YOU'VE NO doubt seen the lists of coaches on the proverbial hot seat.
They're in magazines and websites, etc.
If, however, there were such lists for conference commissioners, the Big East's John Marinatto would be No. 1 right now.
"If I were him," said one source, who asked to remain anonymous, "I wouldn't be sleeping well at night."
If you've been following the conference realignment news closely, you know there's been recent precedent. The Big 12 seems to have survived blows, but ex-commissioner Dan Beebe did not. He was replaced, at least for now, by Chuck Neinas.
Neinas seems to have taken a firm grip on the conference, holding two days of meetings in Dallas this week, meeting with each school athletic director individually.
The spotlight there shines on Missouri, rumored to be the next school to move to the Southeastern Conference. The Kansas City Star reported the Mizzou Board of Curators will meet this coming Tuesday to discuss realignment scenarios. Part of that discussion will revolve around a Big 12 exit fee of as much as $40 million.
Neinas is confident Missouri will stay.
"I think that once they have an opportunity to fully understand and comprehend what the conference is doing that they will agree that Missouri should continue to be a good member of the Big 12 Conference," he told reporters.
Texas A&M, of course, already left the Big 12 for the SEC. But Neinas seems to be rallying the Big 12 toward stabilization - at least as much as one can these days.
That doesn't seem to be the case with Marinatto. Of the six BCS conferences, the Big East is the one most crippled. In fact, as the situation stands, the league very well could be replaced within the BCS structure at the end of the current deal - if not before.
While the Big East watched as Syracuse and Pittsburgh were swiped from its ranks, the Mountain West and Conference USA have pushed forward with the idea of a football-only merger.
The Big East, meanwhile, has simply talked about adding Navy and Air Force. The league is down to seven teams, less if Connecticut, Rutgers and TCU bail. The Mountain West-Conference USA merger could certainly supplant the Big East.
Also, BCS leaders are discussing the idea of allowing more than two schools from each conference into the big-bowl ring. In other words, "We don't have to take the Big East champion with Alabama, LSU, South Carolina and Florida sitting there, do we?"
That's why the Big East presidents are meeting this Sunday in Washington. The SEC, Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 conferences are strong. The Big 12 has been strengthened. The crippled Big East has been targeted.
Which reflects poorly on Marinatto.
Earlier, even Big East basketball coaches reportedly criticized the commissioner. "Multiple Big East basketball coaches, each speaking anonymously to CBS Sports on Friday, blame Marinatto's poor leadership for the conference's instability. ... Each coach pined for the days when Mike Tranghese and the late Dave Gavitt were in charge.
" 'I firmly believe we would manage this a lot better with a different leader,' a Big East head coach told CBS. 'He's a good man, a good right-hand man, but I think he's in over his head.' "
A source confirmed to me that Marinatto will attend the Big East presidents meeting. It would certainly be worse for him had he not been invited.
But not much is well when university presidents, rather than athletic directors, clear time to meet.
To be fair, much of what's taken place has been out of Marinatto's hands. But the commissioner hasn't made a mark, either.