With college basketball culminating with a national championship on Monday and spring football games on the horizon, plenty of sports bloggers are filling their time with examining each team for the upcoming season. One subject that garners plenty of reads are articles focusing on the job status of head coaches. Hell, there’s a website that lists every coach ranked in how hot their seat really is.
Interestingly enough, you don’t have to look far down the list on that website to find Iowa State’s Paul Rhoads. He’s ranked 22nd, which is considered being on the hot seat. He’s above Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz and just a shade behind both Nebraska’s Bo Pelini and Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson. Those last three coaches have at least been on the hot seat or currently are on them.
But Paul Rhoads? Really? Not even in the same zip code.
Randy Peterson of the Des Moines Register wrote a great article condemning the idiots that actually believe Rhoads is on a hot seat. He goes over the relationship he has with athletic director Jamie Pollard, the huge contract that runs through 2021, the steps Rhoads is taking to improve the coaching staff, as well as problems that resulted in a 3-9 finish in 2013, like the offensive line unit.
Even more important: the schedule. Peterson hits it on the head when talking about the tough road in the Big 12 and the annual game against the Hawkeyes this upcoming season.
Iowa State going to a bowl game after the 2014 regular season is a long shot, especially when facing a schedule that includes six teams among Athlon Sports magazine’s initial top 30. Half of the 12-game schedule comes against Oklahoma (No. 5 in Athlon’s early rankings), No. 9 Baylor, No. 23 Kansas State, No. 24 Texas, No. 26 Iowa and No. 29 Oklahoma State. That doesn’t even include the season opener against three-time I-AA national champ North Dakota State.
No, Rhoads is closer to Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech. He’s a beloved figure in Ames. Having to continue rebuilding a football program that was finally brought to relevance again by Dan McCarney, only be torn down by Gene Chizik. It’s an incredibly tough sell for coaches to recruit players to Iowa when they have to face schools in Texas and Oklahoma with richer football programs.
On a hot seat? Unless Iowa State football goes 0-12 and loses every game by four touchdowns, Rhoads is here for the long haul. He’s already taking the right steps after a dismal season, and now we’ll see what the product will be in about five months.
Anybody that says Rhoads is on the hot seat in any form clearly doesn’t pay attention to Iowa State for more than five minutes in any given year — which is a lot of the college football nation. But it’s okay. There’s a lot of people that like to spew a lot of bull crap from time to time.