I'm pretty easy on first-year college coaches. Even on second- and third-year. I was at the U of Illinois during the Ron Zook era, and I remained a steadfast supporter long, long after the fan base in general was loudly calling for his ouster. I'd routinely call the local radio station during their call-in show on game days and express my views, for example. I did so alone.
But short of pulling a Bobby Petrino, I believe in giving a new college coach every possible benefit of the doubt while he's building his program and system his way. This is why you signed him to a 4or5-year contract in the first place. If you truly wanted the option to consider his ouster after two, then only sign him to two to start with. So yes, there are some things a coach can do that call for the immediate in-game substitution. Mostly though, they deserve all reasonable support through their entire contract, in my book.
Occasionally, however, a coach will do something that sort of lands in the middle -- the kind of thing that leaves you scratching your head.
I'm a Razorback fan first and foremost, and I'll admit that I didn't know much about Bret Bielema when he was hired a year ago. Several things struck me as curious during the year, but one small episode really stood out. I can't seem to let it go. While guiding the Hogs to one of their worst seasons in several generations, the topic came up in the press that the team might be considering helmet stickers to improve morale and motivation. Asked about it, Bielema replied "No, we're not going to do that; there's a team in the Big 10 that does that, and they make my skin crawl."*
What? Given the opportunity to talk about collective effort or team before individual or whatever, you choose instead to evoke another team in another conference with an irrelevant comment? A team, by the way, which was bowl-bound and doing everything you wish your team was doing this season. How's that again? Do you actually have something for us coach, or is this whole thing just some platform for you to air personal biases and grievances?
I didn't really know Bret Bielema a year ago. I'm not sure I know him today. But it seems like he talks "big boy football", but when the chips are down he plays "sandlot whiner". Which is an unusual thing for me to say; I'm usually pretty easy on new coaches.