Which P5 teams will not ascend to the heights of their once storied programs?

This tweet for me thinking about what are programs that will never recover back to their heights of yesteryear? The obvious Ivy League teams are there but what P5 teams will not ascend to the heights of their once storied programs?

Here is article Kyle was talking about.

https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/28021916/is-nebraska-fo...

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Comments

I thought of Michigan before I even finished reading the title.

"I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible." -Justin Fuente

My 2019 Season Challenge: only comment with Star Wars memes. (completed as of Nov. 29)

They're a blue blood. They have the history, support and resources to be back at any time

Recruit Prosim

This probably isn't what everyone wants to hear, but I'm very skeptical that we'll ever get back to the heights we once achieved. The current landscape of cash and recruiting ruling everything is leading to an environment that will continue to widen the gap between the haves and the relative have-nots. Combine that with hudl and recruiting camps providing access for more national brands to come in and recruit the areas that we used to have control over leads to the belief that we'll be at a consistent talent disadvantage compared to the big time programs that we'll have to compete against to get back to our peak. Can we win a conference championship every once in a while? Absolutely. But I have my doubts that we'll be able to do it with any regularity, and having to beat Clemson/FSU and then another playoff quality team to reach the MNC will be close to impossible imo.

I honestly thought that's where Fireman was going with this

"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

Realistically what was the normal for Tech though then? They never won a NC and were the only tram to even reach the game with such a small football budget. I'd say Tech's normal highs were conference championships, 10 wins or more and playing in a now NY6 bowl (BCS). I think Tech could get back there.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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This I agree with

"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

You're not wrong. I started that post with the intention of saying I don't think we'll be winning conference championships as frequently as we did in the 00's, but it kind of spiraled from there haha

This was my thought when I read VT im the Twitter replies. We don't have near as far to go because our glory wasn't every really that high. I mean we had 2 special years but our highlight of 10 win 2000s seasons. Yeah we can probably make it back to that just based on how the landscape of cfb is.

(add if applicable) /s

"If Fu goes to 2 acc champ games in 4 years, I will never criticize him again." - dcwilson

Do you have a link to the quote in your sig?

Link
(From "2020 RB CJ Beasley decommits from the Hokies")

Honestly, during our peak the only elite-level team we really had to compete with in-conference was Miami, and we only beat them once in a season where they finished in the top ten nationally (2003, a season where we didn't even sniff national relevance after that win). Most of our Big East success came with Miami in a relative lull between the elite-level Erickson years and the absolutely stacked rosters Butch Davis made possible in the early '00s, and all of our ACC success came as Larry Coker was driving the program into the ground, and Florida State had already slipped from being the powerhouse they were for the first 9 seasons in the ACC. And then, our falloff towards the end of Beamer's career coincided nicely with Clemson's rise to elite status, meaning that we've never really been a national contender while sharing a conference with another national contender.

I'm not sure if this means we need the Dabo dynasty to fall before we can rise again, but it would certainly make a recovery that much easier.

I think you could make an argument that if Miami hadn't been on probation in the mid 90s, VT never breaks through. That's an oversimplification, of course, but those 95 & 96 Big East championships and the Sugar Bowl win over Texas really helped propel us to prominence. A VT with no championships probably doesn't land Michael Vick. A VT without Vick doesn't get to the MNC. No huge recruiting boosts. No sustained success. No ACC. 2019 features a plucky Virginia Tech team vying for their second ever CUSA championship and dreaming of the chance to make a school record 4th straight Bowl game. What great heights...

Why yes, I do enjoy dystopian alternate history fiction. Why do you ask?

I don't know what heights we were ever at that we can't get back to.

I think it's conceivable that VT can:

- win the Coastal
- win the ACC
- get to a major bowl game

Would take a special season (or several) to get to the playoffs and a national championship, but that's not different than any past I remember.

VT can be Clemson. No reason we can't - other than the fact that we haven't had a Sammy Watkins/Nuke Hopkins/Stephone Anthony top 10 recruiting class to jumpstart the surge. That is Dabo's secret. He didn't talk about top 5 recruiting classes, he didn't make excuses, he actually went out and got some of thevery best recruits in the country, won, and top flight players wanted to be part of that. That is what it is going to take. I'm not a recruiting rankings are the end-all guy, but despite anything else, we need more talent in the program to get to where we were in the late 90's-early 2000's. We don't need a decent top 25 class, no we need a top 5 class loaded with playmakers on both sides. Everyone said Clemson couldn't do it. Everyone mocked Dabo. Well, he hasn't won all of these games with 27th ranked classes. He got players in there. We can do it to.

Also money. Lots and lots of money.

Are you talking about recruiting budget or Clemson paying players?

Legal money. You don't have to cheat if you have practically unlimited resources.

Both - once the stupid concept of allowing players to make money off their name gets implemented.

I 100% agree that cash rules recruiting. However, our alumni cash could compete with any alumni blue blood football base if that was the focus. We just have different priorities and have a split focus which is the best way to live ut prosim. Alumni are proud for the football team but also proud to donate to the innovation campus, research, and partnerships like the one with Children's National Hospital. However, our football donations have larger growth potential than a lot of schools and are growing.

Hokie Club member since 2017

This is O&M glasses. Every school does stuff like this - and many at orders of magnitude greater than VT.

The biggest thing VT can do to catch up in donation $$ is to expand the alumni base by expanding enrollment. Substantially.

I disagree we need to expand enrollment substantially to catch up in donation money. I think drive for 25 is working well.
I also disagree that every school is building 1B new campus next to a fortune10 company new campus. Not sure of the definition of doing stuff like that is. I'm fine with my orange and maroon glasses either way.

Hokie Club member since 2017

This is wishful thinking. Even if the Drive For 25 met its goal yesterday, VT is certainly still in the bottom half (maybe bottom third) of P5 schools athletic budgets and at least $40-$50 million and 50% short of where it needs to be in order to compete with blue-blood programs.

The only chance of VT ever getting to that level of athletic funding and support on a sustained basis - among other things - is to fundamentally increase the size of the alumni base.

I'm not saying doing so is without drawbacks - or if being a top-tier football/athletic program should even be a VT goal. But if it is a goal, it's the only way VT will have a chance to make the leap into the top tier of athletic programs (and particularly football).

I don't think USCW is ever coming back.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Nah, they'll probably win another natty before we get our first. There's just too much money in that program as well as too many recruiting advantages for them to stay down permanently.

Along that same road, Miami might too but it'll be tougher for them.

I'd almost bet Miami gets another before USCW. I think the PAC 12 is done.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Miami doesn't have the money or the donor base that USCw has. They had a good run, but I don't think their fundraising ever quite matched their status.

I kinda agree, but there is literally like zero competition out here on the west coast. If they get an elite coach again, they'll be back. They are the only Alabama/UGA/UF/FSU/ND/PSU level brand west of Texas.

The only reason I kinda agree is that football is becoming an afterthought on the west coast, and thus I think we'll see a lot less football athletes get developed in HS out here. But, they continually get the best talent year after year in the PAC-12, despite being so mediocre since Carroll left.

ðŸĶƒ ðŸĶƒ ðŸĶƒ

Yeah I could see them winning the PAC 12 again for sure, plenty of times. It just that, I agree, football is mostly done in the west. I don't think they're getting back to their peak ever again because of that.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Minnesota, Tennessee and Pittsburgh

Whadya mean I can't take off my sweater? I'm HOT!

I'd reserve judgement on Minnesota until they get through this season at least.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

I don't believe they will ever reach their peak (5 national titles in 9 years). Also if they come close to that someone is grabbing Fleck.

Whadya mean I can't take off my sweater? I'm HOT!

Rutgers, Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland.

Lol, I came here to say Rutgers too.

I was thinking Miami, but in the context of where they were once at. No program will be able to repeat that due to all of the internet, social media, etc. Plus, Miami the city and Miami the campus have so many distractions that it's hard (read further to expose the pun) to get a bunch of college studs to focus for an entire, complete season.

Pitt peaked with Johnny Majors round 1. They won't touch that again.

Tennessee ezpz

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Miami?

Tennessee. They haven't had meaningful success since Phil Fulmer's height which peaked out in the early 2000s. They now have to compete with Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Auburn, and LSU each year and in recruiting, which is just brutal.

I am the heartbeat of Blacksburg. A fortress built out of stone but made with champions.

Stanford? Texas?

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Notre Dame

They got their shot and were embarrassingly bad in the NCG. The people that voted to put them there aren't going to forget that anytime soon.

I have a really hard time seeing loluva ever getting closer than runner-up in the Coastal.

Click here to destroy wall.

Which is the historic pinnacle of their achievement.

California, Georgia Tech, and TCU all have a number of undefeated seasons/national championships scattered across the decades starting in the 1900s and I don't think any of them will sniff it ever again. They might not be
'storied' programs but they all had success, especially Georgia Tech, in the early days (and GT's last NC was shared in 1990 I believe, so they have had some success in the pseudo-modern era).

Other easy answers are Tennessee, Miami, Syracuse, Pitt, Army, Navy.

It wasn't that long ago that people said Alabama would never regain their dominance and Clemson would never get back to the mountaintop.

Never is a long time and if your program has money, they are one perfect hire away from dominance. So I hesitate to say that any of Michigan, Texas, Nebraska, Tennessee, are truly done. And heck, Miami and USC(w) have built in location advantages that negate their need for a high recruiting budget, so they are one coach away as well.

For those who I think it's not going to happen? Navy, Army, Rutgers, Pitt, Colorado, Boise, SMU. Maybe GT and Maryland because they have prioritized other things, but if they ever go fill in on football again, they have the chance.

As for VT, I'm hesitant to write us off. We are in that spot where the right coach can get us back, especially in this conference.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

I'm only looking at current P5 schools that have been relevant in the last two decades:

  • Definitely will not return: Miami and Pitt - Neither has buy in from the students, administration, or fans.
  • Michigan, Texas, Tennessee, USC, etc still have all the built in advantages they had 2 decades ago. They'll be fine
  • Nebraska I'm unsure about. Their has location challenges, and their conference is stronger than every before, but they have the financial means and fan support to win a Natty.

I think if it were 7 years ago, a lot of us would have PSU in the 'will never return to greatness' category, but now they look like they should be an early favorite to make the 2020-21 playoff.

Twitter me

PSU and Michigan have one of the biggest hurdles they play each other plus anOSU every year. I don't see either one winning a NC.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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You don't even have to win your division in the Big Ten to get into the playoff. That's a conference that could get 2 teams in if one is undefeated and the other only has one loss, much like we've already seen from the SEC.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Michigan, Texas, Tennessee, USC, etc still have all the built in advantages they had 2 decades ago. They'll be fine

Came here to say this. Lot of people in this thread seem to just be picking the perennially overrated teams that haven't been great in awhile, have fanbases that are annoying as a result, and tend to be generally disliked programs nationally.

However, no matter how much you don't like them, all of those 4 teams have tremendous financial support, important boosters, facilities, infrastructure, and fan support to come back to power.

However, no matter how much you don't like them, all of those 4 teams have tremendous financial support, important boosters, facilities, infrastructure, and fan support to come back to powe

and they all seem to be chasing past success rather than building towards future success, which is why everyone in this thread keeps bringing them up. Tennessee especially strikes me as having this problem.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Tennessee's biggest problem is being in the SEC and not being first choice. They get a lot of talent, just not more than Florida, Georgia, and Alabama who they play every year.

As recently as 2015 and 2016, they had 9-4 seasons.

In 2015 their losses were to Oklahoma (CFP team) by 7 (I believe in OT, also), Florida by 1 (SEC East champ, 10 win), Arkansas by 4, and Alabama (CFP winner) by 5. That's not such a bad season in hindsight. Four losses by a combined 17 points, each within a single score.

They had some meme-inducing seasons after that, and obviously had two pretty bad years the last two, but their problems are more about being in an inherently tough schedule situation in most years. Their toughest hurdle will be convincing enough talent to choose them over Georgia, Florida, and Alabama to the point that they can realistically beat all three of those in one season. They could still have a great program going 9-3, 10-2 most years, but their tallest hurdle will be whether or not they can string together a season where they can beat all 3 of those teams, and I doubt that will happen while Saban is still coaching Alabama.

but their tallest hurdle will be whether or not they can string together a season where they can beat all 3 of those teams

and not replacing the head coach every 2-3 years if he can't

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Yeah those schools are all 1 home run hire away from not just being at the top, but seriously dominating the sport.

Anyone who seriously thinks that Michigan, with an elite coaching staff wouldn't thoroughly dominate college football is only fooling themself.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

I don't think Nebraska will ever return to where they were, which was a dominant national program for many years.

The Big Ten folks up here think that Nebraska, which used to pull their players from Big 12 country, are now in no-man's land. They don't have their yearly games in Texas, so they're sort of off the radar to those high schools, and kids in Big Ten country don't want to go to Nebraska. Their move to the Big Ten may have cost them a ton of their future potential.

Definitely will not return: Miami and Pitt - Neither has buy in from the students, administration, or fans.

The thing with Pittsburgh is they share a practice facility with the Steelers. If I were a 4* prospect, I would find it intriguing to have the ear of professional athletes on a daily basis.

1. Carlisle: predating the Boise State Broncos by almost a full century, the Carlisle Indian School once played the underdog spoiler to the dominant Major programs of the day. The school was mercifully closed and the Geneva Convention would have to be nullified before that ball ever got rolling again.

2. The Military teams that became Major programs in World War II were largely dominant and successful (primarily composed of ringers; pros, semi-pros and former college athletes and picking off the best coaches of the day). The last time a rejuvination of military camp/base programs was attempted was Vietnam and it was unsuccessful. So assuming those programs are ever reincarnated, the WWII programs are far less likely to become as dominant as the once were.

3. Chicago's "heyday" was pre-WWI, and as unimpressive as that was, they quit football before WWII. I don't think they're changing their mind about that, but in the event they do, becoming a ranked-ish program is still probably a ways out of their reach.

4. The HBCUs were never dominant during their time as college football Majors, but before they were permitted to play with the rest of the country they arguably ascended to similar heights of dominance. The best evidence of how good those schools stacked up is their impressive showing in the NFL draft. Once HBCUs were welcomed into Major college football, the best athletes had moved on to play at schools with adequate funding.

5. The dominant Major programs of early college football were primarily Ivy League schools. The Ivy league was efficiently relegated to FCS in 1981, making their reemergence fairly difficult. A concerted effort to subvert the high academic standards they've worked so hard to uphold might get the ball rolling back towards FBS inclusion, but that's still a ways off from reclaiming domination of the sport. They seem pretty happy with where they're at.

6. Rutgers played in both games in the very first season, and it appears their ceiling was fixed at "participation". They currently participate in a premier power 5 conference somehow, and while it may seem within reach to ascend relevance, 150 years of history says otherwise. Their best bet at reclaiming their "heyday" is to rehire the man that spawned it, Greg Schiano. Rarely is the sequel better than the original, so even that fairly reasonable-sounding goal is probably out of reach (between 2006 & 2007, they spent two weeks inside the top 10 of the AP poll. It's not impossible, but sadly, it's not much more likely than anything else on this list).

7. Nebraska set an absurd standard of dominance from the 1960's to the 1990's and not only will they fail to ever reach it again, it's likely nobody ever will. They managed to stay continuously ranked for more than twenty seasons. That's over two decades without a rebuild. The most achievable part of their marathon of excellence is they "only" managed to share in 5 national titles.

+1 for a college football historian take. Nice job.

Agreed, but didn't the question say P5?

Had there been such a thing as Power 5 a century ago, most of those teams would have been in it. Chicago was a founding member of the Big Ten, and they've down in D3 now.

Perhaps, but...

Nebraska is geographically unique. But, generally, any team can reach the top, while the odds of it are very low for about 90% of the landscape. Lightning in a bottle is what it takes if you aren't already king of the hill.

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I dont want to say anyone other than Army and Navy because if you had asked this 15 years ago I would have said Bama and they are better than ever. Lots of theses programs just need a bit of cash and a coach.

Ok fine Chicago won't rise again either.

Miami is the obvious one. What they had was so "of the moment" that I don't think they can ever recapture it....nor ever reach those ridiculous heights.

Pitt is another good one because they won a NC (right?) and were top 10 for a decade when PA football was king. That's not going to happen again.

GT was so good they quit the SEC. They will never win a NC again. Frankly, I'm not sure they will be better than what PJ did there for the next 10-20 years.

I wouldn't bet against any of the SEC teams rising again, especially UT who has the fans, brand, geography to support consistent top 10 teams again. And quickly. That's a program with the right coach could become LSU in 5 years. Arkansas is an interesting case because they do have an illustrious history and they are sooooo down right now, but they have sneaky big money and could, with the right coach, achieve a level much higher than where they are now (in a Bama-down world).

ND was so good, they will never reach that level again. ND's AD and President said a few years ago that if it came to paying players, they would go with an Ivy model and deemphasize football. In the next 10 years, we may get a chance to challenge that bravado. But in 20 years, ND not playing major college football shouldn't be a huge shock.

There are other teams like FSU, UCLA, USC'w, Nebraska, Michigan, VT, Colorado, Texas, Okie St, SMU, TCU, WVU, Stanford that are currently below their high water mark that can return to similar levels with the right Dabo Swinney hire. Well, maybe not Nebraska, the OP is probably right that there is no chance they will ever be what they were in 1995. But.....what Frost created and Heupel has nurtured in Orlando is pretty amazing, that was an 0-12 team before Frost got there, right?

Overall, I think the paying players movement will cause a significant shift in how schools address college football in the next 20 years or so. We will see who does what but it's going to be an interesting ride.

Arkansas- was a huge power under Frank Broyles and Lou Holtz. The death of the SWAC and going to the SEC hurt them in their top recruiting grounds (Texas.) Now, they are an afterthought and second tier in all their prime recruiting areas (Texas, Louisiana, Memphis)

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

The easiest job to win at? LSU. They have super loyal home grown talent in a state where other top programs have not made as much inroads, an amazing game day atmosphere, and the least dickhead-ish SEC fan base. Saban won a national title without a quarterback. Les Myles won a national title, and I am not sure I would let him lead my escape room team, much less think he is a good head coach. Now Coach O has them in position to contend for a national title. You have to be Gerry DiNardo level terrible not to win there.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Yep, their talent has been closer than people realize to Alabama for many years. The difference is that Saban has always been a far superior coach to both Miles and Orgeron. However, over time Saban's finally had less than top end staffs the last two seasons, particularly at the Coordinator positions after his kept getting head coaching jobs. While LSU managed to get Joe Brady to drastically improve their passing game, and has Aranda making HC money, Bama hasn't had elite coordinators since Pruitt in 2017. I think Sark has actually been very good so far, but their DC's the last two seasons Tosh Lupoi and Pete Golding are a huge step down from the Smart/Pruitt years.

LSU caught them at the right time, but quite frankly, if Saban never went back to Alabama, I think LSU would have made a few playoffs and maybe one a NC again already.

and the least dickhead-ish SEC fan base

I have several very close friends and family friends in Louisiana, and have spent time down there as a result. This is just not the reality in my experience, they have as many bad apples as any other fanbase. Very delusional and hateful fanbase from some portions I've experienced. I still like them fine overall, but that just hasn't been my experience at all.

To add to your point about other top programs in the state, most of the in-state students at those other schools are also LSU football fans. Also there have been people in Baton Rouge halls of power who have actively undermined the other programs to maintain an advantage for LSU sports.

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This is so true. The entire state is LSU fans. I work with a guy that went to ULL and played on their football team. He is a die-hard LSU fan.

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-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

The same thing exists here in NC about UNC, unless the kids are at Duke, NCSU, or Wake. Especially when it comes to basketball.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

In terms of Nebraska, to get back to being "Nebraska" they need to win the B1G. To do that, they need the athletes on defense to run with Ohio State. That's what it boils down to. If I'm Frost, that's where I am focusing. Get much more explosive and athletic on defense. Don't try to be Wisconsin, Try to be Penn State. Frost will get the offense figured out, focus on a much better athlete across the defense. Harbaugh should do this too.

From a $$ standpoint, the best move Nebraska made was to move to the B1G. From a football blue-blood standpoint, the worst move Nebraska ever made was to move to the B1G.

I said this 10 years ago when they made the move and it's more true than ever today. I don't see them giving up the money and I don't see them regaining sustained football dominance - even in the dominatable B1G West division.

I didn't see your comment before I posted a similar response upthread, this is spot on. Nebraska went for the cash grab and it is going to hurt them for a long time.

Surprised no one has mentioned Ole Miss and Miss St. They play in such a power house conference and I feel like there are too many eyes on the state with all the shenanigans that happened.

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First thought: Army and Navy.

Then looking at the National title list:
Harvard, Princeton, and Yale... Well, that's an easy one, but still.

Then looking at all-time wins list:
Tennessee (t-12)
West Virginia (20)
Georgia Tech (26)
Pitt (29)
Syracuse (30)
Arkansas (31)

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WVU is the winningest program with out a National title, VT is 2nd. It's hard to say WVU will not return to their height because what really is that? 4 straight bowl wins with 1 QB? They have had some really good recievers and a good QB in the past 5 years. It's not hard to see them get a couple solid recruits and some good cosching/player development and they could be a player in the Big 12

I don't think anyone here has said West Virginia. They were very good from 2005-2007 with Pat White and Steve Slaton They should have made the National Championship in 2007 had they not lost to 4-7, 28-point underdog Pitt in the final game of the regular season. Now they're in the Big 12, a conference they can't really compete in. I mean, they had their best team since the Pat White days last year and still went 8-4. WV is not a fertile recruiting ground, and the best players in the state tend to go elsewhere to play anyway. WVU is a program where the stars have to align perfectly for them to make a National Championship, and the stars don't align perfectly very often. They had that chance in 2007 and haven't gotten another since.

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This. All of this.

The stars would have to align and damn near every other decent to good program would have to be on probation.. I think that if they couldnt win it in 2007 with the team they had, then they probably never will.

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STICK IT IN HAS RETURNED!!!

Grambling. Football program almost shut down recently. Louisiana has struggled to fund its schools outside of LSU.

Home to the winningest coach in college football, a move out of an HBCU conference, like TSU or Hampton, may be a shot in the arm.

Syracuse is one that sort of shocks me. They have a great history. Great fan base, boosters, money, etc. But, they have had one good year in recent memory. One.

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A lot of the historical teams down turns goes directly to population shifts.

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Possibly for Grambling, but not so much for Cuse. They got the luck of the draw in conference realignment

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No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

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