Once again, here are the 2016 MAC standings.
Life as an FBS coach has probably not gone the way Lance Leipold had hoped. Leipold left Division III power Wisconsin-Whitewater after winning six national championships in eight seasons and owning a career winning percentage north of .900 (109-6). In his two seasons at Buffalo, Leipold has already lost nearly triple the games he lost at
Chris Creighton began his tenure at perennial punching bag Eastern Michigan with 2-10 and 1-11 records, but the Eagles surged to 7-5 in his third season. Similarly, Chuck Martin began his rebuild at Miami of Ohio with a 2-10 and 3-9 campaign. His Red Hawks began 2016 0-6, but won their last six games and nearly stole the division. Elsewhere in college football, former North Dakota State head coach Craig Bohl was just 6-18 in two seasons at Wyoming. His Cowboys improved by six games and won their division in his third season. Jeff Monken led Army to their first win over Navy since 2001 and seven regular season wins after winning just six games in his first two seasons at West Point. At Wake Forest, Dave Clawson led the Demon Deacons to their first bowl since 2011 after winning just six games in his first two seasons.
By his third season, a coach has at least two full classes of his own recruits and the holdovers from the previous administration have had ample time to learn his system. If the first two seasons have featured more losses than wins, he has probably also been successful in holding on to his coordinators and other assistants. Thus, the third season presents an excellent opportunity for a leap forward. I wouldn’t go so far as to guarantee that Buffalo will return to the postseason in 2017, but significant improvement would not surprise me.