B1G football coaching hotseats - post game 6

Michael Allio-USA TODAY Sports

***DISCLAIMER*** BoilerUp89 does not wish unemployment upon anyone and asks that you remember these coaches are real people with a family. Watching the performance of some of these coaches is inappropriate for young children and all viewers watch their games at their own risk. The following FanPost contains words and due to its content should not be read by anyone. All spelling and grammatic errors are intentional.

Apologies for being later than usual on this. Started a new job and had to take care of errands Sunday since I wouldn't have time to do them during the week. FYI since I can't find reliable buyout information on coordinators, I'm assuming their remainder of their contract is their buyout moving forward. Also thanks to MNWildcat for adding links (some of which made the jump from last week) and other stuff. All photos are intentionally outdated.

[Double disclaimer: This is a FanPost and does not reflect official OTE editorial policy or whatever. We don't have one of those, but it's fine. Whatever. Thanks, Boilerfan420! Congrats on the new job, you opalescent tree shark. --Mgmt]

Deep Dive of the Week - Purdue Boilermakers


Surrender cobra

Illinois avoids the Deep Dive of the week for the third week in a row (wow!). Next week I'm covering them regardless of what happens (the write-up has been written for 3 weeks and I'd hate to not be able to use it), and then in the final week before the crossover madness I'll talk about some coaching candidates for those teams about to be on the market.

Oh, hello there Bob Diaco. Don't take a seat, this meeting won't last long.

The Diaco defensive era started out strong, only giving up 20 points to Iowa. Sure Iowa had over 5 yards/carry and was mostly set back by both lots of penalties and a crazy desire to call passing plays when Petras wasn't doing anything, but 20 points is still 20 points. Then Illinois happened which while a win, resulted in 472 yards for the Illinois offense being led by their 3rd? (not going to fact check that) string QB and a defensive collapse late. Northwestern left their foot off the gas late and were content to let their own defense hold the Purdue offense in check. Still after three games, teams had only put up 20, 24, and 27 points. If you squinted, Diaco's defense wasn't a complete failure despite the wide open receivers.

Then the Gophers put up 34. Followed by Rutgers putting up 37. If we follow the trend, Nebraska is putting up 40 points for sure. Anyway, they can't stop the run without stacking the box. The Purdue pass defense is [404 not found]. And while the fanbase wasn't never fully on board with hiring Diaco, he has no supporters anywhere after just 5 games. Unfortunately this is Purdue, home of poorest Big Ten athletic department.

Purdue's AD prides themselves on receiving no student fees, no general fund support, and no taxpayer dollars. Per the latest estimate I've been able to find, Purdue faces a $18 million budget shortfall. Men and women's basketball head coaches, the football head coach, and the athletic director all took a 20% paycut AND gave up all financial incentives for the year AND all donated $1 million to Purdue's "More than a game" initiative. All other coaches (in every sport) is taking a 15% paycut and other staff members are looking at reductions in force, reduced work schedule, furloughs, etc. Purdue doesn't appear to be considering cutting any sports, which they can't really do as they already have the least amount of teams in the Big Ten.

Keep in mind that this is the school that hired Danny Hope because he was cheap, almost let Matt Painter go to Missouri over money for his assistants, and had Darrell Hazell as coach for 3.5 years because his $2 million/year salary was too much to buyout after 3 years. The fanbase has turned on Diaco, but the I don't know that Brohm will have the flexibility to move on given the historically financially conservative nature of the athletic department and the fact that the budget deficit has to be made up via donations.

Post B1G game 4 HC/OC/DC hot seat rankings:


  1. Michigan DC Don Brown (1). 5th season. Salary - $1.7 million/yr if you count his retention bonus. Years left on contract - 1. Buyout at end of season - $1.7 million (salary for 2021). Michigan lost again. Brown is gone at the end of the year. The only question is how many other members of the coaching staff go with him. Remaining games: Maryland, Ohio State.

  2. Michigan Wolverines HC Jim Harbaugh (3). 6th season. Salary - $7.7 million/yr following voluntary COVID paycut (would be $8 million). Years left on contract - 1. Buyout at end of season - $6.367 million. Harbaugh isn't getting an extension. I'd say 60% he gets fired, 30% he takes a different job, 10% he comes back with only 1 year on his contract. Remaining games: Maryland, Ohio State.

  3. Illinois HC Lovie Smith (2). 5th season. Salary - $3.8 million/yr following voluntary COVID paycut (would be $4.0 million). Years left on contract - 3. Buyout at end of season - $2 million. Lovie didn't lose to Ohio State. He keeps moving down this list somehow. If he gets another win I fully expect him to get another year. Remaining games: Iowa, Northwestern.

  4. Purdue DC Bob Diaco (N/R). 1st season. Salary - $625k. Years left on contract - 1. Buyout at end of season - $625k (salary for 2021). I've resisted putting Diaco in the top 5 in previous weeks because despite the defensive failings they still beat Iowa & Illinois and kept it close against Northwestern (if you suck at your job but the team is doing well, you are probably going to survive). Then after the Minnesota game, Purdue fans were outraged at the refs instead of Diaco. This week's game brought the spotlight to Diaco's continued failings. They don't get any pressure on the QB (1st sack in 3 games occurred against Rutgers). Opposing lines can pick up 5 yards a run at will. The DBs have no idea who they are supposed to cover. Rutgers ran the ball for 35 of 41 plays in the second half and the defense still couldn't stop them. End rant. The only thing that could protect him is Purdue's notoriously financially conservative administration (see deep dive above). If a move isn't made Brohm will start to face more anger from the fanbase. Brohm has to get the next DC hire right or he will face serious questions himself. Remaining games: Nebraska, Indiana.

  5. Nebraska DC Erik Chinander (5). 3rd season. Salary - $800k. Years left on contract - 1. Buyout at end of season - $800k (salary for 2021). The Nebraska defense actually had their best game of the season against Iowa. They still lost and after year 3 I think Frost has to make a coordinator change or two. Chinander has been there longer and while Lubick isn't good, Frost is supposed to be an offensive guy himself. Plus making an offensive coordinator change two years in a row when you are an offensive coach isn't a good sign. Remaining games: Purdue, Minnesota.

Coaches out of top 5 from last week:

  • Penn State DC Brent Pry (4). 7th season on staff, 5th as DC. Salary - ~$700k/year. Years left on contract - Unknown. Buyout at end of season - Unknown. The Nittany Lions get off the floor with a win against Michigan. Pry may still need another win or two but he should get them. Even without them I wouldn't be shocked if Franklin remained loyal to him. Remaining games: Rutgers, Michigan State.

Others on the radar:


Probably never seeing this guy on this list again, but it would be funny if we did

Nebraska OC Matt Lubick (loss vs Iowa, offense scored 20 points). Lubick's offense continues to flounder. Lucky for him he gets to face defensive genius Bob Diaco next week. I expect Nebraska to put up points.

Michigan OC Josh Gattis (loss vs Penn State, offense scored 17 points). I don't think Gattis is returning next year, but I think that's more a reflection on where the head coach stands than anything else. Put him in the top 5 if you want to, I don't really want to use that space for 3 coaches on the same team.

Illinois OC Rod Smith (no contest). A no-contest is pretty bland. Just like everyone's feelings on Rod Smith's offense. It happened and I'm not outraged or jubilant. It's just there.

Minnesota DC Joe Rossi (no contest). Taking a blowout loss to the rival off the table is a big win for Rossi's job security. The scenarios in which he gets fired are less plausible than they were if the Wisconsin game had been played (and the Gophers gave up 60 points). The dividing line between guys actual jeopardy and guys that we are just keeping an eye on is after Rossi and before Ciarrocca.

Penn State OC Kirk Ciarrocca (win vs Michigan, offense scored 27 points). Ciarrocca didn't get the off-season to install his offensive scheme. They've had a number of issues with getting skill players on the field this year. They've put up tons of yards in a lot of games but been plagued by turnovers. So long as Penn State gets another win or two, he should be safe.

Nebraska HC Scott Frost (loss vs Iowa). Frost's biggest win at Nebraska was negotiating a huge buyout. Nebraska has now lost 6 straight to Iowa. It's not like Iowa football has been that good during this time period. I think Purdue has beaten them 3 times during that stretch!

Penn State HC James Franklin (win vs Michigan). Franklin gets the first win of
the season. He moves to the safe list starting next week. Franklin's past success at Penn State and high buyout were always going to override his struggles in a COVID season as long as he didn't go winless. This was expected to happen eventually.

Safe coaching staffs:


Mel Tucker celebrating not playing Ohio State this week

Ohio State, Indiana, Michigan State, Maryland, Rutgers, Northwestern, Wisconsin