Mark Fox may be feeling the heat

Coming into this season, I tried to avoid ramping up talks pertaining to the length of tenure that Coach Mark Fox may or may not have as the head basketball coach at the University of Georgia. I felt like such commentary might put a damper on a season that had yet to begin, even though some questioning of Fox’s ability to lead this UGA team certainly seemed deserving.

For starters, how did a team with the SEC Player of the Year in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope manage to finish with a sub-.500 record?

Or, why is it that Georgia has had just one winning season in Fox’s four years as head coach?

Under Fox, the Dawgs have reached the NCAA tournament once, though arguably that might have happened with or without him considering the talent he inherited in Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie.

While I may have resisted to mention Fox’s vulnerability in regards to remaining the Dawgs’ skipper, other media outlets did not shy away from putting CMF on their preseason “Coaches on the Hot Seat” lists:

NBC Sports, Athlon Sports and Yahoo Sports all listed Fox as a candidate that could potentially be ushered out the door at season’s end.

After 11 games this year already it appears that Fox is going to need a major turnaround in conference play to salvage his job. Though Georgia is 6-5 on the season, the Dawgs have yet to beat a team from a power conference, losing games to Georgia Tech, Temple, Nebraska and Colorado – this does not bode well for SEC play.

In CBS Sportsline’s RPI rankings, UGA currently sits at #271 in the nation – the lowest ranked team from a power conference. The Dawgs schedule thus far has been far from daunting – #303 in the country according to the same poll – which makes their barely above .500 record even more troubling.

As recently as December 5th, Daniel Karpuc of RantSports.com wrote an article – Top 10 College Basketball Coaches on the Hot Seat – identifying the coaches that were in the biggest trouble in terms of stability after the first month of the season.

Guess who Karpuc pinned down as the coach with the hottest seat? I will give you a hint: he spends a majority of his time inside Stegeman Coliseum.

Karpuc cited Fox’s amazing records at Nevada, but then he went on to say that since Fox came to Georgia “the success has faded” and he is now “on the clock”.

I will be the first to admit that I was fully onboard with Mark Fox’s hiring, and I was excited to see what he would bring to the program heading into the 2009-2010 season.

However, I am going to need to witness a major change in the direction of this year’s team before I can feel comfortable with CMF leading the Dawgs into the 2014-2015 season.