When things go right and the wins pile up, it's a sign that a coach is doing his or her job. When things go wrong, head coaching jobs open up left and right. It's hard to find a middle area, even though every coach strives for the high ground.
After every season (and in some cases during), programs at all levels of college football part ways with their head coaches for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes ideologies clash in the athletic department. Sometimes recruiting classes take hits and sometimes scholarships are awarded based on a pretty weak foundation. Sometimes inner-athletic scandals play a huge role.
But for the most part, coaching changes are made because of a recurring lack of success.
Obviously, the goals for an FBS program are to win games and reach some form of postseason. By winning games, more tickets are sold. When more tickets sell, more merchandise and concessions go as well. When things sell, the athletic department and university make more money. It's a chain of hierarchy.
Programs accustomed to a winning tradition generally have a pretty short leash when it comes to the person manning the helm of the team. At schools like Alabama, Florida, Auburn, USC and Texas, if things don't play out in a near-perfect fashion in the athletic department's eyes, it may be time for a coaching change.
As summer arrives, coaches are trying to figure out what they have in terms of team strengths and weaknesses. But it's never too early to point out coaches who could use a strong 2014 season in order to save their jobs.
Here are five FBS coaches on the hot seat entering the 2014 season:
1. Will Muschamp, Florida
The main reason Muschamp is on this list is because of Florida's 2013 campaign. His Gators went a dismal 4-8 and averaged just 4.7 yards per play in Southeastern Conference games. In their second-to-last game, the Gators were dropped by transitioning FCS-to-FBS program Georgia Southern, 26-20, in Gainesville. The loss, although not the last of the season for the Gators, basically was the capper on an uncharacteristically poor season. And to think, the 2012 season saw Florida go 11-2 with an appearance in the Sugar Bowl.
The bottom line for the Gators and Muschamp is this: losing seasons aren't accepted at Florida. For a program whose recruiting classes have ranked in the top six nationally on average over the last five seasons, Muschamp should be able to do more with what he has in his program. That's why he'll be under the microscope this season.
2. Charlie Weis, Kansas
Weis has spent two full seasons at Kansas and has a terrible 4-20 overall record to show for it. The Jayhawks aren't known for sustaining a strong football program, but the lure of Weis as coach should have at least boosted their recruiting classes a bit.
But the 2013 season was a rough one for Charlie and Co. The program suffered six losses of at least 20 points and dropped eight of its last nine games. The one upside is that the Jayhawks went from a one-win team in 2012 to a three-win team last season, so at least there was some improvement.
But it's not a reasonable expectation for Weis's job to be safe if Kansas ups its win total to, say, five games, which still qualifies as a disappointing season. Sure, Kansas plays in one of the better conferences in the nation in the Big 12, but anywhere close to a repeat of a 1-8 conference record could cost Weis his job.
3. Mike London, Virginia
The Cavaliers put their trust in London after the ex-Richmond coach spent two glorious years leading the Spiders. London notched 24 wins, including the FCS national championship in 2008. He seemed like the right fit for a Virginia team looking to build back up toward the top.
In four years with Virginia, London has gone 18-31, which includes a 2-10 record in 2013. Eight of the victories came in 2011, leaving only 10 that were spread over the other three seasons.
Virginia has finished in the top 35 in four straight recruiting classes, so there's room for some optimism. But recruiting doesn't always translate to on- field success, meaning London should hope this season will turn 180 degrees from last year.
4. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia
Holgorsen started off strong at West Virginia, finishing the 2011 season with a 10-3 record. Since then, it hasn't been the best experience for the Mountaineers in Morgantown.
Holgorsen is 21-17 in three years at WVU, meaning his last two seasons have added up to an 11-14 record, and the Big 12 wins have gone down year by year. And for the first time since 2001, the Mountaineers missed out on playing in a bowl game when they finished 4-8 in 2013.
Now that the WVU offense has come back down to earth following Geno Smith's and Tavon Austin's departure, Holgorsen needs to find other ways to win ... and fast.
5. Bo Pelini, Nebraska
Pelini joins the list here because, well, his name seems to always be tied with the hot seat. There are a handful of other coaches across the nation who are likely on the hot seat as well, but Pelini has been skating on thin ice far too long for it not to crack and give way eventually.
In six years at Nebraska, Pelini has built a 58-24 record - certainly respectable. In each of those six seasons, his Nebraska squad has won at least nine games, but it hasn't made a BCS bowl game appearance or won a conference title.
The negative comments he made about the Nebraska fan base certainly didn't help his stock, although he wasn't fired for the remarks. Still, they won't do him any favors moving forward.
His job is likely safe unless the Cornhuskers nosedive this season or Pelini is caught saying something inflammatory once again.