Several college football coaches find themselves under pressure in 2022 for a wide variety of reasons. The root of that pressure can vary from job security, duress to win a national championship or orchestrating turnarounds for programs that demand excellence on an annual basis.
Auburn’s Bryan Harsin finds himself on one of the hottest seats in the country after a coup attempt nearly cost him his job with the Tigers in early February. He’s not the only coach who needs to get it done in 2022, though. Lincoln Riley has taken over USC in the hopes of restoring the Trojans to national prominence, while Texas coach Steve Sarkisian needs to show significant improvement to avoid a pink slip.
So which coaches are under the most pressure as we start looking ahead to the 2022 season? We’ll break then down, but first, a reminder: this is not necessarily a list of coaches on the hot seat. As Georgia coach Kirby Smart says, “pressure is a privilege.”
Lincoln Riley, USC
Many have tried, but few have succeeded to lead USC back to the glory days of Pete Carroll in the 2000s. Riley has stepped up to the plate after further establishing Oklahoma as a national power, and has hit the transfer portal in a big way by luring several players — including former Sooners starting quarterback Caleb Williams — to Los Angeles. His up-tempo, spread-based, run-focused offense will be a big selling point with recruits in southern California, which means that College Football Playoff appearances — yes, plural — should come in the not-too-distant future. What’s more, it’s not like the Trojans have to run the gauntlet in the Pac-12.
Bryan Harsin, Auburn
A coup attempt by influential members of the Auburn program nearly ousted Harsin during the offseason, but the…