Why UCF Won’t Repeat in the AAC East

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.

NCAA FOOTBALL: DEC 03 AAC Championship - Navy v Temple

It’s all about the chip this year for Owls


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

9 thoughts on “Why UCF Won’t Repeat in the AAC East

  1. Pushing the P6 is extremely important. Making sure the P6 doesn’t become a joke is 10x more important. I thought UCF pronouncing their claim to the national championship was a brilliant marketing scheme when it was just tweets and new paper headlines. It was a thorn in the side of the CFP and perfectly highlighted the obviously unfair system. Then they went and got police car wraps, championship rings, and stadium signs. I fear they’ve taken what was and could have been the greatest argument for the P6 and transitioned it to the biggest reason the P6 will gain no ground.

  2. Well flyinowl, sometimes you have to do something to ridicule unfair actions to bring it the attention it deserves, unfortunately. Maybe the AAC if not all the G5 conferences will sooner or later get that approval. But right now it doesn’t matter. The AAC needs to continue being a solid conference and, as others have said, it’s schools need to beat the P5 teams when they play them to really have a valid arguement.
    I’ve said before that the AAC is the perfect conference for Temple. The Owls are competitive in it. We’ll see what happens with BC and Maryland this coming season, and of course, within the conference. Mike you seem to feel Temple can have great success this year assuming Collins makes some changes and controls Patenaude to use the talent properly. The team did better at the end of last season, so here’s hoping.

    • Patenaude, Div 2 coach w/NFL size ego, is a shutout waiting to happen…, the key will be if Collins is willing to make the needed halftime adjustments.., barring injury this offense has weapons to put 30+ ppg…,

  3. UCF may repeat. Randy Shannon is DC, and Willie Martinez is AHC. Shannon took the fall at Miami. Martinez has 30 years of experience in the NFL and P5 schools.

    • UCF, USF, and Memphis can play with any team in the nation. They have proved it by beating good P5 schools in the last few years. Temple can join them with wins over Maryland and BC.

      Will we put quick enough to beat Maryland, will we be tough enough to beat BC? Will Collins sit Patenaude in the second half of both games?

    • Love it….make a mockery of it. Because that is what it deserves…..the schools like UCF and Temple would never get the chance….even if they did everything right. Just like UCF did.

      • I believe this goes to my point that they took an incredible marketing tool that most everyone agreed or slightly agreed with and beat it to hard to where it became a joke. Know your hand, play it

    • Nice. Wish TU students were that creative.

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