2021 2nd Year College Football Head Coach Expectations: Go Bowling, and Maybe More
There’s no hot seat thing happening, but there’s a big, big issue going into the next offseason if these guys don’t at least get their respective programs to a bowl game.
Steve Addazio, Colorado State
2020: Addazio took over a rough situation, and it was a rocky start both off the field and on it. It’s been a few years since the program came up with a winning season, but the 1-3 run in a weird year was still lousy.
Realistic Expectations In Year Two: Go bowling. Addazio took over after Colorado State went 7-17 in the previous two seasons, and it was a heavy lift to get to at least the 7-6 level of 2015, 2016 and 2017, but there’s enough on the schedule to get to six wins.
Realistic Expectations Over Next Five Years: Be a regular on the bowl circuit – four bowls in five years – win at least on Mountain division title in the Mountain West, and be a consistent factor in the conference title chase.
– 2021 Colorado State Preview
Dave Aranda, Baylor
2020: After coming achingly close to winning the Big 12 title in 2019, the rebuilding job didn’t go well with a 2-7 2020. There weren’t any embarrassing performances until the 42-3 loss to Oklahoma State to end the season, but the close games now have to translate into wins.
Realistic Expectations In Year Two: Aranda tweaked and changed a few things now that he had a full year to work, and now pushing for a top five finish in the ten-team Big 12 would be nice. There are three easy wins, and it’s going to take a fight to get to six.
Realistic Expectations Over Next Five Years: The bar is higher now for the program, but expect one dud season over the next five years, demand four winning campaigns, and hope for at least one season when everything comes together in another Big 12 Championship appearance.
– 2021 Baylor Preview
Kalen DeBoer, Fresno State
2020: Call is a successful failure. The Bulldogs went 3-3 with all three victories over the awful teams on the slate, but the offense was a blast. The Bulldogs showed the upside to be a problem for the rest of the Mountain West.
Realistic Expectations In Year Two: Win the Mountain West’s West division. It’s hardly going to be easy playing in the tougher of the two divisions – and with road dates at Hawaii, San Jose State and San Diego State – but the Nevada game is at home. Whatever … win the West, Fresno State.
Realistic Expectations Over Next Five Years: Win at least two division titles and go bowling all five years with one of the Mountain West’s most dangerous offenses.
– 2021 Fresno State Preview
Jeff Hafley, Boston College
2020: 6-5 might not seem like anything great, but it was terrific considering the pivot the team made to a high-end passing attack. There was a great fight at Clemson and good battles with North Carolina and Notre Dame as Hafley’s team showed a glimpse of the success that should be coming.
Realistic Expectations In Year Two: Eight wins. The program has hit a seven-win ceiling time and time again since going 8-5 in 2009, but this year’s team should have the offensive punch to come up with something big considering the relatively light schedule.
Realistic Expectations Over Next Five Years: Five straight winning seasons, at least one win over Clemson, and one Atlantic title. That might seem like asking for the world considering how amazing Clemson is – and how good Florida State should be at some point – but BC might just become good enough under Hafley to come up with one massive run in one of the next five years.
– 2021 Boston College Preview
Jeff Traylor, UTSA
2020: Well that was fun. After winning seven games in two years, UTSA got a strong first season out of Traylor with a 7-5 season including a trip to the First Responder Bowl. The Roadrunners lost to Louisiana, but they beat the teams they were supposed to – that’s the job in Conference USA.
Realistic Expectations In Year Two: Make more of a push to win the Conference USA West division. UAB is good, and Louisiana Tech isn’t bad, but it’s the easier of the two divisions and it’s getable for a team with a slew of potential all-star parts.
Realistic Expectations Over Next Five Years: Win a Conference USA title. Just getting to a bowl game on a regular basis would be strong enough, but Traylor has enough talent and upside to shoot for something bigger over the next few years.
– 2021 UTSA Preview
Mel Tucker, Michigan State
2020: Michigan State lost at home to Rutgers to start the season. That’s not how you kick off an era. The Spartans were able to shock Northwestern, but the offense was miserable and the defense lousy in the 2-5 season.
Realistic Expectations In Year Two: Sneak into a bowl game. The offense has to prove it can consistently produce, the defense has to be a whole lot better, and it’s going to take a few upsets to come up with a winning season. Whatever … get to a bowl game.
Realistic Expectations Over Next Five Years: Five bowl games in five years, at least two wins over Michigan, at least one win over Ohio State, at least one Big Ten East title. First, Tucker has to get the program to a consistently high level, and it’ll take at least a year to do it.
– 2021 Michigan State Preview