6 College Football Coaches Who Would Be Fired Tomorrow if Buyouts Didn't Exist

Illinois v Michigan State
Illinois v Michigan State / Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

With college football's 2019 regular season coming to an end after Saturday's slate of Week 12 rivalry games, it is officially time to start deliberating which head coaches' seats have become hot enough to earn them a pink slip.

It goes without saying that a plethora of programs have underperformed this campaign, but some bosses are downright deserving of a swift hook -- if only firings weren't so expensive in the era of big contract buyouts. With that in mind, let's identify six coaches who'd be axed right here, right now if the price tag wasn't so steep.

6. Matt Luke, Ole Miss

Vanderbilt v Mississippi
Vanderbilt v Mississippi / Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The Rebels just haven't taken the necessary strides since Matt Luke was appointed as the interim head coach back in 2017. Since then, he has led Ole Miss to a pedestrian 15-21 record, including a 4-8 mark in 2019 after Thursday's loss to Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl. Being ask to take over the mess that Hugh Freeze left behind is demanding, but Luke might have been an interim head coach for a reason: his limited upside.

5. Chip Kelly, UCLA

UCLA v USC / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Remember when Chip Kelly's hiring was supposed to have fellow Pac 12 teams shaking in their boots? Well, the Bruins mustered just three wins in Chip's first year at the helm and have just four Ws to account for in 2019, with a shot at five if they defeat Cal on Saturday. A coach with Kelly's resume, regardless of the potential of his roster, should be producing better results. Luckily for him, he has buyouts to thank for him still having a job.

4. Will Muschamp, South Carolina

South Carolina v Texas A&M
South Carolina v Texas A&M / Bob Levey/Getty Images

No, pulling off a road upset in Athens over Georgia is NOT enough to convince us that Muschamp deserves to keep his job. We are now two long years removed from the Gamecocks' 9-4 2017 campaign. Since then, Coach Boom has led South Carolina to records of 6-7, 7-6, and, most recently, 4-8 this year. They've been one of the nation's prototypical "this is finally the year" teams, and they just never deliever under Muschamp.

3. Steve Addazio, Boston College

Boston College v North Carolina State
Boston College v North Carolina State / Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Can somebody please explain why Boston College is so accepting of mediocrity? It's felt as though the Eagles have needed a change of scenery for YEARS now. Across six seasons, Addazio has amassed a middling 43-44 record. He's literally the preeminent .500 coach, or, in other words, the Jeff Fisher of college football. In a lackluster ACC, that's just no good.

2. Clay Helton, USC

UCLA v USC / Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Folks, there is a reason that USC is tabbed as the most alluring potential coaching opening in college football -- it's because Helton doesn't have much of a future. Urban Meyer rumors wouldn't be swirling if athletic director Mike Bohn wasn't already pondering moving on from Helton. He would've been gone yesterday if not for sky-high buyouts, but expect the Trojans to make it official in the near future.

1. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State

Michigan State v Maryland
Michigan State v Maryland / Will Newton/Getty Images

Mark Dantonio's inclusion here isn't an indictment on the illustrious resume he's built in East Lansing, but 13 years is a LONG time to remain at one program. The Spartans simply haven't sustained success in recent years, as 2017 marked the last time they won 10 games. They only won seven in 2018 and are on the verge of missing out on bowl eligibility this season. Sparty's recent shortcomings suggest new blood is needed.