Key games for hot-seat coaches

Updated: August 16, 2012, 10:52 AM ET
By Travis Haney

The Tennessee Volunteers are currently on a business trip, holding a portion of their preseason camp about 100 miles from the school's Knoxville campus. It was Derek Dooley's idea to transport everyone an hour and a half up the road to Johnson City for a handful of practices -- including a couple at Steve Spurrier's old high school.

The third-year UT coach wanted to hearken to Junction Boys-type road shows, a sanctuary of football away from the familiar comforts, and distractions, of on-campus camp. Plus, it's a touch cooler as you travel north and east, up into the Appalachians.

It's a sweet story, really pretty cool, but will it function in an indirect or direct manner to save Dooley's job? Dooley, 13-14 in two seasons on Rocky Top, is squarely on the hot seat as the season begins, as are several other coaches across the country. Which swing game or games will dictate whether the seats warm to temperatures that require action, or cool to allow for continued employment?