Following the 2008 season, most people just assumed that Texas and Florida would still be elite after losing a bunch of talent. Those people could not have been more wrong.
Whether it’s because you lose talent from your roster or lose an important coach, some programs are going to go from the top of the game to the bottom of the pile.
Here are the five teams headed for rough 2012 seasons.
Southern Miss had a great season this year and finished ranked for the first time in a long time, but those good times will soon come to a close.
Quarterback Austin Davis will graduate as will defensive end Cordarro Law, who was easily the team’s best player on defense.
Nine more seniors will graduate from this team and head coach Larry Fedora will be at UNC. It should definitely be a rebuilding season next year for the Golden Eagles.
Last season, Houston showed everyone just how important quarterback Case Keenum was to its football team—the Cougars went 5-7 without him as opposed to 12-1 this year.
Not only do they lose him but head coach Kevin Sumlin will be in the SEC with Texas A&M.
Oh, and stud receivers Patrick Edwards and Tyron Carrier, as well as seven other seniors, will graduate. Houston fans need to savor this season while they can because next year will be an absolute disaster.
The Nittany Lions had a surprising year this year on the field and a disastrous one of the field. Next year, neither will be good.
All-everything defensive tackle Devon Still will graduate as will their best receiver Derek Moye. There are ten more seniors on this team and four of them are on the defensive line.
Silas Redd is a great running back but he won’t be able to do everything by himself. With no good play at quarterback, Penn State’s offense should get even worse next year and many people didn’t think it could.
Kellen Moore has played his last game as a Bronco, but the real problem lies in who leaves from the trenches.
Six of the nine guys who play on the line will graduate including Nate Potter, Shea McClellin, Tyrone Crawford and Billy Winn. Running backs Doug Martin and D.J. Harper will also graduate as will six other seniors who currently start.
Moore is a great quarterback and Chris Petersen is a great coach but the strength of this team has always been winning up front.
TCU will be heading to the Big 12 but Boise State may not even win a mediocre Mountain West next season.
The Pokes are going to lose every playmaker on their team with the exception of running back Joseph Randle.
Quarterback Brandon Weeden, receiver Justin Blackmon, offensive tackle Levy Adcock and safety Markelle Martin are all gone as are five other seniors.
The Big 12 is driven by offense and OSU has had some great coaches through the program, so the team won’t be terrible but it certainly won’t be a few plays away from the national championship. Third or fourth in the conference is more likely.