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Gridiron Grief: College Football's Most Miserable Fan Bases through Week 5

Tom BaerCorrespondent IOctober 6, 2010

Gridiron Grief: College Football's Most Miserable Fan Bases through Week 5

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    Richt and Murray are taking much of the heat for the Bulldogs slow start.Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    There's no crying in football.

    Or is there?

    Through five weeks the college football season has produced an array of positive stories: Alabama's dominance; Denard Robinson's run for the Heisman; Oregon's point-a-minute offense.

    But for every yin there's a yang, for every Alabama there's a Georgia.

    The following 13 programs' fans foresaw a smile-filled season, and, with several weeks remaining, that could still be the case.

    But as it stands, these teams' supporters are crying over spilt opportunities, failed execution, and unrealistic expectations.

13. Boise State

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    Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

    Results (4-0, 1-0 WAC, No. 4)

    • Virginia Tech, W 33-30
    • @ Wyoming, W 51-6
    • Oregon State, W 37-24
    • @ New Mexico State, W 59-0

     

    Why So Glum?

    While the results have Broncos fans jubilant—4-0 with two signature wins versus BCS opponents—the Smurf Turf crew is now farther away from a national championship shot than it was one week ago.

    After Oregon chopped down Stanford, the Ducks leaped Boise State to No. 3. And with undefeated Nebraska and Oklahoma close behind, one of those squads is likely to ascend ahead of BSU in the rankings in the coming weeks.

    In the end, then, Boise State fans might again have to wait for that much-desired shot at the BCS National Championship Game; a 12-0 record probably won't do, especially with the Broncos' remaining schedule (only Nevada is a "quality" opponent). And that is definitely a reason for Boise backers to feel blue.

12. Louisiana State

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Results (5-0, 3-0 SEC, No. 9)

    • North Carolina, W 30-24
    • @ Vanderbilt, W 27-3
    • Mississippi State, W 29-7
    • West Virginia, W 20-14
    • Tennessee, W 16-14

     

    Why So Glum?

    Undefeated but ugly.

    Between Les Miles' clock mismanagement and putrid quarterback play, the Bayou Bengals are (very) lucky to be without a loss and in the Top 10.

    If the issues continue, beating any of the four remaining ranked SEC foes in 2010 might prove difficult. Could another 9-4 or 8-5 record be on the horizon?

    These days, Les is definitely not more.

11. Cincinnati

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Results (1-3)

    • @ Fresno State, L 28-14
    • Indiana State, W 40-7
    • @ NC State, L 30-19
    • Oklahoma, L 31-29

     

    Why So Glum?

    The Bearcats have floundered after a 12-1 season during which the team nearly played for the national title. (Insert pleas for the return of Brian Kelly here.)

    Nevertheless, Cincy still has the ability to tame a weak Big East and move its fans off this list. If the Bearcats can hold off Pittsburgh (see No. 7) and West Virginia, another BCS bowl game is in store.

10. Virginia Tech

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Results (3-2, 2-0 ACC)

    • Boise State, L 33-30
    • James Madison, L 21-16
    • East Carolina, W 49-27
    • @ Boston College, W 19-0
    • @ NC State, W 41-30

     

    Why So Glum?

    With preseason thoughts of a national championship dancing in their heads, Hokies faithful learned quickly after a loss to Boise State in Week 1 that such dreams are indeed just dreams.

    The following week the nightmares began as VaTech lost to FCS James Madison.

    After three straight wins, however, Virginia Tech seems to be on the right track. Already 2-0 in a watered-down ACC, the BCS could come a-calling in January.  

9. North Carolina

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    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    Results (2-2, 0-1 ACC)

    • LSU, L 30-24
    • Georgia Tech, L 30-24
    • @ Rutgers, W 17-13
    • East Carolina, W 42-17

     

    Why So Glum?

    North Carolina, in theory, has its best team in years, especially on defense. In fact, the Tar Heels stood mightily, ranked No. 18 coming into the season.

    But after suspensions and losses in the first two games, UNC is no longer a story in college football.

    Still, with no clear-cut favorite in the ACC Coastal, perhaps Carolina can turn fans' sadness into elation. Only Virginia Tech, Miami (FL), and Georgia Tech stand between the Tar Heels and the ACC Championship Game.

8. Brigham Young

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Results (1-4, 0-1 MWC)

    • Washington, W 23-17
    • @ Air Force, L 35-14
    • @ Florida State, L 34-10
    • Nevada, L 27-13
    • @ Utah State, L 31-16

     

    Why So Glum?

    After a Week 1 victory and No. 24 ranking, the Cougars have tanked...big.

    And their four losses were not nip-and-tuck; opponents have clubbed the Cougars in each game since the team's opening win over the University of Jake Locker. 

    Right now there's nothing to be happy about in Provo, especially with San Diego State and No. 5 TCU on the docket the next two weeks.

7. Pittsburgh

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    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Results (2-2)

    • @ Utah, L 27-24 (OT)
    • New Hampshire, W 38-16
    • Miami (FL), L 31-3
    • Florida International, W 44-17

    Why So Glum?

    Pitt came into 2010 ranked No. 15, but an overtime loss to Utah and a Miami (FL) declawing have the Panthers outside the Top 25 looking in.

    To add injury to insult, Dion Lewis, one of the nation's best rushers as a freshman last season, is nursing a bum shoulder...and a sophomore slump.

    The dreadful Big East is still available for the taking, so don't despair too much, Pitt fans. 

6. Tennessee

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    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    Results (2-3, 0-2 SEC)

    • Tennessee-Martin, W 50-0
    • Oregon, L 48-13
    • Florida, L 31-17
    • Alabama-Birmingham, W 32-29 (OT)
    • @ LSU, L 16-14

     

    Why So Glum?

    Why not so glum?

    After blowout losses to Oregon and Florida—and a squeaker against UAB at home—the Vols have little chance to reach last season's pedestrian 7-6 mark. 

    Tennessee did show some semblance of a spark in last week's loss in Baton Rouge, but, these days, hanging with LSU isn't that difficult.

    So fans, do you miss Lane Kiffin yet?

5. Florida

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Results (4-1, 2-1 SEC, No. 12)

    • Miami (OH), W 34-12
    • South Florida, W 38-14
    • @ Tennessee, W 31-17
    • Kentucky, W 48-14
    • @ Alabama, L 31-6

     

    Why So Glum?

    John Brantley is no Tim Tebow.

    With shoddy QB play, a low-powered offense, and arrests aplenty, Florida is not, well, Florida this season.

    Though still ranked No. 12 (after a No. 3 high ranking), the Gators are a year away from contending for a national championship.

    How far away is UF? The 31-6 a**-whipping Alabama laid on Florida is a good indication of how the squad stacks up with the nation's elite.

4. Southern California

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Results (4-1, 1-1 Pac-10)

    • @ Hawaii, W 49-36
    • Virginia, W 17-14
    • @ Minnesota, W 32-21
    • @ Washington State, W 50-16
    • Washington, L 32-31

     

    Why So Glum?

    Before the loss to Washington, Trojan fans were already dispirited; with the team on probation, no light exists at the end of the bowl tunnel.

    And after the loss to UW, some wish Lane Kiffin was still in Knoxville.

    The Trojans are still a threat in the Pac-10, but does it mean anything? After the UCLA game, the season is over...no bowling allowed. 

3. Notre Dame

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Record (2-3)

    • Purdue, W 24-12
    • Michigan, L 28-24
    • @ Michigan State, L 34-31 (OT)
    • Stanford, L 37-14
    • @ Boston College, W 31-13

     

    Why So Glum?

    Different coach, same story.

    Brian Kelly inherited an Irish program that had a cumulative 16-21 record the last three years.

    And this year the .500-or-below trend appears intact.

    With little speed on defense, quicker opponents' offenses, like Michigan's and Stanford's, have traumatized Notre Dame.

    The silver lining: If Kelly recruits speed, ND might have a permanent spot off this list in years to come.

2. Texas

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Record (3-2, 1-1 Big 12)

    • Rice, W 34-17
    • Wyoming, W 34-7
    • @ Texas Tech, W 24-14
    • UCLA, L 34-12
    • Oklahoma, L 28-20

     

    Why So Glum?

    Call it a Colt McCoy hangover.

    After a high ranking of No. 4 two weeks ago, the Longhorns have exited the polls for the first time in 10 years.

    The devastating home loss to UCLA in Week 4, especially, proves that Texas is far from last season's BCS National Championship Game participant. And with No. 6 Nebraska on deck, the losing streak should move to three games.

1. Georgia

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Record (1-4, 0-3 SEC)

    • Louisiana-Lafayette, W 55-7
    • @ South Carolina, L 17-6
    • Arkansas, L 31-24
    • @ Mississippi State, L 24-12
    • @ Colorado, L 29-27

     

    Why So Glum?

    Where to begin?

    After an opening week throttling of Louisiana-Lafeyette, UGA has suffered four straight defeats and sits at 0-3 in the brutal SEC.

    With freshman QB Aaron Murray learning on the job—and a team full of young talent—the Bulldogs should be quite good the next several seasons.

    But will future potential be enough to keep Mark Richt employed at the University of Georgia?

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