The 10 Most Disappointing College Football Teams of the 2009 Season

John Thomas@@JohnThomas227Correspondent IDecember 23, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 05:  Quarterback Sam Bradford #14 of the Oklahoma Sooners stands on the sidelines after suffering an injury against the Brigham Young Cougars at Cowboys Stadium on September 5, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It's Week 1. College football is finally back! And what's better is that your favorite team is in the Top 10 in the preseason polls and projected to win their conference.

At 3:30 in the afternoon, you sit down, glued to your television, ready for the opening kickoff of your team's first game of the season. You have your phone nearby, ready to brag to your friends about your amazing team.

A few hours later, you turn off the television, dumbfounded at what has just happened. Your team just got blown out by an unranked team. In the coming weeks, things continue to spiral downward. On the bright side, your team makes the Little Caesers Pizza Bowl with a 6-6 record at the end of the season. However, they proceed to lose to a team you didn't even know existed.

Are you that fan?

Then your team is probably on the upcoming list of teams. The following 10 college football teams are the 10 that, like in the scenario above, were ranked and surrounded by anticipation, only to fall short of expectations.

No. 10- Oklahoma State

Sure, the Cowboys were ranked 19th at the end of the season. But Oklahoma State fans at the beginning of the year were expecting more. They were hoping that the 'Boys could challenge Texas in the Big 12 South.

Their hopes were dashed after Texas thrashed Oklahoma State 41-14. And we can't forget the loss to Conference USA runner-up Houston early in the season. No decent team in the Big 12 should lose to any team in C-USA.

Oklahoma State actually came into their rivalry game against Oklahoma favored to win (bet you didn't see that coming in the preseason). However, the Cowboys disappointed again, losing to the Sooners 27-0.

No team that the Cowboys defeated this year ended in the Top 25. All of these are reasons why Oklahoma State is No. 10 in the list of this year's most disappointing teams.

No. 9- Michigan

Big Blue was hoping that they could return to glory this year. Things began well. The Wolverines started the season 4-0, including a win over rival Notre Dame. Michigan finished the year on a 1-7 losing streak, with their only win coming over cupcake Delaware State.

1-7 was also the Wolverines' Big Ten record, with their lone victory coming over Indiana.

This year marked the second straight losing season for the Wolverines. If Rich Rodriguez wants to stay employed, he needs to return the Michigan program at least to a bowl game. The departure from tradition is one reason why Michigan is No. 9 on the list of this year's most disappointing teams.

No. 8- Kansas

The story of Kansas' season is nearly a mirror image of Michigan's, but just a little worse. The Jayhawks started the season 5-0. They then proceeded to reel off seven straight losses, leaving them with a 5-7 record on the season.

Kansas did not defeat a team that ended ranked in the Top 25. The Jayhawks only defeated one team that finished above .500 (Southern Miss).

Ready for basketball season, Jayhawk fans?

The Jayhawks were ranked as high as 16th this season, one reason why Kansas is No. 8 on the list of this year's most disappointing teams.

No. 7- Notre Dame

It's the same old story for ole Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish came into the season with their ever-present gigantic expectations. They were ranked in the preseason poll. The Irish opened their season 6-2, with one loss coming to rival USC, a game in which Notre Dame had a chance to win in the closing seconds.

It was all downhill from there.

The Irish finished 0-4, with surprising losses to Navy and Connecticut. The loss to the Midshipmen was their second in three years.

Notre Dame finished 6-6 and missed a shot at a bowl game. Thanks to this, the coaching carousel continues. Charlie Weis is out and Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly is in after leading the Bearcats to an undefeated season and a BCS bowl berth. Personally, I believe Kelly is ruining his career. I don't see Notre Dame returning to glory in the foreseeable future

There are many reasons why Notre Dame is No. 7 on the list of this year's most disappointing teams.

No. 6- Florida State

Early in the season, Florida State was ranked 18th in the country. The Seminoles had knocked off seventh-ranked BYU. Things were going well in Tallahassee.

Unfortunately for Florida State fans, it was not a return to glory. The Seminoles then lost two straight games to South Florida and Boston College and finished the season just 6-6.

In addition, long-time Seminole head coach Bobby Bowden is retiring after Florida State's bowl game against West Virginia.

The impact of Bowden's retirement will be interesting to watch. Florida State hasn't had a 10-win season since 2003. A change of pace could be good for the Seminoles. Or it could take them further away from where they want to go. Either way, I don't see Florida State making a return to the top anytime soon.

Another season short of expectations is one reason why Florida State is No. 6 on the list of this year's most disappointing teams.

No. 5- California

This one is difficult for me.

Not because I am a California fan. I'm a loyal North Carolina supporter.

But earlier in the season, I touted California as my national championship sleeper pick. I believed that the Golden Bears would take down USC and win the Pac-10.

I was wrong.

I saw California demolish their first three opponents and believed that the Bears were the team to beat in the Pac-10. I also thought that running back Jahvid Best was a Heisman sleeper.

Wrong again.

After winning their first three games, Cal was simply destroyed by Oregon 42-3. One week later, USC knocked off the Golden Bears 30-3. The Bears went from being ranked sixth in the country to being unranked. Washington added to the disappointment of California's season by demolishing them in the final game of the season, 42-10.

Getting blown out in all of their losses is one reason why California is No. 5 on the list of this year's most disappointing teams.

No. 4- Georgia

The Bulldogs began the season ranked 13th in the country. Expectations were high, even after losing star players Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno to the NFL.

Georgia fans quickly realized that this could be a difficult season for the Dawgs.

Oklahoma State defeated Georgia 24-10 on the opening week of the season. The Bulldogs are typically competitive against conference rivals. However, this year, Georgia was blown out by Florida and lost to Tennessee and Kentucky, two games that the Bulldogs should have never lost.

The Bulldogs ended the season unranked with a record of 7-5, their lowest win total this decade. That is one reason why Georgia is No. 4 on the list of this year's most disappointing teams.

No. 3- USC

Number three is not just Southern Cal's position in this countdown. It is also the highest ranking of the Trojans this year. USC ended the season 24th in the country, with an 8-4 record.

Things started well for the men of Troy. USC defeated Ohio State in the second week of the season. It looked like they were well on their way to competing for another national title.

The following week, the Trojans had a bit of a letdown, losing to unranked Washington 16-13. USC then rolled off four straight wins. Everyone thought that the Trojans were back.

Southern Cal would go on to lose three of their last five games, including a 47-20 loss at the hands of Oregon and a 55-21 loss to Stanford.

The Trojans' eight wins is their lowest win total since 2001. Southern Cal's fall from the top is one reason why USC is No. 3 on the list of this year's most disappointing teams.

No. 2- Mississippi

The Rebels began the season ranked eighth in the country and touted by many to be the challenger to Florida, LSU, and Alabama in the SEC. Ole Miss started the season like everyone expected, climbing the rankings to fourth in the Week Three poll.

That Thursday the Rebels would travel to South Carolina where they were defeated by the Gamecocks, 16-10.

Two weeks later, the Ole Miss players had a chance to redeem themselves against the Alabama Crimson Tide. They would fall short, losing 22-3.

Mississippi would go on to lose two games to lower-caliber teams. Auburn defeated them 33-20, and Mississippi State defeated the Rebels in the final week of the season, 41-27.

Ole Miss finished the season unranked, falling far short of their SEC title aspirations. That is one reason why Mississippi is No. 2 on the list of this year's most disappointing teams.

No. 1- Oklahoma

Sure, maybe part of the Sooners' downfall was due to the injury to Heisman-winning quarterback Sam Bradford.

But, the criteria set at the beginning of the article are clear. These teams are those who were ranked and surrounded by anticipation, but would finish short of their expectations.

Oklahoma came nowhere close to their preseason expectations.

The Sooners began the season No. 3 in the preseason poll. They would quickly fall from that position after losing to BYU in Week 1. During that game, Sam Bradford would injure his throwing shoulder, keeping him from action for several weeks.

During Bradford's absence, the Sooners would fall to Miami (FL), 21-20. When he returned to face Texas in the Red River Rivalry, Bradford would re-injure his shoulder, knocking him out for the season. The Longhorns would go on to win the game, 16-13.

Later in the season, Oklahoma would fall to Nebraska and get blown out by Texas Tech and finish the season with a 7-5 record; their lowest win total since 1999.

Considering that Oklahoma was considered by many to be a serious national championship contender, and that they would finish the season unranked, the decision is clear. Those reasons show why Oklahoma is No. 1 on the list of this year's most disappointing teams


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