College Football's Top Five Programs on the Decline

WVU FanContributor IAugust 28, 2008

College football is exciting for its ups and downs, but if you stay down too long, you may find yourself on the outside looking in. This is a list of college football programs that are in need of a turnaround.


5. Notre Dame

Notre Dame is mentioned with the likes of the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees. They are considered college football's most storied program. They brought in "offensive genius" Charlie Weiss to bring the program back to a high level, which has not quite worked out.

The Irish are coming of a horrible 3-9 season. Not only did they lose, but they had the worst offense in the country, averaging 230 yards per game. If things don't pick up, this former championship contender just may find itself at the top of this list.


4. Michigan

Michigan's last two seasons were as different as black and white. In 2006, they were unbeaten going into the Ohio State game. They lost that game and a shot at a national title, and followed that up with a loss to USC in the Rose Bowl.

Turn the page to 2007. The usual high expectations were quickly extinguished by losing to Div. 1 Football Championship Subdivision Appalachian State in Week One, and then getting routed by Oregon the following week. They ended with a bowl victory over Florida, but Lloyd Carr's time as coach was over.

Enter Rich Rodriguez. Rodriguez brings an explosive offense that put WVU on the map, but lost his main skill players and his quarterbacks. He was counting on Terrell Pryor to run his offense, but Pryor opted for Ohio State, which is already dominating the Big Ten. Michigan is in rebuilding mode, and, if things don't change and Michigan doesn't catch up with Ohio State, Rodriguez could be on his way out.


3. Penn State

Many are calling for coach Joe Paterno to step down, and the reason is not just his age. Penn State is clearly not a factor in the national title picture like it once was.

Once a perennial top ten team, Penn State is not even in the same class as Ohio State, which is at the top of the Big Ten. You know the program is on the decline when Joe Paterno, who is second in all-time wins, is being urged to step down.


2. Miami

When you thought about Miami in past years, words like "dominant" and "National Champs" came to mind. Nowadays, things have changed drastically. Since 2002, Miami's last title game appearance, the Canes have all but fallen off the map.

They departed the Big East in 2004, hoping to make the ACC a power conference; however, the Canes have since struggled to become bowl eligable. This program has not even won a conference title, and the Canes are quickly becoming mediocre.


1. Florida State

From 1992 to 2005, FSU won 12 ACC titles and two national titles. In 2005, they ended in a tie for the conference title and played in a BCS game; it has been downhill from there.

Coach Bobby Bowden, who leads in all-time wins in college football, is now losing recruits to other in-state teams such as Florida and South Florida. The Seminoles were once feared, but now other teams are feasting on them. FSU's fall from the top of the college football world lands them at No. 1 on my list.