In golf, there is always a player who earns the label of the best player to never win a major championship. College football's equivalent would be head coaches who always seem to be in the mix but never seem to hoist the trophy.
There are a lot of reasons why this happens, and we'll look at many of them and give the prime examples of what has separated these great coaches from winning the national title.
There have been plenty of late bloomers, as it took Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno quite some time to win it all, but eventually their day came.
Bob Stoops and Larry Coker both did it almost instantly, as did Pete Carroll.
Will their day ever come for this group?
Mark Richt has one of the best records of any active coach, yet he is one of what is becoming the minority of head coaches in the SEC to have never won a national title.
Richt was seen as an offensive genius at Florida State as the offensive coordinator and probably could still have any job in the country if he ever chose to leave Georgia.
Richt's teams just have never been able to put it all together over the course of a full season and have yet to participate in a title game.
A few years back the Bulldogs were probably playing the best football in the country, but because of the stumbles, they had to settle for pounding Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl.
The good news for Richt is he's still young enough to have plenty of time if he so chooses to continue to pursue it.
Frank Beamer has done an amazing job as head coach of the Virginia Tech Hokies. While his teams are regulars in conference title games, Beamer has never hoisted the crystal football when the final gun on the season sounded.
Beamer's Hokies made it to the title game once during his tenure and fought the good fight in losing to eventual champion Florida State in the Sugar Bowl.
While he has coached some very good teams since, he's never been able to avoid a major upset that has cost him the ranking needed to play for the title.
At Virginia Tech, Beamer doesn't get his pick of the top-notch recruits like a lot of other programs, yet Beamer always fields one of the nation's best teams.
If defense wins championships, Gary Patterson will win a national title as a head coach.
Anyone who saw TCU play football last season knows that Patterson's team plays with the intensity of a winner.
While Patterson's national title may not come at TCU with the Horned Frogs, I'm sure another year or so of helmet-jarring hits by his defenders will have all of the big boys calling with their wallets wide open.
If there is a coach in the country who is willing to take chances and try new things in order to win, it's Mike Leach. Leach's offensive systems and strategies have currently changed the way college football is played.
While Leach's team has been successful and was top ranked during last year's regular season, Leach plays in the same conference with traditional powers including Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska.
Leach has been using a spread offense before anyone else and uses some of the biggest offensive linemen you'll see. I'm not sure Leach will ever win it all, but he's going to have a lot of fun experimenting and trying.
I have been touting Rich Brooks for years and always try to get his name tossed in the mix when the big jobs open, though in the end I never hear of him getting so much as an interview.
Brooks has one of the most impressive résumés in college football. He took Oregon to the Rose Bowl with the Green Wave defense. Brooks also got the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl as their defensive coordinator, and we're not talking about the Michael Vick or Matt Ryan Falcons either.
Brooks has his Kentucky team consistently in bowl games. He can mix it up with any team on any given week and can give even the top-ranked team in the country fits. I'm not sure why he's always the forgotten man.
Bobby Petrino put Louisville football on the map and made them a national title contender. Of course, Petrino left Louisville the first time someone waved a fistful of money at him.
What Petrino found out is that life in the NFL isn't so easy and gets even rougher, as recruiting isn't part of the equation. As soon as Petrino figured out he wasn't cut out for the NFL, he took off in a hurry.
Now Petrino has landed at Arkansas, where he took over a Razorback team last season with no expectations and which had just lost the bulk of its stars. While they didn't come close to the SEC title game, for the most part they played better than expected and ended the season on a high note.
It will be interesting to see what Petrino does with a few years to recruit at a big-time SEC school.
Rich Rodriguez was pretty close to a national title game appearance at West Virginia, as he just missed in his final year. If he had stayed, he would have had Pat White, Noel Devine, and plenty of other experienced talent to work.
Rodriguez can coach and coach well; he just needs players to fit into his system and buy into it.
While Rodriguez's system isn't for everyone, and it isn't conventional, it works with the right talent if run correctly. If you don't believe it, just get yourself a copy of that West Virginia vs. Georgia Sugar Bowl a few years back.
Brian Kelly wins wherever he goes. He built a winner at Central Michigan, and in Cincinnati he took the Bearcats to their first BCS Bowl in school history.
Kelly hasn't gone under the radar or unnoticed, as his name is already circulating for filled jobs. Kelly is intense and an innovator, and the players seem to like and believe in him.
If I see him walking the sidelines of a major program in the next few years, I will not be shocked.
Whether or not Chris Petersen ever wins a national title, his place in history has been cemented. Petersen has been a winner since the day he took over the Boise job, and the more he is underestimated, the tougher he is to beat.
Petersen's Broncos were 14-point underdogs to Oklahoma when the famous two-point conversion happened. Last season Boise State had a freshman QB and no expectations yet still went undefeated in the regular season, including a win over Pac-10 power Oregon.
It's just a matter of time before he's off to greener pastures.
Not too long ago, Jim Leavitt was running the South Florida football program from a trailer. Over the past few seasons Leavitt's team has been a regular in the top 25, including a brief stay in the top five two seasons ago.
Leavitt is at the point where his teams have been good for a few years, and while recruiting against Florida, Florida State, and Miami is never going to be easy, it's probably a little easier than it was.
Not much was expected from the Bulls last season as they had lost some key players. However, this year they return a ton of senior leadership on both sides of the ball; we'll really get a chance to see what Leavitt can do with a top-tier squad.
When Paul Johnson took the Georgia Tech job, many people thought his triple option offense would be his undoing. In just his first season, Johnson showed his offense works anywhere when executed correctly.
While we saw in the Chick-fil-A Bowl that Johnson's roster hasn't caught up with him talent-wise, we know it's just a matter of time before he gets the type of players that fit his scheme—and when he does, look out.
Butch Davis left Miami a year before the Hurricanes won the National Title. Most felt the Canes deserved to be in the National Title Game a year earlier as well while Davis was still there.
Davis has built winners wherever he has been, and while his sideline coaching seems to have huge mental lapses at times, he is the best evaluator of talent in the history of college football.
Davis won a national title at Miami as a defensive line coach under Jimmy Johnson, but he was the recruiting coordinator for those great teams.
Davis also turned around a program many thought was dead when he returned to Miami, and he did it once again by picking up a stockpile of talented players who were flying well under the radar.
Let's not forget that Davis won a few Super Bowl rings as well as an assistant in Dallas. If he gets his national title in Chapel Hill, is anyone too surprised?