replacing their head coaches going into 2017. Neither the Huskies nor Bearcats were particularly poor in close games (combined 0-3 record in one-score contests) nor had horrendous turnover margins (combined for -4 in-conference margin). However, the Bearcats did finish with a -4 margin in terms of non-offensive touchdowns (allowed four and did not score any) in AAC play.
Before bowl season, and all the randomness inherent in a long break, including coaching changes and other assorted distractions, the AAC enjoyed a fine season. They were easily the best Group of Five conference from top to bottom and boasted their fair share of Power Five scalps. As is the nature of the game at the mid-major level though, several AAC schools had their head coaches scooped up by Power 5 programs. In fact, three AAC coaches left for Power 5 jobs. Matt Rhule left the champion Temple Owls to rebuild the mess at Baylor, Willie Taggart left his Gulf Coast offense at South Florida to take over Oregon, and the crown jewel of available coaches,
WAC only had seven teams, so nearly half their coaches were poached by the big boys!
Of course, just because you get poached does not necessarily mean you will last a long time in the Power 5 grinder. Of the MAC coaches from 2010, not a single one is still at the school that hired them away. Mike Haywood, from champion Miami, did not coach a game for Pittsburgh after he was fired for a domestic disturbance. Jerry Kill, from Northern Illinois, had success at Minnesota, but was forced to resign in 2015 due to health reasons. And Al Golden, from Temple, was fired in his fifth season at Miami after failing to return The U to its former glory. As for the WAC fraternity, Sonny Dykes from Louisiana Tech was just fired at Cal after one bowl appearance in four seasons. Gary Andersen from Utah State voluntarily left Wisconsin after just two years to attempt to rebuild Oregon State. Finally, Mike MacIntyre from San Jose State endured three very bad years at Colorado before leading them to a division title in 2016. Check back in six years and there is a good chance, neither Herman, Rhule, or Taggart are still at their respective schools.