Annual Hot Seat Ratings for SEC football coaches and other FBS coaches

Based on an annual rating, SEC football coaches job security runs from 'Untouchable' to 'Win or be fired'.
Matt Pendleton / USA TODAY NETWORK

The annual College Football Hot Seat Ratings provided by CBS has a track record of reliability. Over the last six years, 50 coaches have been ranked at 4 or 5; the two 'hottest' levels of ratings. Thirty-four lost their jobs, giving the CBS predictions a 68% accuracy.

For the 2024 season, CBS rated one of the 134 FBS coaches at '5', the level defined as "Win or be fired." It is Arkansas Razorback head coach, Sam Pittman. Pittman is 23-25 at Arkansas.

Two SEC football coaches were given a '4', defined as a "Start improving now" rating. They are Florida's Billy Napier and Vanderbilt's Clark Lea. Both coaches have losing records at their schools. Lea's three-season record is 9-27, so significant improvement is probably necessary after a 2-10 record last season. Six wins in 2024 would be an improvement over Florida's 5-7 record in 2023, but six may not be enough for Napier to be retained.

One more SEC football coach has a warm seat that could turn hot quickly. CBS gives Shane Beamer a 3 rating, defined as "Pressure mounting", but Beamer could hit a '4' rating quickly. By mid-October, South Carolina will play Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Alabama, and Oklahoma.

SEC Football Untouchable

On the opposite end of job security are four SEC football coaches that CBS rates at '0' defined as 'Untouchable". They are Kirby Smart, Brian Kelly, Lane Kiffin, and Steve Sarkisian. Smart and Kelly had the same rating last year. Kiffin and Sarkisian got big bumps from '2' to '0'. Missouri's Eli Drinkwitz also received a two-level bump, moving from a '3' last season to a '1', defined by CBS as "Safe and secure." Other SEC coaches with a '1' rating are Mark Stoops, Josh Heupel, Mike Elko, and Jeff Lebby.

At the '2' level, defined as "All good ... for now" are Brent Venables, Hugh Freeze, and Kalen DeBoer. DeBoer is not getting the same honeymoon assessment given Elko and Lebby. Perhaps that is unfair, but at least for Lebby, expectations in Starkville are well below what DeBoer has in Tuscaloosa.

Outside the SEC, Ohio State's Ryan Day with a record of 59-8, is given the same rating as South Carolina's Shane Beamer. Other well-known coaches rated as 'Untouchable' are Oregon's Dan Lanning and Utah's Kyle Whittington.

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