Chart: 7 teams improved by at least 6 wins in 2016

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Friday January 27, 2017

Over the last few weeks, CoachingSearch has looked at the teams with the biggest improvement in key stats. But what about the most important stat of all: wins?

It takes time to build a program, but the jump can come sudden.

Here were the biggest jumps in 2016:

- Seven teams improved by six wins, with six of those teams making a bowl game for the first time in years. Of those six, only Georgia Tech reached a bowl in 2014.

- Scott Frost took over a winless UCF program and took it to a bowl game, but UCF also won 31 games from 2012-14. It was a sharp fall, and Frost is taking it back up.

- Army hadn’t reached a bowl game since 2010. They won 8 games in 2016 after averaging 2.8 wins over the previous five years. Jeff Monken has a tall task at a service academy, but has turned it around.

- At Colorado, Mike MacIntyre went 8-1 in the Pac-12 this year after going 2-25 in his previous three years. It was the Buffs’ first bowl game since 2007.

- Eastern Michigan reached a bowl for the first time in 30 years — the 1987 California Bowl. Chris Creighton’s team won 7 games in 2016 and 7 games from 2012-15.

- Georgia Tech went 3-9 in 2015, but that was their worst record since 1994, and the first time they missed a bowl since 1996.

- Troy improved to 10 wins under Neal Brown, the most wins since the program moved to FBS.

- Craig Bohl turned North Dakota State into an FCS power, and he took Wyoming to 8 wins in his third year. It tied for the program’s most wins in the last 20 years.

- On the other end of the spectrum, some of the biggest decreases included Michigan State (12-2 to 3-9), Marshall (10-3 to 3-9), Notre Dame (10-3 to 4-8), Bowling Green (10-4 to 4-8) and Oregon (9-4 to 4-8).

So who will be the teams to make the jump next year?

2017 offseason studies

Most improved scoring offenses

Most improved scoring defenses

Most improved rushing offenses

Most improved rushing defenses

Most improved 3rd down, TO margin, red zone

Largest increase in takeaways

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to