When trying to forecast the fate of embattled college football coaches, our eyes focus on a set of single-digit numbers: six, seven, eight and nine.
If Coach X gets six wins, he will survive. Coach Y needs at least eight. Coach Z will be safe at nine and probably eight, but seven would leave his school with a tough decision.
College coaches are the first to admit that their chosen profession comes down to the bottom line, and in almost every case, win totals ultimately determine whether they are retained. But other numbers go into each unique equation.
Here are the magic numbers beyond win totals when assessing 10 coaches who will enter the 2017 season feeling heat. Based on recent seasons, these are numbers that, if met, should allow besieged coaches to breathe a little easier. (Note: Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze is not included because his fate likely will be tied more to NCAA penalties than on-field results.)