Scott Frost is on the Tom Herman career path. Both play-callers in the inaugural College Football Playoff national championship (a happier memory for Herman than Frost) plucked their first head coaching jobs off the Like Power Five showroom that is the American Athletic Conference. Both jobs are at large, public universities with new or like-new stadiums in major metropolitan areas blessed with enough talent within a half day's drive to sustain the program for years.
Just don't expect Frost to win in year one like Herman did.
Whereas Herman inherited an 8-5 club at Houston, Frost is reconstructing Central Florida's program from the basement up after the George O'Leary bottomed out with an 0-12 finish in 2015 (O'Leary retired after the Knights' eighth game).
But, still, there's more than enough tools in the shed for Frost's rebuild to be a quick one. "UCF I think has some inherited advantages on the other teams in the American conference, just with location, proximity to recruits, facilities and campus," Frost told USA Today in a recent interview. "I think anytime you're starting out two steps ahead of some of the people you play, I think it gives you a great chance to do well if you do things the right way."
All this to say: if UCF is not on the short list to contend for the New Year's Six bowl slot awarded to the top Group of Five champion (given to Herman's Houston team a year ago and Boise State in 2014) by 2019, Frost has done something wrong. And that's more than you can say for most first-time head coaches.
"I think one of the key things is wanting to be a coach without being desperate to be. I've seen a lot of people that have been in a hurry to be a head coach and they take jobs that are hard, jobs where it's hard to win," Frost said. "Those guys are at a place for three years, four years, and it doesn't work and they may never get another chance.
"I've had some opportunities, but I wanted to go to the right place. I wanted to go a place that I felt that if I could do a good job and the staff does a good job, that we would have a real chance to win.
"This one came open and I looked at this with the second largest university in the country, a great recruiting area, up and coming school in a beautiful city. I think this is one of the places that if you do it the right way, you've got a good chance at winning."