Gary Pinkel, Missouri
Like Bowden, Pinkel failed to produce a breakout season in 2004. The Tigers were expected to contend for the Big 12 North title, and junior quarterback Brad Smith was touted as a Heisman candidate. But this year's 5--6 record, which included losses to Troy and Kansas, made Missouri one of the nation's biggest disappointments (along with Smith, who ranked 82nd in passing efficiency). Working in Pinkel's favor is that after inheriting a moribund program in 2001, he improved the Tigers' record in each of the next three seasons.
Karl Dorrell, UCLA
With the firing of Stanford's Buddy Teevens on Monday, Dorrell became the Pac-10 coach on the shakiest footing. The Bruins are 12--11 (6--4 this season) under Dorrell heading into Saturday's game against their crosstown rival, No. 1--ranked USC, whose success over the last two seasons has put additional pressure on Dorrell to jump-start UCLA's program. A big problem has been the play of quarterback Drew Olson, who has been inconsistent and thrown 11 interceptions.
Rich Brooks, Kentucky
Though he has received a vote of confidence from athletic director Mitch Barnhart, Brooks has to start producing. When Brooks replaced the popular Guy Morriss in December 2002, the Wildcats were coming off a 7--5 season. Under Brooks, Kentucky finished 4--8 last year and 2--9 this fall, with a squad that ranked 115th in total offense at week's end. Even worse, Brooks has won only two games in the SEC in the last two years. How was Ron Zook fired before this guy?