College football always has been a sport where teams rise and fall depending on the head coach and also graduating players. This isn’t the NFL where a team can possibly ride a star quarterback for a decade. But, even though players come and go quickly, there are programs that have been great for their history, even though it hasn’t shown lately. While everyone has a down year or two, some of the teams who used to be among the best nearly all the time have been stinking it up for a while now. It makes for a cranky fan base and a miserable atmosphere for the coaches when the school is used to winning, but things are not going well. Here are some of these teams:
Tennessee- An all-time record of 811-367-54 makes Tennessee one of the best of all time in college football. UT has won 13 SEC Championships and 26 bowls with 24 losses. They were a powerhouse program in the 1990s with Coach Phil Fulmer and quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tee Martin. Under Martin the Vols won the 1998 BCS National Championship. However, things have not gone well over the last few seasons for the Vols. They have now lost to rival Florida for 11 straight years, Alabama eight straight and Georgia five straight times.
Tennessee has not won more than seven times in any season since they won 10 games and the SEC East in 2007. Only twice since 2008 has Tennessee finished with a winning record, in 2009 and 2014 at 7-6. This season was supposed to be the year the Vols got back to being a contender, but here they sit after five weeks at 2-3 and 0-2 in the SEC.
Nebraska- The Cornhuskers are 876-364-40 all time. They have won five national championships and 46 conference championships. For decades, Nebraska just ran over teams, even in their conference. In the 1990s, the Cornhuskers won three national championships in a four-year stretch. But in the 2000s, the Huskers have not been the Huskers of the 20th Century. They have at least four losses in every season since 2004. That may not be Tennessee bad, but for Nebraska, that is not good. This season, the Huskers are only five games into the season and lost three times, so look for that streak to continue.
Miami- The Miami Hurricanes are a team with five national championships since 1983. The Canes are 596-342-19 all time with an 18-18 bowl record and nine conference titles despite being an independent for much of their existence. Two Hurricanes have won the Heisman Trophy and countless Canes have gone on to NFL stardom. Miami’s last National Championship was in 2001 (over Nebraska) and they were robbed of a back-to-back title the following season over a controversial penalty against Ohio State. Since then the Canes have gone downhill.
Since 2006, the first of the post Larry Coker era, Miami is 66-52 and have had five seasons with at least six losses. It is to the point now under Al Golden where banner planes to have him fired are even showing up at road games.
Texas- The Texas Longhorns are so elite, they have their own TV network. They are 882-346-33 all time with four National Championships and 32 conference championships. The Longhorns have been to 53 bowl games, winning 27. They are one of the most storied programs in college football. But in the past six seasons, the Longhorns are 37-32 including 1-4 his season. Teams they used to use for doormats such as Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech are regularly beating them. And now players are checking their Twitter feeds while down 37-0 at halftime? That is just bad.
Penn State- The Nittany Lions are 849-376-42 all time with two National Championships and a bowl record of 28-15-2. Penn State owned the entire Northeast for decades and were one of those teams everyone loved to root for except for maybe Pittsburgh fans.
But we all know what happened to Penn State. They held on to their iconic coach, Joe Paterno, for way too long, and under his watch unspeakable things were going on, ruining the school’s flawless reputation. The fallout of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation crimes have had a huge effect on the team. This season’s record is 4-1, but that loss was to Temple, a team that used to be a Penn State whipping boy. This past week they beat Army 20-14. Army has a loss this season to Fordham.
Penn State’s post-Paterno record is 26-16, which might be good at some schools, but not Penn State.
Colorado- Colorado is 681-481-36 all time with one National Championship and 26 conference titles. They have been to 28 bowls and have a Heisman Trophy to their credit. While they may not be the national powers of the aforementioned schools on this list, they have a winning tradition at Colorado many schools would envy. But they have been awful in recent seasons.
Colorado is 34-80 since they last went to a bowl game in the 2005 season. So they were once 244 games over .500 and are now at 200 games over and falling. The Buffs have lost at least ten games in a season four times since 2006 and had a nine loss and eight loss season in there as well. It’s sad to see how far this program has fallen.