College Football: Miami Hurricanes and 4 Other Programs That Have Fallen

Nathan LoweryCorrespondent IJuly 21, 2012

College Football: Miami Hurricanes and 4 Other Programs That Have Fallen

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    No empire can stand forever.

    Excuse the brief history lesson, but even the great Romans fell. Alexander the Great's empire expanding across almost the entire Eastern World fell. Even the Aztecs, Mayans, Greeks, and Persians all fell.

    Sooner or later, all great empires fall—and college football is no different.

    Some of the greatest programs in college football have now fallen; it is just part of the vicious cycle that allows teams like Oregon, Stanford, and Oklahoma State to thrive.

    But I doubt any thought that these five historically dominant programs would fall into holes this deep.

Miami Hurricanes

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    NFL-U? Try NCAA Violation-U.

    As if the Nevin Shapiro situation wasn't bad enough, now Miami is under investigation for an equipment manager recruiting players illegally.

    Oh and we can't stop there. The NCAA investigations are just the tip of the iceberg.

    Miami is not what they once were. Instead of competing for NCAA titles like they did under Larry Coker and Dennis Erickson, the Hurricanes are struggling to compete in the ACC.

    Miami has gone 41-35 the past six seasons under three different head coaches, and has continued to squander the potential of the countless top ranked recruits that are signed.

    As of now, The U is on life support. 

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    Is there any college football program more historic than Notre Dame?

    No, not really.

    Times have been tough in South Bend of late. The Irish are no longer a dominant college program that is consistently ranked high in the Top 25, and are struggling to return to the ways of Lou Holtz, Frank Leahy and Knute Rockne.

    The last time Notre Dame experienced a 10-win season and spot in a coveted BCS bowl was the 2006 season under Brady Quinn—where they were demolished 41-14 by LSU.

    After last year's three losses to USC, Stanford and Michigan, the Irish are going to need a miracle from Touchdown Jesus to return as kings of the college football world.

Tennessee Volunteers

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    It has been far too long since "Rocky Top" has echoed through the valley of Knoxville.

    Does anyone remember when Tennessee was one of the top teams in the SEC, let alone the nation? 

    And know what has become of that? Now the Vols are an SEC cellar-dweller, behind the likes of Kentucky and Vanderbilt—the traditional bottom-feeder of the conference. Only Ole Miss finished worse then Tennessee's 5-7 (1-7 in conference play) in the SEC.

    Over the past four years, the Volunteer Navy has had to suffer through an abysmal 23-27 record, absolutely embarrassing for the history and tradition of Tennessee. 

    If Derek Dooley does not have a eight or nine win season this year, his firing is all but guaranteed.

Pittsburgh Panthers

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    While not significantly known as a power program, Pitt has had a strong tradition of winning and holds nine national titles to their name.

    The past decade, however, would not suggest that the Panthers were once a dominating football program.

    Since the turn of the century, Pitt has gone an average 83-54, and have turned into a mid-pack team in one of the most laughed-at conferences, the Big East.

    Not all at Pitt has been bad. They have won a share of the Big East title twice and have gone 4-5 in bowl games.

    A move to the ACC and new head coach Paul Chryst look to put Pitt back on the map, however.

Penn State Nittany Lions

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    Lately, Happy Valley has been anything but happy. 

    Let's put aside the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal involving former head coach Joe Paterno and almost the entire administration at Penn State for a moment, and look at the football side of this.

    When the winningest coach in Division 1 history earned all of those wins at the same school, then you tend to have a history and tradition of being an elite team.

    But lately that has not been the case for Penn State. The Nittany Lions have struggled the past five seasons and are no longer considered a legitimate threat in the Big Ten. 

    Add the Jerry Sandusky scandal back into the situation, and you definitely see why Penn State is no longer a power program in the nation.

    The bigger they are—the harder they fall.