Eight College Football Programs That Aren't as Good as They Should Be
In college football, you have the elites. The Southern Cals, the Oklahomas, the Alabamas, the Floridas, etc.
You also have the good programs on the cusp of being elite, such as Auburn, Boise State, and Oregon.
Then you have the bad teams. The Western Kentuckys and Eastern Michigans of the world. You don't want to be a part of this group.
One big gray area is the college teams that should be elite but never take advantage. Who are the poster boys for this group?
They have all you can ask for from a top SEC team. A passionate fan base, a huge stadium, a good coach, and an awesome mascot. What's the problem?
Well, while they have fielded some good teams the last decade, they haven't fielded an elite team yet.
Keep in mind that the article is "Programs that aren't as good as they should be," not "bad programs that should be good".
Georgia has a good program, but with better recruiting, they would be awesome. Think about it.... all that high school talent in the state of Georgia could be theirs, but instead they let the likes of Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, and Clemson dig into the state and take most of the talent.
If UGA could rule the state of Georgia, they would be awesome. If they had ruled the state of Georgia the last decade, there would be a crystal ball in Athens.
UCLA has Los Angeles, a good history of athletics, and the Rose Bowl at its disposal. But why haven't they dominated in the Pac-10?
One big reason: That other school across the city. USC has been a thorn in UCLA's side... actually, make that a SWORD in UCLA's side.
With the right coaches in place and fan support, UCLA could be something special.
If you were the coach and had all the things they somewhat lack right now, including elite recruiting (Actually, UCLA's recent class was good), you could win a BCS National Championship with California-Los Angeles.
If you want to talk about conference titles, nobody in the ACC has been better than Clemson, who has amassed 13 ACC Titles in their history.
But they haven't won one in about 20 years. They were very close to winning it last year, but fell just short of being the first four-loss team to make a BCS Bowl.
Still, Clemson has taken the back seat to other ACC teams, and Tigers faithful are still waiting for the year Clemson returns to glory.
Dabo Swinney looks like the guy, and I think Clemson might be the first one to come off of this list.
But right now, they aren't as good of a football program as they should be, as they are easily one of the 20 best college football teams of all time.
By now, you've seen the guy in the picture plenty of times. Heisman hopeful Jake Locker.
He also has a great coach in Steve Sarkisian. Still, Jake Locker has gone 5-11 in the last two years when starting (0-4 in 2008 before he was injured).
UW is a proud program, but the 0-12 disaster of 2008 is still in the minds of some.
While they are leaps and bounds better than 2008 and probably even 2009, they still haven't made a bowl game since the 34-24 loss to Purdue in the 2002 Sun Bowl.
They are surely on the upswing, but right now, they are still not as good as they should be...especially with a QB who is basically Tebow West.
They've had a pretty good history, but let's face it: They are just flat out bad right now.
They went just 2-10 in 2009 (OT win over James Madison and upset of Clemson). Ralph Friedgen, once considered a hot new coach, is now on a boiling hot seat. Maryland cannot afford another disaster.
They've had their years, and last year was not one of them.
With the beautiful campus and city of College Park, along with the good talent in the state, Maryland should be better than they are.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
Lately, they have really struggled against the bigger Big 10 programs.
They have been ranked in 4 weeks since the 2005 season, going no higher than No. 18. But that doesn't indicate the slump that most Minnesota fans don't tolerate.
Minnesota has six National Championships to their name and a shiny new stadium they broke in last year.
Most believe they shouldn't be in Music City Bowls or Insight Bowls. It's been a while since they have smelt the roses.
West Virginia Mountaineers
The 2007 season is a perfect example. Ranked No. 2 in the country, a win over lowly Pitt in Morgantown would send them to the National Championship to try to win their first in school history.
But Pat White went down with an injury. West Virginia couldn't move the ball all night, and Pitt came away with a stunning upset, 13-9, spoiling BCS hopes of Mountaineers fans.
They are one of the best teams ever, if not the best, to not win a national title.
Like I said, 2007 said it all. If they can start to win the ones that matter, including tough road games, they can compete for national titles.
Until then, they'll have to settle for "almost."
NC State Wolfpack
They might be the poster boy for this class of teams.
They have everything: Beautiful campus. Some of the best facilities in the nation. Passionate and incredibly loyal fans. They are right in the middle of a recruiting mecca.
So why haven't they been one of the best teams in the ACC? For starters, recruiting has been TERRIBLE.
They are in a great area for getting five-star athletes, and yet their recruiting has been some of the worst among BCS teams.
They have everything in place besides recruiting and, no offense, coaching.
Let's say you're the coach here. If you could coach better defense and recruit top 10 classes every year, you could bring a crystal ball to Raleigh. NC State has so much potential to be a powerhouse. They just need the right guy.