The NCAA has already seen multiple coaches fired mid-way through the season, but there are still plenty of coaches on the hot seat. IBTimes takes a look at the coaches on the verge of losing their jobs, including Ole Miss' Houston Nutt, UCLA's Rick Neuheisel, and NC State's Tom O'Brien.
1) Houston Nutt, Ole Miss
The end is near for Houston Nutt at Ole Miss barring a miraculous comeback over the last school's last four games. The Ole Miss faithful are clearly sick of Nutt, but there's been some prevailing theory that Nutt's costly $6 million buyout could buy him another year. The Rebels currently sit at a very disappointing 2-6 record, but could conceivably make a bowl game if they were to win out the rest of their games.
The bad thing is that No. 1 LSU is one of those four games, which would be the most improbable upset of the year if Ole Miss found a way to win. Instead the Rebels need to find a way to win the other three games against Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, and Mississippi State. Kentucky and Louisiana Tech should be easy wins, but the game against rival Mississippi State could be either a reprieve or the final nail in Nutt's coffin.
If Nutt manages to lose any game in addition to LSU, that'd likely be the end of his disappointing four-year tenure at the school.
2) Rick Neuheisel, UCLA
Neuheisel has greatly disappointed Bruins fans with a 19-26 record over four years at the school. Neuheisel promised to take over the city of Los Angeles after he was hired, but even a downtrodden USC still dominates the city.
Neuheisel has gotten the dreaded vote of confidence from athletic director Dan Guerrero, which means he is likely safe until the end of the season, but he will need to win big over the team's last four games in order to secure another year at the helm in Westwood.
The Bruins did manage to take down rival California after a beat down by Arizona in the previous week, but have still ultimately disappointed on the season. The Bruins have a good shot to make a bowl game with a 4-4 record, but the remaining four games aren't cakewalks. The last four games of the season are against: No. 19 Arizona State (6-2), Utah (4-4), Colorado (1-8), and USC (6-2). The Bruins are expected to beat Colorado, but will likely be underdogs in the team's other three games.
Finding a way to win two out of those three games wouldn't guarantee Neuheisel another year, but it certainly wouldn't hurt.
3) Jeff Tedford, California
After some initial success in California, Jeff Tedford's reign might be over soon in Berkeley. Tedford led the Bears to one of the most successful runs in the school's history in posting a 43-20 record from 2002-2006, though he never managed to win a BCS Bowl. Even without a BCS Bowl, fans much preferred that period of time than the 2007-2010 period that saw Tedford's record decline to 29-22. Tedford has dumped coordinators, changed up strategies, and taken a more hands-on role in the offense, but has managed only a 4-4 record in 2011.
Worse for Tedford is the manner in which the Bears have lost those games. Excluding a relatively close 31-23 loss to Washington, the Bears have been manhandled in all of their losses. There was a 43-15 blowout loss to Oregon, a 30-9 loss to USC, and the most recent embarrassment, a 31-14 loss to UCLA.
Minus the disappointing 5-7 record in 2010, Tedford hasn't been horrible at Cal, but has been unable to keep up with the high expectations he created for himself. Less than stellar records plus an expensive contract puts Tedford high up on the hot seat list. Tedford's contract does run through 2015 -- making it a very expensive buyout -- but there's certainly a growing group of people that wants to see the noted offensive whiz fired.
4) Turner Gill, Kansas
Kansas hoped to make a big splash after letting go Mark Mangino, but former wunderkind Turner Gill has been nothing but a disappointment for the school. Gill got a big contract after leading Buffalo to an 8-5 record in 2008, but has struggled to a 5-15 record in less than two seasons at Kansas.
Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger told reporters after the school's embarrassing 59-21 loss to Kansas State on Oct. 22 that he would evaluate Gill's performance at the end of the season. Gill might get an extra year of time simply because he's only in his second season at the school, but blowout losses like the 43-0 loss to Texas certainly aren't helping the cause.
For a coach like Gill it's more about when he will be fired than if he will be fired. His regime is doomed with no answers in sight; the only question is when Kansas decides to cut the cord.
5) Tom O'Brien, North Carolina State
Anytime a new athletic director comes into power, there's a decent chance he or she is going to want to make new hires in the primary revenue sports. New athletic director Debbie Yow already got a chance to hire Mark Gottfried as the men's basketball coach and will likely dump Tom O'Brien to get a chance to her a football coach of her picking.
Yow has hinted to boosters multiple times now that a change could be made -- leading to the rumor mills in Raleigh to essentially pronounce the death of O'Brien reign as NC State's coach. NC State is 4-4 on the season, but two of those wins were against Liberty and South Alabama.
O'Brien has deflated the fan base's energy, which could have an impact on ticket sales and donations going forward. O'Brien has had five years to turn things around at North Carolina State after coming from Boston College, but a .500 29-29 record isn't going to cut it.
Like the rest of the coaches on our list, there is a chance that O'Brien could save himself with a strong performance to end the year, but if Yow has made up her mind, it's rare for her to change.
On the Rise: Randy Edsall, Maryland
It's hard to remember a fan base turning against a coach as quickly as Maryland's has against Randy Edsall. The school fired alumnus and reigning ACC Coach of the Year Ralph Friedgen to energize the fan base and improve ticket sales, but the hiring of Edsall looks to be having the opposite effect on the Maryland faithful.
Edsall has destructed a 9-4 team to a pitiful 2-6 team that might have already given up on the Tom Coughlin protégé. Last week's pitiful performance against Boston College, in which there was no more than 10,000 fans at Byrd Stadium, shines a pretty good light on just how disheartened fans are with Edsall.
The issue though is that Edsall has a six-year, $12 million dollar contract and the Maryland athletic department is in debt. Further a review of Edsall's contract shows no buyout clause - meaning Maryland would likely have to ante up $10 million if it wanted to get rid of the disciplinarian at the end of the year.
It's clear that the fans are beginning to give up on Edsall, but athletic director Kevin Anderson recently supported his hand-picked coach in an interview with The Washington Post. Fans might want to get rid of Edsall, but the school's budgetary concerns likely mean Edsall will be in College Park for at least another year or two.
Improving the Cause: Mark Richt, Georgia
Many were pushing to get rid of Georgia coach Mark Richt after a 0-2 start, but a six-game winning streak has eased the pressure a bit for the Bulldogs' coach. None of the six games were against particularly good times, but winning over rivals Tennessee and Florida goes a long way for big-time boosters.
Georgia is a forgotten program in the SEC with all of the attention focused on the upcoming LSU-Alabama game, but has a chance to go to a good bowl game if it can keep the momentum going.
The Bulldogs have a fairly easy schedule the rest of the way out with New Mexico State, Auburn, Kentucky, and Georgia Tech as the remaining four teams on tap. Barring a major collapse, Richt should win at least two of those games, and probably steal at least one against Auburn and/or Georgia Tech. An 8-4 or 9-3 season should be enough to guarantee Richt another season in Athens.
Want to reach this writer? You can email John Talty at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @jtalty.