By Jonathan Higdon
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/AP) — Often coaches get a grace period when they take a new job. Not these guys.
Six coaches who will be under heavy scrutiny from the get-go in their new jobs.
- Jimbo Fisher, Florida State. It’s certainly not Fisher’s fault that Florida State felt compelled to push Bobby Bowden out to make room for him. Still, for the move to be justified, Fisher has to win right away.
- Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech. In Lubbock, Mike Leach was similar to Bowden. The Red Raiders were never more successful than they were in Leach’s 10 seasons. Fans adored him and many were angered when he was fired. Winning over those Texas Tech supporters won’t be easy for Tuberville.
- Brian Kelly, Notre Dame. Kelly has one thing going for him that Fisher and Tuberville don’t. The guy Kelly is replacing (Charlie Weis) was not particularly well liked by Fighting Irish supporters. So while another 6-6 season will not go over well, he doesn’t have to take a giant step forward in year one to win over the faithful.
- Derek Dooley, Tennessee. Much like Kelly, Dooley is replacing a guy the locals won’t miss in Lane Kiffin. But the Volunteers can’t afford a long rebuilding process and another down season. Not when their main competition is Florida.
- Mike London, Virginia. The Cavaliers have slipped so far behind rival Virginia Tech, they can barely catch a glimpse of the Hokies these days. It would be surprising if Virginia didn’t have another losing season, especially in a tough ACC division, but London really can’t afford for the Cavs to take another step back before they start moving forward.
- Turner Gill, Kansas. Much fuss was made when Gill was passed over for the Auburn job for Gene Chizik, who ended up having a very solid first season with the Tigers. Now Gill, who did a remarkable job at long downtrodden Buffalo, gets his shot to prove he can get it done in one of the six power conferences.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.