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What does a successful season look like in Lane Kiffin’s first year at FAU?

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Time to talk expectations for Lane Kiffin.

NCAA Football: FAU Press Conference Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Since Lane Kiffin arrived on FAU’s campus the hype has been immense. Kiffin followed up by bringing in the best recruiting class in Conference USA. Everything seems great Boca Raton right now (Kalib Woods arrest aside).

National media outlets are no longer confusing FAU for that other school that goes by nearly the same three letters, and it finally appears we have the right coaching staff to bring us our first bowl bid since 2008.

Of course, we’ve been here before. Fresh off a 6-6 season that featured a team that returned one of the best quarterbacks in C-USA in Jaquez Johnson along with future NFL players like Lucky Whitehead and D'Joun Smith, Charlie Partridge’s debut season ended up 3-9.

After bringing in one of the best recruiting classes in school history the expectations were that 2015 would finally be the year FAU went bowling. The Owls went 1-4 in one-possession games on their way to another disappointing 3-9 season.

Last year was the year we’ve been waiting for. Year three is when we really see programs take off under a coach. The talent influx was real thanks to FAU finally making inroads at the more talented high schools in South Florida. The schedule was more than manageable. No way we finish with less than five wins, right?

You know how the story went. Horrible defensive performances and shaky quarterback play led to yet another 3-9 season and a pink slip for Charlie Partridge.

After an uneven spring practice, expectations have been tamped down for Kiffin’s first season. I’ve seen predictions more closer to 4-8 than 7-5 from media outlets. With the Conference USA preseason poll coming out in a few weeks, I expect FAU will be predicted to finish fourth or fifth.

So, what does success look like in Kiffin’s first year? What does failure look like?

After firing Partridge who went 3-9 for three straight seasons, failure would definitely be another 3-9 season. 4-8 Would be disappointing too, depending on who the victories were against I guess.

S&P+ projects the Owls to flirt with bowl eligibility as it sees FAU finishing 6-6. Six wins and a bowl bid would be considered a success and should be where the bar is for Kiffin this season but not a resounding success. Especially if the Owls end up losing the bowl game and finish with a losing record.

The way I see it, an absolute successful 2017 season from FAU should feature:

  • A home slate with no more than one loss (Navy, Bethune-Cookman, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Marshall, FIU)
  • A winning record
  • A Shula Bowl victory
  • Snapping the nine-game losing streak against Middle Tennessee
  • No scandals

A decent season from FAU features:

  • A home record of 3-3
  • A win against FIU
  • An upset against one of the better teams in the conference (please beat MTSU)
  • A 5-7 finish

If this year results in a loss to FIU in Butch Davis’ first year, another lost to MTSU and a losing record, the season will go down as a failure to me.

Due to Kiffin bringing in Kendal Briles and having his brother Chris Kiffin on staff being investigated by the NCAA, I don’t have as much patience. I want him to win fast.

Given the hype, the talent, and how easy the schedule appears, anything less than 5-7 should be seen as a massive disappointment from FAU fans.

Poll

What’s a successful record in Lane Kiffin’s debut season?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    7-5 or better
    (57 votes)
  • 43%
    5-7 or 6-6
    (58 votes)
  • 12%
    Lane Kiffin is FAU’s head coach! It’s already a successful season!
    (17 votes)
132 votes total Vote Now