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UAB Football Preview Predictions and Schedule 2011

We frequently mention how long a college football coach has been at the helm, specifically coaches with 4 years or less at their current program. This is because often times, coaches inherit a flat out mess. Unless a coach is taking over at a major football power, no one should expect him to come in and start winning right away. Changes are most often gradual, usually adding to the win total by a game or two each year. Of course, that's if the coach is going to be successful and eventually win.

As a handicapper, it's important to understand the coaching dynamics at work. You need to be able to make educated guesses as to whether this is the break through year everyone is waiting for, or whether a particular coach is a dead man walking. When the pressure is on, it can create nice betting opportunities betting both on and against the coach and his team.

At UAB, Neil Callaway took over a losing program. The team was 3-9 the year prior and he didn't make things any better in his first year, going 2-10. But he added 2 wins in 2008, going 4-8 and then added yet another win in 2009 with a 5-7 record. Nothing groundbreaking, but exactly what you would expect from a coach rebuilding a program and putting his stamp on the team.

After the 4th year, the team officially becomes his. Every player, every coach, all the schemes, are all his doing. Nothing is left from the old regime. Everything Neil Callaway does from this point forward is all his responsibility. To put it bluntly, the pressure is on. Anything less than 7 wins this season would be unacceptable if I was an AD at UAB.

There's plenty to build on from last year as they had several close games. They lost by 1 to Florida Atlantic as 14 point dogs. They hung with two SEC teams including an OT loss to Tennessee 32-29. They beat Southern Miss as a 10 point dog in a wild 50-49 shootout. There certainly was no problem with the UAB offense. They could score on anyone.

The problem was the defense. While the offense ranked in the top half of most major categories, the defense ranked near the bottom in most. You can't expect to be successful if your only defense is a potent offense.

UAB brings in former Memphis head coach Tommy West as defensive coordinator. If he's successful, even slightly, a few of those close losses could be converted to wins and we could see at the very least, Neil Callaway and the UAB Blazers with 6+ wins and a Bowl game.

2011 UAB Football Schedule

Sept. 10 at Florida
Sept.17 TULANE
Sept. 24 at East Carolina
Oct. 1 at Troy
Oct. 15 at Tulsa
Oct. 22 UCF
Oct. 29 at Marshall
Nov. 12 at Memphis
Nov. 26 at Florida Atlantic

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