Yesterday, I took a look at how the Coaching Carousel played out at the end of last season. Today, it's time to highlight the coaches who, for one reason or another, may find themselves visiting Career Builder (or their friendly neighborhood search firm) after, or during, this campaign.
After the jump, it's time to fire up the hot seat, starting with the coaches who have bigger problems than the won-loss record.
NCAA Compliance Division
Three coaches fit into this category, two of whom are coming off bad seasons. Bruce Pearl is the exception, but he's currently working without a contract at Tennessee after admitting to lying to NCAA investigators. Given how well the Volunteers have played for Pearl, the compliance issues would be the reason he'd be pushed out, and a new university president may have the final say on the issue.
Connecticut is backing Jim Calhoun as the investigation into the Josh Nochimson/Nate Miles scandal reaches a conclusion. Calhoun signed a new contract in May, but as the Pearl story proves, that may not be a stumbling block to removing the Hall of Famer if things turn for the worse. Another 18-16 NIT campaign would also increase the pressure in Storrs.
Finally, Oklahoma's Jeff Capel may yet be under pressure because of the Tiny Gallon financial advisor story, which allegedly involved a now departed OU assistant and took place as the Kelvin Sampson probation was wrapping up. Making matters worse, it may be difficult for the Sooners to improve on last year's 13-18 mark in a very competitive Big 12.
These four coaches have had some good seasons in their current positions, but haven't been able to mount a sustained run of successful seasons.
Bruce Weber guided Illinois to a number 1 ranking and National Championship game appearance in 2005. Since then, the Illini have made the Tournament three times, winning only one game (2006). If Weber can't at least get in and win a contest with a veteran team, change may be coming to Champaign-Urbana.
Weber used to be at the helm downstate in Carbondale, where Chris Lowery needs a good season. Southern Illinois has seemingly fallen off the face of the earth since reaching the Sweet Sixteen in 2007, going 25-29 in the Valley, where they've been passed by Northern Iowa, Missouri State, and Wichita State.
Paul Hewitt's success at Georgia Tech has been hit and miss. The Yellow Jackets have only made the Tournament in consecutive years in his tenure, following up 2004's Jarrett Jack/Will Bynum-fueled run to the National Championship game with a Second Round appearance in 2005. Hewitt will have to attempt to get his team back without Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors, the latest in a nice line of players to make it to the NBA under his watch.
Mike Brey's Notre Dame squad has one Tournament victory since its 2003 Sweet Sixteen appearance, a 2008 Round One win over George Mason, which was followed by a Second Round hammering at the hands of Washington State. The Fighting Irish fell as a 6 seed in 2007 (Winthrop) and 2010 (Old Dominion), both times against veteran mid-major squads who looked like upset specials.
John Pelphrey's tenure at Arkansas started well, as the Razorbacks earned a Tourney bid and First Round win in the former Kentucky star/South Alabama coach's first season (2007-08). The 2008-09 campaign looked like it was going to be even better, thanks to back-to-back home wins over Oklahoma and Texas, top 10 teams at the time. However, the bottom fell out not long after that, and the Hogs finished the year with a 2-14 SEC mark. Last season, marred by the accusation of rape against three players, wasn't much better. If Pelphrey can't make things more like 2008, he may be looking for a new job come the spring.
This quartet of coaches need to earn an NCAA bid at schools that seemingly haven't been there in forever (or in the case of one, just plain forever).
Sidney Lowe hasn't been able to get NC State to the Tournament since he was hired to replace the run out of town for no reason Herb Sendek. The closest he came was when he led the Wolfpack to the ACC final as a 10 seed in his first season (2006-07). This season's team could finally get him there.
Another 2006 postseason hire, Mick Cronin also hasn't been able to take Cincinnati since he replaced Bobby Huggins in 2006. That's despite coaching in a conference that regularly gets half of its members into the field. Maybe Cronin needs some pressure in his life, as managed to get Murray State to the Tourney twice in the three years immediately before his move to Southern Ohio. Last season's team was a disappointment, and this year's edition may not be much better.
Bill Carmody is still at Northwestern, but for how much longer. Say it with me, "The Wildcats have never made the NCAA Tournament." With a talented team and three extra spots, is the 11th try the charm for the former Princeton boss?
Andy Kennedy has led Mississippi to exactly no NCAA bids in four seasons in Oxford. Additionally, his teams always seem to hover around .500 in the SEC (two years at 9-7, one at 8-8, another at 7-9). In a conference dominated by the East Division, mediocre league marks earned primarily against the loop's weaker half don't help the resume, tournament or professional.
Win Or Else Division
These five coaches could very well fit in the Underachiever Division, but face even tougher circumstances.
Heading into his eighth season in State College, Penn State's Ed DeChellis has two NIT appearances to his name. His 2009 team won that tournament's crown, but the 2010 edition finished 9 games under .500 and didn't sniff the postseason.
Keno Davis followed up a promising first season at Providence (19-14, 10-8 Big East, NIT First Round) with a bad one (12-19, 4-14). Davis' problem is that he not have enough firepower to be that competitive this season in a conference in which it's difficult to make a quick jump up the standings.
Doc Sadler needs to start winning now at Nebraska, since the Cornhuskers have both a new conference and arena on the horizon. After two straight NIT bids, season four was a disappointing regression (15-18, 2-14 Big 12) for Sadler's squad.
Pat Knight's Texas Tech Red Raiders made it to the NIT last season despite going 4-12 in the conference, good for 9th in the Big 12. With a double round-robin and two traditional weaklings gone, the conference is only going to get more difficult. Following his legendary father was always going to be a difficult task, and Knight knows it's win or go home time for his tenure in Lubbock.
It's hard to believe it's going to be Matt Doherty's fifth season in Dallas, where he's yet to lead SMU to a winning record. Two 14-win campaigns are Doherty's high water mark on Mockingbird Lane.
Watch Your Fanbase Division
Finally, these five coaches shouldn't really be on the hot seat at all, but unrealistic fan expectations mean there could be some unnecessary pressure during this campaign.
The majority of Hoosier fans know that Tom Crean still has his work cut out for him in his third season at Indiana. He may want to get to the NIT to fend off the radical few, though that may not be enough for them.
While season three was big for Beilein at West Virginia, thanks to an Elite Eight appearance, the third campaign was downright miserable in Ann Arbor. Thanks to departures and last season's chemistry issues, year four may not be much better.
After three straight Final Fours, the Ben Howland's UCLA Bruins have fallen mightily, winning only one Tournament game in 2009 and missing the Tournament completely in 2010 (and losing to Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, and Portland), after a season where the Pac-10 sent only two teams to the Dance.
Heath Schroyer has only guided Wyoming to the 2009 CBI, where they fell at the first hurdle, in three seasons in Laramie. The 2010 team won only three times in the Mountain West last season. That may not be enough for a fanbase who may want to go all the way back to 1943, but would at least like to get back to the semi-regular postseason appearances of the 1980s or the conference championship victories of the early 2000s.
Ken Bone is only in his second season at Washington State, but the Pac-10 is, again, fairly wide open. Plus, one of the best players in the conference, Klay Thompson, is on the roster. Arguably, Bone's Cougars should have finished better than 16-15 and 6-12 last season. Another year like that could lead to trouble for the former Portland State coach.
In a little more than a week, the games will begin again, and that means the coaches on this list can take some control of their individual seat thermostats. But how long that will last depends on the number of wins their teams can earn.