Setting aside their success at Baylor, look at the impact Briles and Clements had at parts elsewhere in 2017. Teaming with Lane Kiffin, Briles authored the 2017 season’s biggest single-season turnaround at Florida Atlantic. A team that was 3-9 with a stunningly pedestrian offense instantly became a juggernaut, finishing 11th in yards per play, eighth in scoring, sixth in rushing and fourth in yards per carry, ripping off 10 straight wins by an average of 24 points per game en route to the program’s first Conference USA title. Running back Devin Singletary set a C-USA record with 32 rushing touchdowns, racking up 1,920 yards on just 301 carries. It was like the Baylor days all over again.
Clements paired with former Baylor running backs coach Jeff Lebby at Southeastern University, a private, Christian school with 7,000 students located roughly equidistant between Orlando and Tampa. In his one season on staff, Clements helped boost Southeastern’s scoring average by nearly 20 points, from a good-not-great 34.6 points a game in 2016 to a national-leading 55.1 points per game in 2017. The Fire ripped off 330.4 rushing yards per game on 5.9 a pop while placing sixth in NAIA in passing efficiency.