Going into the 2019 season, how do the American Athletic Conference coaches stack up? Here’s the preseason ranking of all the head men.
Who do you want as your head coach for right now, and how good are the all the current American Athletic Conference coaches?
Record and resumés aren’t necessarily everything, but of course they matter. Where are each of the teams going, which guys have the buzz, and which ones need to prove themselves a bit more?
These aren’t Hot Seat Rankings – those are coming later. These are the rankings based loosely on what the head coaches have done, and mostly about what they’re about to do.
Think of it this way. If you were to hold a head coaching draft …
12. Randy Edsall, UConn
To be very, very, fair, UConn needed a complete and total gut job when Edsall took back the program. Amazing when he first built up UConn football with two stunning Big East titles, he actually built up Maryland, too. But the Terps wanted more pizzazz after just over four years. However, after two years now with the Huskies, and after coming up with one of the worst defensive seasons in college football history, he needs something positive.
Last Season Preseason Ranking: 11
– 2019 UConn Preview
11. Phillip Montgomery, Tulsa
The program just sort of stalled. The offense was fun, and the two bowl games in the first two seasons were great, but after going 10-3 in 2016, Montgomery is 5-19 in his two seasons. The former Baylor offensive coordinator knows how to get an offense going, but in Year Five, it have better get the groove back fast.
Last Season Preseason Ranking: 9
– 2019 Tulsa Preview
10. Sonny Dykes, SMU
It’s been a while since he’s had a consistently good run, He had three losing seasons in his four campaigns at Cal, and the 5-7 first year at SMU was underwhelming. With a new quarterback in Shane Buechele from Texas, and after a year to work, don’t be shocked if the offense kicks in at a whole new level and Dykes is way, way higher on this next year.
Last Season Preseason Ranking: 7
– 2019 SMU Preview
9. Willie Fritz, Tulane
He’s quietly doing a terrific job with the Green Wave program. A winner everywhere he’s been, the first two years at Tulane were two of the mere four losing seasons in his 22-year career, with one of them coming in his first season at Central Missouri. The shift came last year with a 7-6 campaign and a bowl win, but in Year Four, the program has to take an even bigger step forward.
Last Season Preseason Ranking: 10
– 2019 Tulane Preview
8. Mike Houston, East Carolina
Call this a Stock Rising call. Let’s just put the pressure on from Day One and expect him to be the guy who turns East Carolina into something amazing again. He coached for three seasons at Lenoir-Rhyne and one three straight conference titles with two deep trips in the D-II Playoffs. He coached for two seasons at Citadel, and after one rebuilding year, he won the Southern Conference and get into the FCS Playoffs.
In three years at James Madison, three conference titles, one national championship, another national title game appearance, and another playoff run before taking over ECU. Eight years, six conference titles, six playoff appearances. American Athletic Conference … look out.
Last Season Preseason Ranking: Not Ranked
– 2019 East Carolina Preview
7. Charlie Strong, USF
He put the foundation in place at Texas for Tom Herman to build on. He also stepped in at USF and had a whale of a start, going 17-2 before the wheels came off. The six-game losing streak to close out last season sinks him down a bit on the list, and it’s not a plus that UCF has turned into what USF wanted and still strives to be. Even so, going 17-8 so far isn’t bad. Now the big wins have to come.
Last Season Preseason Ranking: 2
– 2019 USF Preview
6. Rod Carey, Temple
No complaints here if you think he deserves to be in the top five. All he did was win two MAC titles at Northern Illinois, two more division championships, and go 52-30 in his six seasons. But there’s one gigantic hole in the resumé – he’s not just 0-6 in bowl games, his teams have been absolutely walloped. Even so, he was a good get at the right time for the Owls.
Last Season Preseason Ranking: Not Ranked
– 2019 Temple Preview