While the Big 12 Conference is made up of a solid cast of head coaches around the nation, two coaches from the league were listed in the hot seat ahead of the 2024 season.
Rittenberg started off by discussing Dave Aranda’s future with Baylor saying, “When the 2021 coaching cycle took shape, Aranda was one of the hottest names in the market. He drew significant interest for multiple Pac-12 jobs, including USC, but opted to remain with Baylor following the Big 12 championship. Baylor has since gone 9-16, including a 3-9 mark last season that began with a home loss to Texas State and ended with five consecutive defeats. Athletic director Mack Rhoades retained Aranda, but Baylor will have new playcallers in Jake Spavital (offense) and Aranda (defense). Aranda likely needs six or seven wins to remain in Waco for 2025.”
While Kalani Sitake was listed in a sub-category of coaches to keep an eye on in Rittenberg’s list alongside UCLA’s Chip Kelly, Vanderbilt’s Clark Lea, Ohio State’s Ryan Day, and Pittsburgh’s Pat Narduzzi, BYU’s head coach was mentioned as someone facing external pressure in 2024.
“After some initial hesitancy, BYU awarded Sitake with contract extensions that ultimately took him through the 2027 season, a reward for a 21-4 stretch and consecutive AP top-20 finishes in 2020 and 2021,” Rittenberg said. “But BYU went 8-5 in 2022 and then 5-7 in its first season as a Big 12 member. Sitake is a popular BYU alum who has had only one other losing season, back in 2017 (4-9). But after dropping five straight games to end the 2023 season, he could use a strong start to quiet down any hot-seat talk.”
While the 2024 college football season is still the better part of seven months away if things get off to a rocky start in Waco or Provo this season, Aranda and Sitake will likely see their names pop up on similar lists throughout their future campaign.