College Football's Invasion of the Body Snatchers
There may be someone who has not seen the 1956 science fiction film classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or the re-done versions from 1978 and 2007, but they must be few and far between.
Suffice to say the story centers around beings from another world killing humans, taking on the appearance of that specific person, and replacing them in their everyday lives.
The kicker is that although the aliens look like the people they replaced, there are differences, usually only spotted by the people closest to them.
That idea spawned this thought: Why are there schools that have produced powerhouse clubs over the years, but suddenly, without warning, they disappear only to be replaced by disappointing results from men wearing the same uniform?
Please take under consideration the following six examples of teams that are not what they seem to be.
No. 6 Pittsburgh Panthers: Post-1983 to Present
In the halcyon pre-World War II days of Eastern football, the Panthers were a dynamo. They continued to be competitive during the 1950s and early '60s. However, the once-mighty program then fell upon a decade of hard times.
Such backward progression was arrested by the hiring of former Tennessee superstar Johnny Majors as head coach in 1973. From 1974 to 1983, the Panthers won 94 games and lost 23, an 80 percent winning clip. This was accomplished under three different head coaches.
What was the backbone of the program during that decade? It was strong recruiting with legendary players such as Tony Dorsett, Dan Marino, Hugh Green, Chris Doleman, and Mark May. Dorsett won the Heisman in '76, and Green was first runner-up in '80.
In the past quarter century, Pitt has descended into a less-than-meaningful program. Eight wins in '87 and '89 under Mike Gottfried, increasing the schedule to 12 regular season games brought nine wins in 2002 and 2008, but the program is nowhere near what it was or should be.
It is as though the awesome players of yore have been replaced by people who look like Pittsburgh Panthers, but they do not act like Pittsburgh Panthers.
No. 5 Colorado Buffaloes: 2003 to the Present
Yes, there have been off-the-field issues over the past couple of decades, but don't you believe that indicates something is not quite right in Boulder?
From 1987 to 2002, Colorado was at the cutting edge of pigskin play, winning 135 games and losing 54 for a 72-percent winning percentage.
From 2003 through this past season, the Buffaloes have produced 33 wins against 42 losses.
Can these players possibly be the same people?
No. 4 Florida State Seminoles: 2001 to Present
Who are these guys? Are we talking about the same school that won 152 game and lost 19 during the 1987-2000 era? That's winning at an 89 percent rate!
From 2001 to the present, these impersonators have won 67 and lost 36 for a 65 percent win-loss ratio. Good for many schools, but not for this behemoth.
What happened? Some say the assistant coaches left and took the winning ways with them. That's laughable. Bobby Bowden is the winningest coach of all time—he does not need an assistant to tell him what to do.
Regarding this great program, the people have obviously been replaced by non-Florida State beings.
No. 3 Syracuse Orange: 2002 to present
Just stop it. We know who you are. It is apparent these folks were victimized around the same time as the Seminoles, and they cannot fool us.
From 1987 to 2001 the Orange won 127 games and lost 49—a 72 percent winning rate. From 2002 till the present, they have registered 26 wins to go with 57 losses. That translates into a horrific 31-percent winning percentage.
They should have never changed their name from the Orangemen to the Orange; that tipped us all off as to your true identity.
No. 2 Washington Huskies: 1993 to present
This one is so bad we may have to call out the 95-year-old Kevin McCarthy to identify the body.
The facts are that in the 15-year period of 1977-1992, the Huskies won 142 games and lost 46. During the 15-year period since they are 95-94.
One cannot know where to begin with this nightmare. Was it simply the head coaching change when legendary former Miami Hurricane quarterback Don James retired?
If that is true, then what about the fine 33-16 four-year run of Rick Neuheisel around the turn of the Century? Well, that was tricky Rick, so who knows what all went on during his tenure?
It can appear no more obvious than this—we have been invaded.
No. 1 Texas A&M Aggies: 2002 to present
Thought I was going to say Miami, didn't you?
This has been a most disappointing decade for faithful of the agricultural and mechanical. From 1985 to 2001. the Aggies won 153 games and lost 53 for a cool 74-percent winning clip. Since 2002, A&M has won 42 games and lost 43.
The reputation of the mighty wrecking crew has suffered. The dignity of the 12th man has been put to the test–oh, the humanity.
There is no way Texas A&M could fall upon such hard times without a reason. That reason: They are being impersonated by someone else.
No Aggie football player would allow such a blemish upon the program as the current decade has produced.
The answer is obvious: "They're coming, they're coming."
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