Alright, in the first roundtable of June, we will dive into a staff favorite question. Which head football coach is on the hottest seat entering into 2019? There are a few likely candidates to choose from. Could go with worst coach, who needs to have a winning season to stay, or just who is most likely. Let’s hear it.
Jeremy - I’m going to single out both New Mexico head coach Bob Davie and Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo. After back-to-back 3-9 seasons, the only thing that has kept Davie around is the buyout firing him would require. His most recent recruiting class once again reeked of desperation, going junior college heavy for the second straight year. If he doesn’t show signs of improvement this fall, the Lobos administration will have no choice but to move on.
Bobo makes this list because of the financial commitment the Rams have made to football. Bobo has recruited really well by Colorado State’s standards, so there is hope, but results need to show up soon. The increased athletics budget and new stadium demand more than sub 7-6 seasons.
Alex - Mike Bobo had been tasked with taking on a CSU team that Jim McElwain had built into a solid Group of 5 program. In his first three seasons in Fort Collins, the Rams went 7-6 in all three and lost their bowl game in all three years as well. In 2018, hopes were high that Bobo and Colorado State could take that next step and reach, or even just flirt with, the ten win target. CSU finished 3-9. That brings Bobo’s tenure to 24-27. A sub-.500 record after four seasons are clearly not what the school had in mind when bringing Bobo in for his first stint as a head coach. They’ve got a beautiful new stadium, a bigger budget, and not a lot to show for it quite yet. He’s recruited well (#2 in the Mountain West) and is hoping with another year of development he can turn the Rams back into a conference title contender.
Will the powers that be in Ft. Collins give him another year or so to develop? That I’m not sure of, because if he can’t produce at least a competitive team this upcoming season i.e. another 3-9 year, Bobo might be gonzo.
Zach- I think there are a few number of candidates here. Bob Davie is the obvious candidate and I think there is a good chance that Mike Bobo might be entering his final season in Fort Collins. But I am going to go with Tony Sanchez at UNLV. With the Raiders coming to town, the Rebels need to compete and they need to compete now. There is no reason that UNLV should not be able to recruit and hang with San Diego State and Fresno State. If Sanchez can’t take the Rebels to a bowl game, he could and should be out of a job. It was a questionable hire to begin with and the results have been mixed at best.
Matt- Bobo, Davie, and Sanchez. Yeah, UNLV has been improving, but they really need a bowl game. I don’t think he’d be fired this year for going 5-7, but the calls would grow a lot louder into 2020. Davie has just been a dumpster fire the last two years, between the suspension, the awful recruiting, and the awful play on the field. I know UNM is broke, and doesn’t want to get rid of him, but they might have to bite the bullet to not end up like NMSU.
And Bobo has not shown anything to have the contract he has. That was just a giant mistake after three years of 7-6. But CSU put a ton of money into that brand new stadium, they need to fill seats to make it worthwhile, and a losing team does not do that.
Can’t forget Brett Brennan, but SJSU is just hapless no matter what, and I think we all forget that he’s still there, and that they’re still FBS.
Alex Wright- Without question Tony Sanchez is in the hottest seat entering the 2019 season. The 2018 season was supposed to be the year UNLV broke through and got to a bowl game. However, largely due to the injury of Armani Rogers, the Rebels finished at 4-8. Sanchez is 16-32 in his four seasons as UNLV coach and has only finished at .500 in the Mountain West once (2017, 4-4 MW record).
Following the conclusion of the previous season, UNLV Athletic Director Desiree Reed-Francois said she hopes for a 2019 season with “bowl eligibility.” Which is basically an ultimatum that Tony Sanchez needs to make a bowl game if he wants to keep his job.
This is UNLV’s last season at Sam Boyd Stadium before moving into the new Las Vegas Raiders Stadium on the Las Vegas Strip. The program will need to have momentum heading into the 2020 season. That momentum will come from either a team coming off a bowl season or a program with a new leader at the helm.
Mike: Unfortunately, there are a few candidates for this one. Bob Davie of New Mexico who should’ve been fired last season and would have been if it weren’t for budget troubles down in Lobo-ville. Mike Bobo had a terrible last year season and hasn’t exactly set the world on fire during his years at Colorado State. Then there is the seemingly mirrored in mediocrity Rebels under Tony Sanchez.
The last two winters have been pretty slow on the coaching carousel. I don’t think that’s the case this year. I say Davie is as close to a given as they come to get a pink slip around Thanksgiving. At least one of the other two figure to be “mutually agreeing to part ways” at season’s end as well unless a miracle season occurs. Coin flip on who, but two coaches are gone in 2019.
Austin- Mike Bobo is the coach I was shocked to see retain his job this year. After a dreadful 3-9 season, I thought his time at Colorado State would be done. He inherited a program on the rise from Jim McElwain in 2015, and the program has regressed to the quality of those Steve Fairchild teams.
CSU has always felt like a sleeping giant in the Mountain West to me. Fort Collins is a great college town and Colorado as a state has had some great talent coming out recently. McElwain capitalized and turned things around, and Bobo has disappointed. If he doesn’t get the Rams to a bowl this year, you have to imagine he’ll be gone.
I’m a little surprised that Brent Brennan isn’t a more popular answer here, but I think another 1, 2 or 0 win season would be his last. He’ll likely get the chance to complete his five year contract, but in his third campaign San Jose State will need to take at least a small step forward. If there’s any regression, he probably won’t get another year.
Adam- The coach with the hottest seat heading into the 2019 season has to be Bob Davie of New Mexico. The team has back to back 3-9 seasons, has seen attendance dwindle to the point that it is beginning to affect the entire athletic department, not just the football team, as far as revenue goes. The team has shaken up its assistants this season in an attempt to right the ship. Leaving the only position to be unchanged in the previous two seasons as the Head Coaching one.
Coach Davie can ill afford a slow start too. Unless he gets a 2-2, or better, in out of conference play, the calls for his job will grow louder than before. The Lobos need to at least make the postseason, or at the very least five wins, if Coach Davie expects to be walking the sidelines for the Lobos beyond 2019.
Alex Valle: Brett Brennan, head coach of San Jose State.
San Jose State has had a losing record for the last six seasons and are in dire need of a change at the head coach role. With the addition of coach Brennan for the last two seasons, the Spartans have only three victories. SJSU should be looking for a new head coach in an effort to hopefully change the losing culture they have become accustomed to.