Which programs could be better?

#1

05_never_again

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#1
More offseason thread ideas...

Which football programs that don't have a lot of historical success (over whichever time frame you like) do y'all think "could be" or "should be" better than what they are? Perhaps a program that isn't historically great despite being a big school in a good recruiting area, a sleeping giant-type program that could be good but the admin doesn't make it a priority, etc.?

Two immediately come to my mind - North Carolina (there's an obvious why they aren't though) and Texas A&M. Could also throw Ole Miss and South Carolina in there. Perhaps even Memphis to a lesser extent; they were they so terrible until Justin Fuente got there?
 
#8

iuvol2012

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#8
Indiana. Considering the money and resources they've put into football lately, they should be consistently in bowl games year in and year out.
 
#10

DiderotsGhost

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#10
North Carolina and Maryland are the two that always come to mind to me. Also agree with LW on Illinois.

Can't say I agree on Ole Miss and South Carolina. SC didn't really become competitive on many fronts until the 00's (recruiting, facilities, support, etc). And Ole Miss has never really had the same advantages as places like Bama, us, Georgia, and Florida.

But UNC and Maryland should both have been way more successful than they have been. Both are in good recruiting territory. Both are flagship state schools. Both have immense advantages. And both have mostly been mediocre at football.

With Illinois, the contrast between them and Michigan is very dramatic. Should have similar advantages, but one is a powerhouse in football (and basketball) and the other has sucked for most of its history at football (and off-and-on with basketball).

Georgia Tech
I would say GT has been immensely successful historically; just not so much lately. They do have one major disadvantage, though, in that they are basically an engineering / tech school with extremely high academic standards. Though, I still think they made a major mistake hiring Paul Johnson. He's a great coach, but GT can recruit top athletes; they didn't need to adopt a "service academy strategy"; it has hurt them over the long-run. Paul Johnson would've made more sense at Vandy than GT.
 
#12

05_never_again

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#12
Can't say I agree on Ole Miss and South Carolina. SC didn't really become competitive on many fronts until the 00's (recruiting, facilities, support, etc). And Ole Miss has never really had the same advantages as places like Bama, us, Georgia, and Florida.
I included Ole Miss because they have money, fans/admin/boosters who really want to win, and are located right in the middle of a talent pool (the State of Mississippi itself, West Tennessee, Louisiana, etc.). Of course, they have to go head-to-head against bigger schools for that talent, but that brings up the question "Why have those bigger schools become the bigger schools to begin with?" The gap between Ole Miss and schools like Alabama, LSU, Auburn, etc. was nowhere near as big 40 years ago, but it became that way over time. I've heard that integration disproportionately hurt them. I agree that South Carolina didn't become competitive until the 2000s...the question then is why? South Carolina has great location relative to a talent pool, yet has a virtual total lack of historical success.

UVA is an interesting one, as is Georgia Tech. Especially Tech. Both are academically-focused institutions that aren't going to sell out their reputation to be really good at football. Having said that, Georgia Tech is located in the epicenter of the single-best metro area on the planet for CFB recruiting, and it does seem like they could be better at football if they wanted to. Hell, they even have a more recent national title than Georgia does. I don't think it's really part of the culture of the institution to be good at football. Totally anecdotal, but at the 2017 season opener against them, 75% of the Tech students who were there were engineering nerds who were on their phones the entire time. When they got stopped on the 2-point play in OT, a group of about 5 of them in front of us looked up from their phones, said "What happened?", laughed when they saw they got stopped, and walked out.
 
#14

Boston Vol

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#14
I included Ole Miss because they have money, fans/admin/boosters who really want to win, and are located right in the middle of a talent pool (the State of Mississippi itself, West Tennessee, Louisiana, etc.). Of course, they have to go head-to-head against bigger schools for that talent, but that brings up the question "Why have those bigger schools become the bigger schools to begin with?" The gap between Ole Miss and schools like Alabama, LSU, Auburn, etc. was nowhere near as big 40 years ago, but it became that way over time. I've heard that integration disproportionately hurt them. I agree that South Carolina didn't become competitive until the 2000s...the question then is why? South Carolina has great location relative to a talent pool, yet has a virtual total lack of historical success.

UVA is an interesting one, as is Georgia Tech. Especially Tech. Both are academically-focused institutions that aren't going to sell out their reputation to be really good at football. Having said that, Georgia Tech is located in the epicenter of the single-best metro area on the planet for CFB recruiting, and it does seem like they could be better at football if they wanted to. Hell, they even have a more recent national title than Georgia does. I don't think it's really part of the culture of the institution to be good at football. Totally anecdotal, but at the 2017 season opener against them, 75% of the Tech students who were there were engineering nerds who were on their phones the entire time. When they got stopped on the 2-point play in OT, a group of about 5 of them in front of us looked up from their phones, said "What happened?", laughed when they saw they got stopped, and walked out.
The problem at UVA over the years has been the lack of commitment from the University. That is starting to change with some major upgrades to the football facility. Al Groh proved that you can recruit really well to Charlottesville, he had multiple top 15 classes, so if the university will continue to invest in the program, they have a chance to be consistent 8-win type of program.
 
#15

Tennesseefan2019

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#15
Here are a 10 teams I think fit that description

Georgia Tech
Texas
USC
North Carolina
Miami
Arizona State
Stanford
BYU
Colorado
Syracuse
 
#16

Boston Vol

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#16
Here are a 10 teams I think fit that description

Georgia Tech
Texas
USC
North Carolina
Miami
Arizona State
Stanford
BYU
Colorado
Syracuse
I don’t think that anyone would argue that Tx, USC, and Miami should be better, but I think that the OP was shooting more for programs that’s haven’t been as historically relevant as they should be. I agree with you on Colorado. That’s one I forgot. They should be a consistently competitive program. Solid recruiting base, great location to recruit to and a really underrated facility.
 
#17

joevol33

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#17
I don’t think that anyone would argue that Tx, USC, and Miami should be better, but I think that the OP was shooting more for programs that’s haven’t been as historically relevant as they should be. I agree with you on Colorado. That’s one I forgot. They should be a consistently competitive program. Solid recruiting base, great location to recruit to and a really underrated facility.
I kinda figured after they legalized marijuana, that the whole state would grow, and result in a better team eventually.
 
#18

RDU VOL#14

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#18
More offseason thread ideas...

Which football programs that don't have a lot of historical success (over whichever time frame you like) do y'all think "could be" or "should be" better than what they are? Perhaps a program that isn't historically great despite being a big school in a good recruiting area, a sleeping giant-type program that could be good but the admin doesn't make it a priority, etc.?

Two immediately come to my mind - North Carolina (there's an obvious why they aren't though) and Texas A&M. Could also throw Ole Miss and South Carolina in there. Perhaps even Memphis to a lesser extent; they were they so terrible until Justin Fuente got there?
The term sleeping giant has never been used more than it does to describe UNC’s football program. I’ve been hearing this since I was a kid. If they’re a sleeping giant, we might as well call it a coma.

Georgia Tech and UVA were good in the early 90’s, especially bringing in good talent.

I would say Syracuse might belong in this discussion. They have a good history, a unique setting, it’s a very good school and it’s the only school in the Northeast that competitive in P5 football.
 
#24

05_never_again

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#24
The term sleeping giant has never been used more than it does to describe UNC’s football program. I’ve been hearing this since I was a kid. If they’re a sleeping giant, we might as well call it a coma.

Georgia Tech and UVA were good in the early 90’s, especially bringing in good talent.

I would say Syracuse might belong in this discussion. They have a good history, a unique setting, it’s a very good school and it’s the only school in the Northeast that competitive in P5 football.
I think it's more like a sleeping giant that intentionally is being kept sleeping because ultimately they don't really care about football. Even though there's way more money to be made as a football school. No school really chooses to be a basketball school.
 
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#25

MemphisVol77

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#25
Perhaps even Memphis to a lesser extent; they were they so terrible until Justin Fuente got there?
They're presently at their apex. I'll be happy for our Tiger High little brother if they sustain it, but I'm skeptical.

Norvell turned into a good hire after Fuente but even that was the first time in their programs history they've managed to pull off back to back good HC's.

Off returning talent they should be competitive in 2020, but I won't be the least bit surprised if they begin a gradual slide and taper off into mediocrity after this coming 2020 season. Now that coaching is seemingly settled in the SEC at Ark, Ole Miss, Miss St., & UT they won't be able to punch above their weight and grab recruits that finish out the bottom of SEC classes.

I think Tommy West summed up Tiger High pretty succinctly with his scorched earth exit interview after he was fired a decade ago. Paraphrasing, "Until UofM becomes willing to commit finances & facilities to the football program they will never be more than a midtier program that occasionally overachievs"..

I thought after losing Norvell they should have made a run at H. Freeze(he could have made a great prodigal son returning home redemption story), or gone after an established HC if the administration was serious about building a sustainable program.

Instead they stuck to their historical norm and went cheap with an in house promotion. They lucked into Fuentes & Norvell, there's little to no reason to expect them to sustain overachieving coach hires. Their facilities and decrepit stadium don't attract a higher pedigree than G5 recruits.
 

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