How hot Derek Dooley's seat genuinely is this coming season remains to be seen.
But anybody who's spent any time in or around the SEC knows that a coach coming off back-to-back losing seasons, especially at a place like Tennessee, probably needs to show some significant progress in Season No. 3 if there's going to be a Season No. 4.
That's Dooley's challenge in 2012, and the fans in our SportsNation poll have overwhelmingly selected him as the head coach in the SEC with the hottest seat.
With more than 7,500 votes cast, Dooley received 65 percent of the vote as the coach who most needs to win in 2012. Nobody else was close. Kentucky's Joker Phillips was second with 11 percent of the vote. Phillips is also entering his third season as head coach. The Wildcats have finished with losing seasons each of his first two years, but did snap the 26-game losing streak to Tennessee last season.
Florida's Will Muschamp was third with nine percent of the vote, followed by Georgia's Mark Richt with eight percent and Auburn's Gene Chizik with seven percent.
We'll see how all this shakes out come December, although that Florida-Tennessee matchup on Sept. 15 will be a key game in terms of whose seat really is the hottest. The loser of that game will be swimming upstream the rest of the season.