College Football's Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Crash Dive From Success

BabyTateSenior Writer IJuly 31, 2009

Have you ever seen Irwin Allen's science fiction film Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

It concerns a futuristic submarine that can go lower in the ocean than any craft in history.

In the past 20 years, there are some fans who must feel that they have taken a ride to the bottom of the sea with their favorite team.

Not to say there have not been worse jobs by some coaches or worse seasons by other teams.

The truth is there is something just irritating about having a solid winning program that goes down lower than anyone would expect.

The following is a list of such circumstances.

5. Jack Crowe, Arkansas, 1990-92 (part): 9 Wins, 15 Losses

Crowe took over a program that had gone 10-2 in each of the previous two seasons and drove it into the ground.

He was released after losing to The Citadel in the first game of 1992.

He resurfaced at Jacksonville State in Alabama, where he has produced six straight winning seasons.

4. "Professor" John Thompson, East Carolina, 2003-04: 3 Wins, 20 Losses

Steve Logan had performed well for several years as head coach of the Pirates. But after a losing season in 2002, a decision was made to let him find work elsewhere.

Enter The Professor.

Coach Thompson is a defensive genius, no doubt about it. However, he is too smart for his own good.

His players simply could not grasp his system, and he was asked to leave after two seasons.

He currently serves under Bill Curry at Georgia State. Of course, Ga. State will not field a team until next season so perhaps he can work on his communication skills.

There are such things as two syllable words you know. 

3. Joe Krivak, Maryland, 1987-91: 20 Wins, 34 Losses

Following Bobby Ross at Maryland was a bad idea, for Terp fans and for Krivak.

Coach Ross had led the Terrapin program to 39 wins against 19 losses from 1982-86.

Krivak is an acceptable X and O man, a good technical person, and a gentleman.

Inspirational, he is not. He was shown the door in '91.

Today he regularly appears at his football camps for youngsters.

2. John Blake, Oklahoma, 1996-98: 12 wins, 22 Losses

There is an old saying about not letting your mouth write a check that your hind end cannot cash.

Such is the case with former Sooner coach Barry Switzer, who rammed the inexperienced Blake down the throat of OU officials until he was hired.

Blake is unique in that he took one of the greatest programs of all time and turned it into a punching bag for conference rivals. Not many people can do that.

Following the worst era in Sooner history, Blake was replaced by Bob Stoops, and we all know how that has turned out.

Supporters of Blake like to say he is a great recruiter. 

He has since resurfaced as an assistant in the SEC, Big 12, and ACC.

1. Bill Lewis, Ga. Tech, 1992-94: 11 Wins, 19 Losses

Where does one begin with Bill Lewis?

He was a head coach for nine seasons around the country. He had two winning seasons during that time; one of them was a 6-5 year at East Carolina.

In 1990 Georgia Tech won the National Championship, blitzing Nebraska 45-21 on New Year's Day, under the leadership of coach Bobby Ross. 

The Jackets followed that with an eight-win year in 1991, and Bobby was off to other ventures.

Bill Lewis stumbled upon a phenomenal quarterback named Jeff Blake and went 11-1 at East Carolina in 1991. For this miracle, Lewis was named College Coach of the Year.

The Yellow Jackets had their pick of coaches and chose this current hot commodity.

He performed magic by taking the Rambling Wreck from undefeated national champion in '90 to 1-10 in '94.

Gratefully, he slid out the door after the eighth game of the year.

He was replaced by George O'Leary. Perhaps the Tech people were impressed with his résumé. 

Not everyone can always be a winner.

The trap doors of the trade are likely to spring open on anyone when you least expect it. Just ask Phil Fulmer.


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