Well here we are FAU fans. The Lane Train has reached a resting stop. Six games in and the Owls are 3-3 overall and enters the bye week first place in Conference USA East with a 2-0 record. Given the state of C-USA East - and the rest of the conference for that matter - it’s easy to be optimistic about the chances of bringing home FAU’s first conference title since Howard Schnellenberger was the head coach.
Lane Kiffin’s transfers have started to get their feet under them and the team is starting to gel with the coaching staff. There’s been zero controversies and Kiffin’s shenanigans have been lighthearted, and fun to follow.
Whether it’s poking fun at Nick Saban and shedding light during his time at Bama, or experiencing the club scene in Boca, Lane Kiffin is enjoying his time as a head coach again and has the Owls trending in the right direction.
Halfway through the season FAU football has been a delightful surprise. Not because they’ve exceeded expectations. But because they no longer appear destined to underachieve. The team is playing with the juice, the swagger, the confidence, the belief that was missing during the Charlie Partridge era.
Rather than wondering which player is going to make the next mistake, the feeling now is which player is going to make the next great play. That confidence comes directly from Lane Kiffin being the head coach.
Devin Singletary has elevated his game to becoming one of the best running backs in the country. Garin Justice has developed one of the best offensive lines in Conference USA. Chris Kiffin has the defense playing fast and opportunistic. Jason Driskel isn’t turning the ball over!
For the first time in ages this program finally appears on the cusp of something great. I’m not talking about a bowl game. Considering the state of C-USA, missing a bowl game would be a massive disappointment. S&P+ gives FAU a 93 percent chance of finishing 6-6 or better.
While snapping the bowl drought would be incredible, and make this season a definite success, bowl games should never qualify as the crowning achievement in a season for FAU (history not withstanding).
I’m talking about rings, banners, pennants, trophies, a Conference USA Championship. FAU should be competing for C-USA titles on a regular basis and it looks like Kiffin will make this a reality in year one.
S&P+ pegs FAU as a favorite in each of their last six games. The Owls are given a 10 percent chance to run the table. While I think the odds of that happening are unlikely, finishing 7-5 (34 percent) or 8-4 (29 percent) is certainly feasible, and that might be good enough to bring home a division title.
For years FAU fans have had to endure PTSD due to the Owls finding ways to lose games. That not longer seems to be the case as FAU football appears close to finally shedding that underachiever label, and Lane Kiffin is the reason why.