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Big 12 Coaches and Pressure

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Even though football was the driving force in the recent conference re-alignment discussions and movements, basketball programs will also face increased pressure to succeed in the new collegiate athletic environment.  The reason behind this is athletic directors and schools will look for every conceivable way to keep or increase revenues in their sports programs other than football. With this being said it is an interesting study to look then on which basketball coach in the Big 12 faces the most pressure in the 2010-2011 season, this doesn't necessarily mean who is on the hot seat, but who faces the most pressure to win in their respective programs.

See the coaches broken down by how hot their seat is after The Jump.

SMALL PRESSURE

Tad Boyle - Colorado

Fred Hoiberg - Iowa State

Starting with the coaches in the league who are probably facing the least amount of pressure this upcoming season would be the first year guys. Both of these coaches come into situations where little is probably expected of them early on due to a simple lack of talent in their initial seasons.  Unless there is a total breakdown in multiple facets of the program each coach will be given a few years to recruit and build their respective teams.

MEDIUM PRESSURE

Mark Turgeon - Texas A & M

Pat Knight - Texas Tech

Travis Ford - Oklahoma State

Doc Sadler - Nebraska

A common theme in this category is that everyone included here coaches in the South division with the exception of Sadler.  The three coaches from the South have the benefit of being at schools where football is the number one definite focus and basketball isn't as strongly critiqued compared to places like Kansas.  Ford is coming off his first season in Stillwater where he led the Cowboys into the NCAA Tournament while Turgeon has led the Aggies into the NCAA Tourney in each of his first three seasons.  With the two other coaches listed in Sadler and Knight, one could argue they have more pressure upon them and should be placed in a higher category. The argument to this and why they were placed here is that Knight is still only entering his third full year as head coach of the Red Raiders and Tech showed improvement last year by making the NIT Tournament.  In the case of Sadler, it appears Tom Osborne has full confidence in him and in all honesty Nebraska doesn't really seem to care about their basketball program.

LARGE PRESSURE

Frank Martin - Kansas State

Rick Barnes - Texas

Jeff Capel - Oklahoma

Mike Anderson - Missouri

Scott Drew - Baylor

This category represents the largest grouping of coaches with all here based mostly on high expectations for the upcoming season with the exception of Capel at Oklahoma.  Frank Martin comes off an Elite Eight run with the Wildcats and with a solid core of players returning led by Jacob Pullen many have KSU in the preseason top ten.  Another coach coming off an Elite Eight run is Scott Drew and with top recruit Perry Jones coming in to team with LaceDarious Dunn, the Bears are expected to challenge KSU & KU for the league title this season. Another factor on why Drew is placed into this category is with Baylor being quite downtrodden in football it places additional pressure on him to try and keep Baylor noticeable in the Big 12 sports scene.  In the cases of Rick Barnes, he is coming off a season where at one point Texas was the #1 ranked team in the country. After a drop off the proverbial cliff last year, Barnes will face increased scrutiny this year as Texas would like nothing more than to win in basketball, along with football, to prove there top dog status heading into the new Big 12.  The only reason for placing Anderson in alongside this group is after turning down job offers the last two offseasons and with a top ten ranked recruiting class coming in, fans are expecting the Tigers to jump up and compete with their close rivals in Lawrence.  Anderson could survive a few more years of losing twice to KU as Missouri did last year but I wouldn't recommend it for his sake.  The situation with Capel is he simply needs to step up and prove he can rebuild his program at Oklahoma after a disastrous season last year with some underperforming and spoiled players. 

XL PRESSURE

Bill Self - Kansas

Fortunately or unfortunately for Self he gets his own category of pressure to win. Even with a national title in his pocket from 2008 and an unbelievable string of consecutive league titles no coach in the Big 12 faces more pressure every single year.  Combined with the normal pressure of simply being the coach at KU, Self now has to deal with a KSU program right down I-70 being jumpstarted by Frank Martin and his chief rival, Missouri, now looking to be on the upswing behind Mike Anderson.  If KU falls behind either KSU or Missouri even for just a season, Self will be sure to hear about it in great detail.

Submitted by Joe Loyd, Special to Big 12 Hoops