Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis is entering a pivotal season, one that very well could be his last with the Fighting Irish if the team does not improve on last year's 7-6 record. There's plenty of room on the hot seat, though.
These six more coaches need of some big wins in 2009.
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Bret Bielema, Wisconsin - He was Barry Alvarez's hand-picked successor, and now Alvarez is the athletic director. That should give Bielema, coming off consecutive disappointing seasons (15-11) extra leeway. Expectations aren't high for the Badgers, but a losing season would be a problem.
Al Groh, Virginia - A poor start (1-3) and a lousy finish (four-game losing streak) last season has left Groh 82-84 in eight years at his alma mater. The big problem: His most talented teams have left Cavaliers fans unsatisfied, so they're not inclined to be patient through a second consecutive losing season. And it'll be surprising if Virginia gets to .500 in '09.
Steve Kragthorpe, Louisville - The man who replaced Bobby Petrino walked into a much tougher job than most realized at the time. The result has been two consecutive seasons without a bowl game for Louisville. Forget about competing for the Big East title, if Kragthorpe wants to validate AD Tom Jurich's faith in him, the Cardinals need to stop a two-game losing streak - to Syracuse.
George O'Leary, Central Florida - This goes beyond wins and losses. The death of a player during an offseason workout in March 2008 has made the coach and the program a target of intense scrutiny. Going 4-8 last season didn't help.
Mark Snyder, Marshall - The program was in decline when Snyder took over for Bob Pruett in the spring of 2005. Snyder has been unable to stem the tide with four consecutive losing seasons. He probably needs at least bowl eligibility to keep his job, and the good news for him is he might have his best team.
Mike Sanford, UNLV - The Rebels went 5-7 last season, nearly matching the combined total of six wins Sanford racked up his first three seasons in Vegas. With seven home games and an experienced team, a .500 season seems reasonable. Anything less might not be enough for Sanford to keep his job.
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