So we’re getting close to the 100 day mark before UB kicks off their 2017 season, and Bull Run will be doing it’s annual countdown.
But before we get to that I thought it would be neat to take a look back at where UB football was five years ago and where it might be five years from now.
Five years ago Buffalo was coming off Jeff Quinn’s second season.
In year one the offense was so bad that Quinn fired Greg Forest, who had worked with Quinn for years at Cincinnati. Year two showed some mild improvement but UB was still a 3-9 team with one FCS win.
2012, five years ago, started off terribly. Buffalo was lingering until Alex Zordich went down and a freshman named Joe Licata stepped up and won his first three starts.
With Licata at quarterback and a revamped run first offense which scrapped everything that Quinn tried to do when he came, made Buffalo a bowl team in 2013.
In some ways if feels like we took several steps backwards.
After a promising first few games UB found themselves in a good position to snag a bowl bid. But the wheels came off and UB lost their last three games.
Since his 5-4 start at Buffalo Lance Leipold’s teams have managed to lose to an FCS team and put up a 2-13 record.
I believe that a critical difference between Quinn and Leipold is that Quinn was willing to make the changes we needed to have some success.
Quinn fired someone who he had worked with, and someone he brought back to Buffalo. I’m sure it was a painful move to make, but Quinn saw the offense, and pulled the trigger.
A year later, as the story goes, Branden Oliver went to Quinn and suggested that the Offense start using two backs. Despite Quinn’s initial idea of turning Buffalo into a athletic lean pass first offense, he saw the wisdom and made the change.
I don’t think Leipold is that guy. He does not fire people, he does not change the offense. He was so used to winning national titles at the DIII level that he just keeps steaming ahead.
So where does this take us in five years?
Well, if he is right, then UB will get better and Leipold may become a bowl team once again.
But if he’s wrong, and he’s stubborn, there may be a coaching change coming. I would guess after the 2018 season. Then we have two years of a new coach bringing in his system.
If the hire is solid then in 2022 Buffalo will be back in a bowl game.
But the field house will still only be 50% funded.