shouold o’leary get coach of the year?

There’s some buzz around Orlando that UCF Coach George O’Leary should be Coach of the Year in all of Division I football. Probably the leader in the local press for this is Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi, the self-proclaimed “bandwagon hometown columnist “:

This is not a knock on Spurrier, Paterno, Charlie Weis and Mike Shula — all of whom have done fantastic jobs and deserve consideration for Coach of the Year. But just because they have bigger jobs doesn’t mean they’ve done a better one.

The fact is, nobody has done more with less — less resources, less talent, less fans — than George O’Leary.

From 0-11 to Oh-we’re-in-heaven. From a national-worst 17-game losing streak to what may soon be the biggest turnaround in the history of college football.

It really is impressive to endure a 17-game losing streak and then turn it around to play for the Conference USA Championship in one year.

UCF (8-3, 7-1 C-USA) became the first team in Division I-A history to reach a conference title game the year after going winless.

So what is the biggest turnaround in Div I football? I couldn’t find the answer online, but I did hear this on the radio yesterday. I believe that honor currently goes to the University of Hawaii. They went from 0-12 in 1998 to 9-4 in 1999 per the Hawaii Game by Game Results page. If that is indeed the bar, UCF has a shot. The Golden Knights will have two games left to play if they win the Conference USA title Dec 3 and the Liberty Bowl Dec 31. Two wins would take them from 0-11 to 10-3 in just one year.

UPDATE: Kevin at Fanblogs doesn’t think he should get it, but O’Leary received CBS Sportsline’s award for Coach of the Year.

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