College Football Hot Seat: Big Ten — How Can Scott Frost Save His Job?

Is this the end for Scott Frost and Tom Allen?

The Big Ten is adding USC and UCLA and likely on their way to a super-conference. The pressure for coaches to win is amplified. Here’s our ranking of Big Ten coaches from those that need to win now or else and those that have ultimate job security.


Scott Frost – Nebraska
This one is no secret. His contract was restructured to include a lower buyout if things don’t improve quickly. He really needs a 3-0 start to the season or things could get ugly. Can Casey Thompson save Frost’s job?


Tom Allen – Indiana
Things seemed to be trending well for Allen and his Hoosiers and then… 2021 happened. 0-9 in conference last season. Any forward momentum has been lost. 2023 recruiting rankings have Indiana dead last in the Big Ten. His current contract could be the thing that keeps him at Indiana for the foreseeable future.


Mike Locksley – Maryland
In his second stint as Maryland’s head coach, Locksley is 13-23. Good enough to get a contract extension through 2026. If Maryland’s expectations rise, this seat may get warmer.

Jeff Brohm – Purdue
An odd case here. Brohm’s seat is getting warmer, but remains a candidate for other head coaching positions. Has had multiple signature wins, but can’t seem to get over the hump.

Brett Bielema – Illinois
A decent first year at 5-7. Will need to show continued improvement. Recruiting the state of Illinois and surrounding areas well would be a good place to start.

Jim Harbaugh – Michigan
A 12-2 campaign moved Harbaugh from the hottest of seats to a contract extension. How long can Michigan and Harbaugh stand each other?

Pat Fitzgerald – Northwestern
This is always a tough one. Some would give Fitzgerald a lifetime contract. His last four years in conference play: 8-1, 1-8, 6-1, 1-8. A little consistency would be nice.

Paul Chryst – Wisconsin
Chryst has a great record of 65-23 over seven seasons at Wisconsin, but his program seems to be trending in the wrong direction. We wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the hot seat list after the next season or two.

PJ Fleck – Minnesota
Fleck isn’t for everyone, but he has done some nice things at Minnesota, highlighted by an 11-2 2019 season. With his personality a few mediocre seasons will make that seat hot quickly.

Kirk Ferentz – Iowa
He’s been there since 1999 because he meets Iowa’s expectations. Should those standards ever increase, Iowa may need to look elsewhere.

Greg Schiano – Rutgers
Round two as the Rutgers head coach has been so-so. Schiano will need a better 2022 season or his seat could get real warm.


James Franklin – Penn State
He’s had some meh seasons including a losing conference record the past two seasons. Still, many athletic directors would love to have Franklin as their head coach.

Mel Tucker – Michigan State
He’s 18-14 as a college head coach. Tucker had a great 2021 season, but the huge contract seems premature. The contract extension from Michigan State gives him serious job security.

Ryan Day – Ohio State
An assistant taking over a program at the top of its game doesn’t usually end well. But Day has Ohio State rolling at a high level. He’ll be off to the NFL before his seat gets warm.

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