Dennis Erickson

Dennis Erickson has been lacking upward-trajectory football games.
Photo Charlie Leight/The Arizona Republic

Arizona State has been the Pac-12 hot seat’s best friend the last couple weeks. Both Rick Neuheisel of UCLA and Washington State’s Paul Wulff got a boost by upsetting the Sun Devils.

Unfortunately for Dennis Erickson, in pushing his fellow coaches off the hot seat, he has fallen onto it himself.

It would be very interesting if both Arizona schools were coach hunting in the same offseason. It hasn’t happened since, well, two coaches ago. After the 2000 season both Dick Tomey and Bruce Snyder were let go. Arizona’s first hire lasted 2+ seasons and the second hire made it 7+. ASU’s first hire went six years and their second hire is in his fifth season.

The last time both positions were vacant at the same time ASU hired the Boise State coach. Is it the Wildcats’ turn?

Here is the best way to keep the Pac-12’s hottest seats cool:

Team Remaining Wins Record Upset?
ASU Ariz, Cal 8-4 at Ore
UCLA Colo 6-6 Done.
Cal none 6-6 at ASU
WSU Utah 5-7 Done.
OSU none 2-10 Wash

Erickson isn’t needing an upset as much as he needs to prevent more upsets. I can’t see him getting fired if he makes the Pac-12 Championship Game. But if he loses to Arizona? If the Devils get absolutely destroyed by Oregon and whomever they play in their bowl game?

Wildcat Universe may end up in a very awkward position. Obviously you want a UA win this Saturday but you may find yourself having to root for ASU to beat Cal and win their (lower level) bowl game to prevent your biggest rival from diving into the coaching pool.

We’ll jump off that bridge when we come to it.

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How does a coaching job’s profile improve after someone turns it down? When that someone is former Florida coach Urban Meyer. If the report is true, Greg Byrne contacted Meyer, and Meyer didn’t laugh. He sat down with Byrne, “was intrigued,” and thought about it for a week before saying no.

That should make other coaches think, “Wow, Urban discussed the Arizona job? Mr. Two National Championships and a Perfect Season? Maybe I should hear what Greg Byrne is saying.”

At the very least it makes The List more interesting.

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Another look at the Pac-12 bowl bubble:

Pac-12 bowl bubble, week 11

Utah and Cal, welcome to the bowling alley! UCLA (5-5) needs to beat Colorado to get to In status and – whattaya know – look who moved back up to the Middle. Wazzu (4-6) broke its five-game losing streak and suddenly beating Utah at home and Washington on the road doesn’t seem as impossible as it looked last week.

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Some of you may be tired of hearing about stats and records after ugly losses. Nick Foles himself isn’t happy about it. But there are only so many ways you can write “This team is really bad,” and “We have to wait for the new coach.”

Pac-12 Records Who, When What Nick Foles, 2011
Total Offense Cody Pickett, Wash, 2002 4,273 4,205 (pace)
Total Offense per Game Ryan Leaf, WSU, 1997 325.7 350.4
Passing Yards Cody Pickett, Wash, 2002 4,458 4,334 (pace)
Passing Yards per Game Cody Pickett, Wash, 2002 342.9 361.2
Completions Willie Tuitama, Ariz, 2007 327 382 (pace)
Completion Percentage Rich Campbell, Cal, 1980 70.7 68.5
Completion %, Career Matt Leinart, USC, 2002-05 64.8 66.4

Foles is falling further behind pace for the bulk yards records (Cody Pickett played in 13 games in 2002) but he’s still leading in per-game averages. The UA QB also remains ahead for the crown jewel, the Pac-12’s career completion percentage record.

I took a shot at Matt Leinart in this space last week and now he’s an NFL starting quarterback again. No truth to the rumor that Donovan McNabb has been texting me begging for an insult.

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