A Look at The First Year of Coaches that have Won a BCS Championship

NOTE – Prev. Season is the record for the program they took over and not their previous record as coach elsewhere.  I was trying to get a feel for the state of the program they took over record wise.

Bob Stoops (Oklahoma)

Prev. Season – 5-6

1st year – 7-5 (Bowl Loss)

Conf: 5-3

Wins – Baylor, A&M, Mizzou, Iowa St., and Ok. St.

OU stomped all five of these people by at least 21 points. Closest game was Iowa St. by a margin of 31-10.

Lowest and highest points respectively were 31 points offensively and 10 points defensively.

Losses – Texas, Colorado, and Tech

Lost by 10 to Texas, 14 in Boulder, and 10 in Lubbock. Like to see a little closer but not bad considering they’re all road losses.

Non-Conf: 2-2 (Bowl Loss)

Wins – Indiana State and Louisville

Opened up the Stoops Era with a 49-0 shellacking of Indiana State in Norman. Beat Louisville 42-21.

Losses – Notre Dame and Ole Miss

Lost by 4 in South Bend and by 2 in their Shreveport bowl game.

Overall Thought – This was an 11 game season so 7-4 is not bad at all with all road losses to decent programs at the time in ND, Texas, CU, and Tech. Tough bowl loss but Stoops rectified it the next year and hasn’t really looked back.

Mack Brown (Texas):

Prev. Season – 4-7

1st year – 9-3 (Bowl Win)

Conf: 6-2

Wins – Baylor, A&M, Oklahoma, Iowa St., Ok. St., and Nebraska

Beat 7th ranked Nebraska in Lincoln and 6th ranked A&M in Austin. Destroyed ISU at home and Oklahoma in Dallas. Beat Baylor by 10 and OSU by 3 both in Austin.

Losses – Kansas St. and Texas Tech

Lost by 41 at KSU which was their near national championship team and then by 7 in Lubbock.

Non-Conf: 3-1 (Bowl Win)

Wins – New Mexico St., Rice, and Mississippi St.

Opened up the Brown era with a 66-36 shellacking of New Mex. St. Destroyed Rice 59-21 and then beat Miss. St. 38-11 in the Cotton Bowl.

Losses – UCLA

Texas lost 31-49 in Los Angeles. Considering the previous season was the famous Route 66 in Austin that’s not a bad showing at all in your second game and first on the road.

Overall Thought – This was an 11 game season so 8-3 is very damn strong with losses to KSU, Tech, and UCLA on the road. Not bad at all. They beat a solid Miss. St. in the Cotton Bowl to get to 9 wins and Mack Brown has not looked back.

Nick Saban (LSU):

Prev. Season – 3-8

1st year – 8-4 (Bowl Win)

Conf: 5-3

Wins – Tennessee, Kentucky, Miss. St., Alabama, Ole Miss

Pushed 11th ranked Tennessee to OT to win by 7 at home and then duplicated the same thing by doing the same to 13th ranked Miss. St. at home. Blanked Kentucky by 34, squeaked by Bama at home by 2, and beat Ole Miss at home by 11.

Losses – Auburn, Florida, and Arkansas

Lost by 17 to 24th ranked Auburn on the road. Embarrassed by 32 to 11th ranked Florida at The Swamp. Lost by 11 to Arkansas in Little Rock.

Non-Conf: 3-1 (Bowl Win)

Wins – Western Carolina, UH, and Georgia Tech

Opened up the Saban/LSU era with a 58-0 shellacking of Western Carolina. Beat UH in Baton Rogue 28-13 and beat 15th ranked Georgia Tech 28-14 for a bowl victory.

Losses – UAB

Lost at home to UAB 10-13.

Overall Thought – This was an 11 game season so 8-4 is very damn strong with losses to solid SEC teams on the road and one stinker to UAB at home. Not bad at all. They beat a solid Georgia Tech. in their bowl game to cap the season. When you look at Saban’s first year at Bama it’s not far off.

Pete Carroll (USC):

Prev. Season – 5-7

1st year – 6-6 (Bowl Loss)

Conf: 5-3

Wins – Arizona, Arizona St., Oregon St., Cal, and UCLA

After losing their first three conference games, USC went on a tear winning their final five conference games including a pounding of Cal 55-14 in Berkley.

Losses – Oregon, Stanford, and Washington

All of the conference losses were within 5 points. They lost to Stanford at home by 5 points then on the road in Eugene by 2 and Seattle by 3.

Non-Conf: 1-3 (Bowl Loss)

Wins – San Jose St.

Opened up the Carroll Era with a 21-10 victory of San Jose St. at home.

Losses – Kansas St., Notre Dame, and Utah

Lost to KSU and Utah by 4 and lost in South Bend by 11.

Overall Thought – The overall record is not all that great but he got his team to a bowl game even though they lost. Not surprising, he won his first game and all of the losses were within 7 except a trip to South Bend where he lost by 11 back when Notre Dame was pretty decent. Pete would never look back as USC went 11-2 the next season tieing for first in the Pac-10 and getting an Orange Bowl win. He would go on to win or share the Pac-10 crown in the next 5 seasons.

Phil Fullmer:

Prev. Season – Special Case replacing Johnny Majors due to illness with 4 games left. Fulmer went 4-0 during that stretch. Not sure Tennessee’s compiled record as their website didn’t go back that far.

1st year – 10-2 (Bowl Loss)

Conf: 7-1

No data due to fact I couldn’t find archives of the game results. I’d say 7-1 is not bad.

Non-Conf: 3-1 (Bowl Loss)

No data other than winning three non-conference games and losing the Citrus Bowl. They still finished 12th in the AP poll.

Overall Thought – Phil Fulmer is the exception and not the rule these days having spent 16 seasons as the UT head coach. He’s had one losing season in that time and a National Championship to his name. I think he “retires” next season but he’s had a helluva run and started it off with a damn fine first season.

Bobby Bowden:

Prev. Season – FSU was real crappy when he took over as they only won four games in their previous three seasons.

1st year – 5-6 (No Bowl)

Conf: ????

I think I have to go to the Tallahassee Public Library to find this stuff.

Non-Conf: ????

Overall Thought – Bobby’s first season was his worst as he’d never have another losing season. He went 10-2 in his next season with a Tangerine Bowl win.

Jim Tressel (OSU):

Prev. Season – 8-4

1st year – 7-5 (Bowl Loss)

Conf: 5-3

Wins – Indiana, Northwestern, Minnesota, Purdue, and Michigan

No standout wins but all are solid including that win over Michigan which was what John Cooper could never do and why he got fired even though he went 8-3 the season before.

Losses – Wisconsin, Penn St., and Illinois

Lost to Wisc. and Illinois at home. Wisc. was a three point loss and Penn St. was a 2 point loss. Illinois beat them at home 22-34. I think that was the year Ron Meyer had Illinois playing their best football in 20 years or something like that.

Non-Conf: 2-2 (Bowl Loss)

Wins – Akron and San Diego St.

They opened up the Sweater Era with a 28-14 victory over Akron at home.

Losses – UCLA and South Carolina

Lost to UCLA in L.A. by 7 points and South Carolina in their bowl game by 3 points.

Overall Thought – The overall record is not all that great but he got his team to a bowl game even though they lost. Not surprising, he won his first game and all of the losses were within 7 except a loss at home to Illinois. Tressel would spend the next year winning the national championship and has played in 5 BCS games in his 7 seasons. Say what you want about getting clowned by SEC schools but he’s getting his team there.

Urban Meyer (Florida):

Prev. Season – 7-5

1st year – 9-3 (Bowl Win)

Conf: 5-3

Wins – Tennessee, Kentucky, Miss. State, UGA, and Vandy

All solid wins in the SEC. None really stand out as UGA, Vandy, and Tennessee were all pretty close. UK and Miss. St. were thumpings.

Losses – Alabama, LSU, and South Carolina

All losses on the road and within 7 points except a blowout loss to Alabama which was Bama’s best year when they went to the Cotton Bowl and beat Tech.

Non-Conf: 4-0 (Bowl Win)

Wins – Wyoming, Louisiana Tech, Florida State, and Iowa

Meyer opened up his UF career with a win at home over Wyoming in pretty convincing fashion at 32-14. Thumped La. Tech and FSU at home. Beat Iowa 31-24 in their bowl game.

Losses – None

Overall Thought – We all know about Urban Meyer so no need for lots of comments as he won a national championship in his second season. He inherited a very talented program from Ron Zook and kept it going. He was 10-2 in his first season at Utah followed by 12-0 the next season. He was 8-3 and 9-3 in two seasons at Bowling Green. I think the guy is a real prick but he’s no doubt a helluva head coach. He’s the Bob Stoops of the SEC.

Les Miles (LSU):

Prev. Season –9-3

1st year – 11-2 (Bowl Win)

Conf: 7-2 (Including SEC Championship Loss)

Wins – Miss. St., Vandy, Florida, Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss, Arkansas

All great wins in the SEC.  Florida, Bama, and Auburn all ranked #16 or higher.  Signature win was probably over #5 Bama in Tuscaloosa.  They 16-13 in overtime.  Florida was by 4 and Auburn was by 3 in overtime.  Arkansas did play them close losing by 2 in Baton Rogue so Les appears to have problems with Arkansas.

Losses – Tennessee and Georgia

Second game of the year at home to 10th ranked Tennessee.  They lost 27-30 in overtime.  Welcome to the SEC, Les.  Not embarrassing at all.  Lost 34-14 in the SEC Championship Game to UGA.

Non-Conf: 4-0 (Bowl Win)

Wins – Arizona State, North Texas, Applachin St., and Miami.

Went on the road to open up his career in Tempe and beat 15th ranked ASU 35-31.  Dogged North Texas and App. State at home.  Destroyed 9th ranked Miami in the Peach Bowl by a score of 40-3.

Losses – None

Overall Thought – Les is a special case in so many ways.  He was handed the keys to a powerful program from Nick Saban and was simply asked not to screw it up.  Credit the man as he’s won at least 11 games and not lost more than 2 games in any season with no bowl losses.  At Oklahoma State, he was 4-7 in his first season as a head coach anywhere and then 8-5 the next season with a bowl win.

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