Temple will not be the reason UCF fails to repeat as American Conference football champions after arguably winning the national championship a year ago.
Oh, the Owls might edge out both UCF and USF to win the AAC East for the third time in the last four years, but the Owls will probably not be the primary reason.
History will be.
Unless you are named Tom Herman, no first-year coach in the AAC has ever won the title.
It’s more likely that Josh Heupel’s first year as head coach will go the way of every other coordinator who has been thrust into the completely different job of running the show for the first time.
There will be mistakes, both big and small, and those mistakes will add up to enough losses to tip the scale toward someone else who already has learned to avoid those mistakes.
Someone like Geoff Collins or Charlie Strong.
The AAC has had some pretty good coaches come through the ranks and leave for better jobs but none, other than Herman, have won in his first year.
There is no inclination to think that Heupel is the next Herman other than the first letter of their last names. UCF deserves all the national championship accolades it can get. The Knights were robbed of the NC in an unfair system and their unbeaten record combined with wins over the ONLY two teams who beat the system’s NC, Alabama, is a stronger case than Alabama can make for itself.
But that was last year and this is this year and Heupel had nothing to do with past UCF successes.
This is his first stint as a head coach and he wasn’t successful in all of his coordinating stops. He was co-offensive coordinator for his alma mater, Oklahoma, until Jan. 6, 2015, when he was fired. If you are fired by your alma mater, that’s a huge red flag. He then went to Utah State to be offensive coordinator for a year before he was hired by Barry Odom to be offensive coordinator at the University of Missouri.
Even with all of the talent at his disposal, including the league’s best returning quarterback, McKenzie Milton.
In football, coaching means more than any other sport—a lot more—and the misfortunes of the never-ending AAC coaching carousel are more likely to be felt in Orlando than Philadelphia or Tampa.
Friday: The Second Time Around
Monday: AAC Facts of Life
Wednesday: Calling All Fans