Coaches facing hot-seat games

Updated: August 11, 2011, 3:34 PM ET
By Ryan McGee

Welcome back to Three Downs and Punt, where we're frantically sprinting from practice field to practice field to get an up-close look at your favorite (and least favorite) teams. Everywhere we go, it's hotter than a five-alarm chalupa. But August temps aside, some places feel a little hotter than others, especially when standing next to certain head coaches.

For more on that ... to the plays!

First Down: Five early hot-seat games

Despite the fact that nary a football has left the tee in an official game capacity, there are more than a few coaches who are already being subjected to sports-talk radio and message-board chatter about the stability of their employment.

For each of those coaches, there is one early game that could either (A) turn the heat down considerably with a victory, or (B) crank the control knob on the hot-seat burner all the way to "high" with a loss.

Exactly what games are we talking about? Here are five to circle on your September calendar ... though you may want to wear an oven mitt when you do it.

(And not to put too much of a scare into the coaches on this list, but of the five hot-seat coaches I ranked last October, the top two --Tim Brewster and Butch Davis -- have since gotten the ax.)

Boise State Broncos vs. Georgia Bulldogs, Atlanta, Sept. 3
On the Seat of Heat: Mark Richt

UGA's Richt seems to be a permanent resident of the hot-seat ranks, despite two SEC titles, a 7-3 bowl record, 96 wins and a conference record of 53-27. But over the last two years the Dawgs are 7-9 in the SEC, and the Georgia faithful are still smarting from the team's sleepwalking loss to Central Florida in last year's Liberty Bowl.