The American Athletic Conference has several new teams this season. There are even a few teams that have been in the league for a while that will have new head coaches stepping up. Who doesn’t love a leadership change to get the wheels of conversation turning?
In our most recent SB Nation Reacts survey, we asked readers which new AAC head coach would have the best year one. Florida Atlantic’s new leader - former Houston and Texas head coach Tom Herman - won with nearly a third of the vote at 31%.
We asked, you voted.☑️— Underdog Dynasty (@underdogdynasty) March 3, 2023
Our readers think the Tom Herman era at FAU will start strong. @sbnreacts pic.twitter.com/piw8IBTxzc
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Let’s Think About This
We haven’t seen Herman with a college program in a while. Granted, his last season with Texas was in 2020, but it feels like we have all aged a few decades since then, for obvious reasons.
Herman also spent 2021 as an offensive analyst with the Chicago Bears and then spent 2022 on the media side with CBS Sports.
In his six seasons as a college head coach, Herman was won 54 games, lost 22, and reached a bowl game every year. His teams have a bowl record of 5-1. Most programs wouldn’t fire a coach after a season that resulted in a 7-3 record with a bowl win, but Texas isn’t most programs.
It makes a lot of sense that expectations for Herman are high. When you look at Herman’s past experience versus the resumes of the other new coaches in the AAC, it’s not complicated. He finished his first season as a college head coach with Houston with a 13-1 record and a final ranking of eighth in the AP Poll. His start at Texas was a bit slower at 7-6, but it still resulted in a bowl win as well as a top-25 final ranking.
The Owls won five games in each of the last three seasons. Herman seems to know how to get things started quickly. While the Owls have a jump in competition this year, postseason football seems attainable.