This is the opposite side of the coin from my prior article, "College Football's Top Turnaround Programs After Week Six."
The turnaround teams here are heading the wrong direction from their more hopeful starts of 2008.
Certain schools like Arkansas and Rutgers are obviously slumping bigtime, but it's been more of an all-year deal in those cases, so I didn't include them in this list.
As always, I look forward to hearing any of your choices!
Arizona State (2-3)
Dennis Erickson expected better in his second season after a promising 2007. A home loss to UNLV in overtime started the slide, followed by a convincing home defeat to Georgia (which has since shown to be very human), followed by third straight loss, to Cal.
Wisdom has it that Dan Hawkins’ squad is a year-plus away, but a 3-0 start had some hoping it had arrived early. Since, the Buffs have been stampeded by Florida State and Texas by a combined 42 points, though.
East Carolina (3-2)
The Pirates developed into an early Cinderella story, but the slipper was never found. After some impressive early victories that had Skip Holtz’s squad at 3-0, ECU dropped two to mediocre opponents (North Carolina State and Houston). The week off hopefully helped rejuvenate and heal injured psyches and bodies.
Florida Atlantic (1-4)
Howard Schnellenberger’s program was expected to make some national noise but was hushed by Texas in the first game and hasn’t recovered despite a brief attempt. It managed to split two games after, looking respectable even in the loss, but was since hammered by Minnesota (after beating the Gophers last year) and felled by Middle Tennessee State.
It’s a bit of a challenge to put the Hawkeyes in this list despite their three-game losing streak, because all three came against solid programs and could have gone either way. Still, the Hawkeyes must pull some of these out to be a high-level program.
What happened to the Thundering Herd program that recalls the likes of Byron Leftwich and Randy Moss? After suffering an early shellacking at Wisconsin, the program righted itself with wins over Memphis and Southern Miss. Since then, it allowed severely struggling West Virginia to get up off the mat and followed that with a drubbing from so-so Cincinnati, 33-10.