20 for 2020 College Football Topics, No. 15: The five second year head coaches who should have a much stronger Year Two.
Well that didn’t go so well.
25 college football head coaches are going into their second seasons at the helm, and now is where the production is supposed to start to kick in.
There’s usually a reason as head coach is taking over a program, and most of the time it’s because the last guy got canned. So there’s a grace period because of all the work there is to do, but there’s usually not enough of one.
Even so, Year Two is when the turnarounds are supposed to come. Unfortunately, unlike our piece last season on the 5 Instant Impact New Head Coaches – which turned out to be close to the pin – the 5 Year Two Coaches Who’ll Be Much, Much Better really, really didn’t work.
Chad Morris at Arkansas … oops. Willie Taggart at Florida State … dropped too soon, but fired. And it goes on from there, so this time around these five have to be right.
Which five got through a slew of first year problems and are about to blow up?
The five coaches about to make the biggest instant impact in their second seasons are …
5. Tom Arth, Akron
There’s nowhere to go but up.
Win one game, and it’s already going to be an improved season. Win three, and it’ll be a huge step forward. Go bowling, and Tom Arth is your coach of the year.
Akron was easily the worst team in college football last season.
It was the only team that failed to win a game. It was dead last in the nation in total offense, couldn’t generate a lick of production on the defensive front, and it got worse as the year went on scoring six points or fewer in five of the last seven games.
But to give Arth a little bit of credit, he had plenty of work to do after taking over a team team that closed out 2018 on a five-game losing streak.
The 38-year-old worked his way through D-III John Carroll – his alma mater, which he took to three D-III playoff appearances – before taking on the Chattanooga gig. He went 9-13 with the Mocs, but that was enough to get him the Akron job.
So what are things possibly going to be better in Year Two? Experience has to count for something.
With the season slipping away, Akron went young to get the time logged in. Now, if all goes according to plan, ten starters will be back on O, six should return on D, and there’s hope to get off to a hot start with Youngstown State, New Mexico State, Clemson …
Starting 2-0 is a possibility, with home games against UMass and Bowling Green to potentially crank up a few wins.
0-12 to 4-8?