Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the UAB Blazers season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: UAB Blazers
No, UAB … this was supposed to be the year when maybe, possibly you could have a winning season.
The Vegas Golden Knights showed just how good an expansion team can be right out of the gate, but for UAB to go from a deep coma, to breathing, to an eight-win season and a bowl game was beyond remarkable.
It’s not like the program was all that great before all the problems kicked in. UAB’s last winning season was 2004. And the last time it won more than seven games as an FBS/D-I program? Try never.
Granted, head coach Bill Clark was able to use the time off to put together just the right players and the motivated team to be ready to hit the ground running again, but whatever – there’s nothing to explain what happened other than that it was impossible.
Now do more.
The Blazers faced eight teams that didn’t end up going bowling last season, and they play seven this year that didn’t get an extra game. The schedule just wasn’t that great, but … this was UAB. It was starting over. UAB was the easy part of everyone’s schedule. And now it’s not.
With ten starters returning on an offense that was effective, if not always explosive, and with seven starters coming back on the defensive side – along with both kickers – the players are in place to do it all over again.
Clark is an unquestioned winner as a head man – with a 131-36 record in hight school and college – and the excitement is there to not just come up with another good season, but to potentially even win the Conference USA title.
Last year at this time, no one could’ve reasonably believed that the program could be in the mix for a conference championship just two seasons later, but that’s what happened.
Now, UAB isn’t an amazing story anymore. It’s just another very good team expected to do very big things.