskers. They didn't crater after the loss to Illinois. QB Adrian Martinez has evened out. Frost has a big opportunity to land a signature win vs. Michigan. Nebraska made progress in close losses to Oklahoma and Michigan State."

The word: Frost's temperate is beginning to cool according to Dodd, but keep an eye on the rest of the season. The expectation this season for the Huskers was getting to bowl eligibility and that is up in the air at this point with three games remaining against top 20 teams.

College football hot seat rankings: Mike Norvell, Manny Diaz other coaches feeling heat, CBS Sports says

Hot-seat scale: 3 (pressure is mounting) 

What Dodd says: "There is negative buzz about Diaz's job security in his third season. That buzz is aided by Mario Cristobal having Oregon in the top 10. However, a Miami Herald report said Diaz is safe if he wins eight. A loss to Alabama was expected, but by 31? Michigan State overwhelmed the 'Canes at home in hot conditions that should benefit Miami."

The word: Truthfully, the Hurricanes are dangerously close to being 1-3 at the moment with the only win coming against Central Connecticut. That is how close Miami's win over Appalachian State was last month. This was supposed to be a team that competed for a spot in the ACC Championship Game this fall with a senior quarterback, but is instead heading in the opposite direction.

College football hot seat rankings: Mike Norvell, Manny Diaz other coaches feeling heat, CBS Sports says

Hot-seat scale: 3 (pressure is mounting)

What Dodd says: "Norvell's buyout is probably too big to pull the trap door now, but the frustration is mounting. He signed a six-year, $26.5 million deal in December 2019 after replacing Willie Taggart. FSU types can't fire two consecutive coaches after only two seasons, can they?"

The word: Heading into the season, Norvell was under the "safe and secure" category from Dodd due to his first season last fall coming during a COVID washout. But now? A 1-4 start through five games has brought audible jeers from the Florida State faithful who see the program heading in the wrong direction again. The loss to Jacksonville State last month was inexcusable. 

College football hot seat rankings: Mike Norvell, Manny Diaz other coaches feeling heat, CBS Sports says

Hot-seat scale: 3 (pressure is mounting)

What Dodd says: "We called out Fuente in July for the Hokies' worst season in 28 years (a COVID-19-ravaged 5-6 in 2020). VT then opened the season beating North Carolina. Some credit is due here after a 3-1 start."

The word: No coach in college football improved his job status more than Justin Fuente in the season opener after that notable win over North Carolina. He gets a chance to beat another ranked team this weekend against Notre Dame. From the looks of it, Virginia Tech or Pittsburgh will win the ACC Coastal this season, which is a great sign for Fuente.

Will Backus contributed to this report.

College football hot seat rankings: Mike Norvell, Manny Diaz other coaches feeling heat, CBS Sports says

Hot-seat scale: 3 (pressure is mounting)

What Dodd says: "The Big Ten East is the second-toughest division in ball, and Harbaugh is 5-0 in it. That said, if he loses for a seventh straight time to Ohio State, the crooked number next to his name will get … crookeder. There finally seems to be an identity with the Wolverines."

The word: Go ahead and take down the planned coaching search inquiries if Jim Harbaugh keeps winning like he is this season. One of four unbeatens left in the Big Ten, Michigan is a national title contender nearing the midseason junction, a far cry from where most expected the Wolverines to be at this point.