A Review of P5 vs Ranked Teams, 2000-09

selmaborntidefan

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The polls generally agree. I will use the AP poll because the BCS final poll was the one that resulted in the team selections.


USC TROJANS RECORD VS END OF YEAR RANKED TEAMS
Paul "Can't" Hackett

2000 - 0-3; lost to Oregon, Oregon St, Notre Dame
Let's Throw It At The Goal Line with the Super Bowl on the Line
2001 - 0-3; lost to Oregon, Stanford, Washington
2002 - 4-2; beat Auburn, Colorado, N Dame, Iowa; lost to Wazzu, K State
2003 - 2-0; beat Wazzu, Michigan
2004 - 4-0; beat Va Tech, Cal, Ariz St, Oklahoma
2005 - 3-1; beat Oregon, UCLA, N Dame; lost to Texas
2006 - 4-1; beat Arky, Cal, N Dame, Michigan; lost to Oregon St (also beat Nebraska, who fell out in final poll)
2007 - 3-1; #25 Oregon St, Arizona St, Illinois; lost to #23 Oregon
2008 - 3-1; beat Ohio St, Penn St, Oregon; lost to Oregon St
2009- 1-1; beat Ohio State; lost to Oregon

Overall record: 24-13

USC began the decade 0-6 against the good teams and then hit their stride, reeling off 11 wins in a row before losing to the national title game to Texas in the waning moments.

What separates USC from the teens Alabama or the 90s Florida State is that USC dropped THREE games to mediocre teams that really had no business on the field with USC (2003 Cal, 2006 UCLA, 2007 Stanford). Those other teams did not lose to such teams, particularly to 41-point underdogs like 2007 Stanford.

It will be interesting to see how Florida and LSU shake out; we already know Oklahoma blew a ton of big games.
 
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selmaborntidefan

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ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE RECORD VS END OF YEAR RANKED TEAMS
Mike Dubious

2000 - 1-3; beat SCAR; lost to #22 LSU, #24 MSU, Auburn
Dennis fRan
2001 - 0-3; lost to SCAR, LSU, Tenn
Probation announced 2/1/02
2002 - 0-3; lost to Oklahoma, Georgia, Auburn
Mike Shula
2003 - 0-5; lost to Oklahoma, Georgia, Auburn, LSU, Tenn
2004 - 0-3; lost to Tenn, LSU, Auburn
2005 - 2-2; beat Florida, Texas Tech (Cotton); lost to LSU, Auburn
2006 - 0-5; lost to Florida, Tenn, Arky, LSU, Auburn
Nick Saban
2007 - 1-3; beat Tenn; lost to Auburn, UGA, #1 LSU
2008 - 2-2; beat UGA, Ole Miss; lost to #1 Florida, #2 Utah
2009- 5-0; beat Va Tech, Ole Miss, LSU, Florida, Texas

Overall record: 11-29

Saban: 8-5
Others: 3-24

Assessment:
Perhaps this is the best illustration of how far the Alabama football program plummeted. Starting with the loss to Florida in the 1994 SEC title game, Alabama compiled a horrific record (against ranked teams) of 26-41 over the next 15 years, and six of those wins came in a season better remembered for a loss to La Tech that cost the Tide a title shot. Probation, of course, played a role - but Ohio State and USC both got hammered with massive probation shots, too, and neither team plunged to five losing seasons in ten years. And it wasn't just the ranked teams; Alabama lost twice to La Tech, once to N Illinois, and (most embarrassingly) to UCF. In short, Alabama just wasn't very good from the moment Stallings left until the moment Saban arrived. Even Mike Shula's illusion in 2005 owed as much to the SEC not being the monster of other years and a cupcake out of conference schedule as it did to the abilities of the players.

Did probation affect Alabama? Absolutely. But it's a fair question to wonder why with the talent available, Alabama was unable to sidestep the probation as Miami did in the 90s (with 1-2 rebuilding years) or USC or Ohio St later. The bigger problem was four major whiffs on coaching hires that set the program back a decade.
 

selmaborntidefan

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FLORIDA GATORS RECORD VS END OF YEAR RANKED TEAMS 2000-09
Visor Boy

2000 - 4-3; beat UGA, Auburn twice, SCAR; lost to MSU, FSU, Miami
2001 - 5-1; beat LSU, UGA, SCAR, FSU, Maryland; lost to Tenn
A Clown Named Ronald
2002 - 2-3; beat UGA, Auburn; lost to Miami, FSU, Michigan
2003 - 2-5; beat UGA, #1 LSU; lost to Miami, Tenn, Ole Miss, FSU, Iowa
2004 - 1-4; beat FSU, lost to Tenn, LSU, UGA, Miami
Have You Stopped Beating Your Wife?
2005 - 2-2; beat FSU, UGA; lost to Alabama, LSU
2006 - 5-1; beat #25 Tenn, LSU, #23 UGA, Arky, #1 Ohio St (BCSNCG); lost to Auburn
2007 - 1-4; beat Tenn; lost to Auburn, LSU, UGA, Michigan
2008 - 4-1; beat UGA, #21 FSU, Alabama, Oklahoma (BCSNCG); lost to Ole Miss
2009 - 2-1; beat LSU and Cincinnati; lost to #1 Alabama

Overall record: 28-25

Florida's decade was one of ups and downs with one notable - and humorous - exception. Florida pretty much beat Georgia no matter how good the Bulldogs were and no matter who was coaching the Gators, compiling an 8-2 record in the Annual Celebration of the Repeal of Prohibition. Florida was an insane 7-2 against the Bulldogs when the Dawgs were ranked, including winning 2 of 3 with Ron Zook running the program.

Of course, those numbers skew Florida's overall numbers because if you take that one opponent away they beat like, well, a dawg, Florida was 21-23 against good teams the rest of the decade, and it might be fair to say that with the exception of their 2006 team, they spent much of the decade doing not as well as their 2 titles in 3 years is remembered as sounding. Perhaps the most stunning realization is to look at the fact that when Florida squared off against Alabama in the 2009 SECCG, the general consensus was that these were the best two teams in the country. Maybe they were, but it isn't as though Florida's schedule really was the stuff of legend, either. They beat exactly ONE team prior to the Alabama game that was good enough to end the year ranked: LSU. The SEC East of 2009 was a bunch of 7-win mediocrities plus Vandy.

We also observed a problem that plagued Urban Meyer's coaching career at both Florida and Ohio State - losing games to teams that, quite frankly, had no business beating you. Meyer is an accomplished coach and will surely be recalled as the second best of the first 20 years of the 21st century, but his titles contain a bit of baggage:

2005 Alabama
2008 Ole Miss
2013 Michigan St
2014 Va Tech
2015 Michigan St
2016 Penn St
2017 Iowa
2018 Purdue

It's not that some of those squads weren't pretty good football teams, it's that not a single one of them had any business beating Meyer's players and most of the games listed above were not particularly close. Yes, Michigan State had a talented squad in 2013, but Ohio St had won 24 games in a row and stood at the precipice of a national title showdown with Florida State. Plus, the Buckeyes led the game, 24-17, before giving up 17 unanswered points in a collapse in the final 20 minutes.

The Gators lost to two teams that won the national title (07 LSU, 09 Alabama) and beat a third champion (03 LSU). Their scheduling is to be admired, although much of it depended upon their division being above average plus the annual showdown with LSU.

The Gators DID play above .500 for the decade, but let's note that the rivalry with Georgia skews the numbers a bit to make them more impressive than they are. A good team for much of the decade with two Hall of Fame coaches, but analysis suggests they may have underachieved as harsh as that verdict may sound.
 

TideEngineer08

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You nailed it on your analysis of Alabama. It was the coaching hires, not the probation, that led to such a long drought. We were absolutely snakebit. Frankly, the DuBose hire was the most disastrous, since he took one probation and turned it into a second one even worse than the first within in 4 years.

Frankly, when you combine the dual probation with the 2 Mikes and the Fran that Ran, it is a thousand wonders we still had a few memorable years sprinkled in there. A credit to Bama's pluck and grit, IMO.
 
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selmaborntidefan

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OU (OVERRATED U, AKA CHOKELAHOMA) RECORD VS END OF YEAR RANKED TEAMS 2000-09
2000 - 5-0; beat Texas, K-State, Nebraska, K-State (B12 title game), Florida St

2001 - 1-1; beat Texas, lost to Nebraska
2002 - 5-0; beat Alabama, Texas, Colorado twice, Wazzu
2003 - 1-2; beat Texas; lost to K-State and LSU
2004 - 2-1; beat Texas Tech, Texas; lost to USC (BCSNCG)
2005 - 2-4; beat Nebraska, Oregon; lost to Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, UCLA
2006 - 0-2; lost to Texas and Boise St; beat Nebraska and ATM, who both fell out of final poll
2007 - 3-2; beat Texas, Mizzou twice; lost to Texas Tech and WVA
2008 - 5-2; beat TCU, Cincinnati, Texas Tech, Missouri, Okie St; lost to Missouri, Florida (BCSNCG)
2009 - 0-5; lost to BYU, Nebraska, Texas, Texas Tech

Overall record: 24-19

Oklahoma began the decade as national champions, ended the decade unranked, and had more near misses than a blind student pilot operating a C-5 Galaxy without instruments. They are very close to the 90s Florida State of the decade, but they're doomed to second banana status at best based on falling short too many times in the public eye. Oklahoma lost to the eventual national champion four times in seven years, including three times in the title guy and twice by surrendering 45 and 55 points. Three different times, Oklahoma beat five teams in the final top 25, and they beat four others that fell out in the final poll.

And yet because their success was so much so fast followed by losses to huge underdogs, Oklahoma's 2000-2009 period will be remembered, fairly or unfairly, for its failures at the expense of its successes. Their losses to Okie St (2001, 2002), K State (2003), USC (2004), Boise St (2006), WVA (2007), and Tim Tebow's legendary Florida team (2008) solidified the reality that Oklahoma was an underachiever. The Sooners had too many belly flops with too many eyes watching to be remembered as anything else. They played challenging schedules, they won many games, but Scott Norwood also kicked the game-winning field goal that sealed a Bills berth in Super Bowl XXVI but try to find anyone who even remembers it.
 

selmaborntidefan

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TEXAS LONGHORNS RECORD VS END OF YEAR RANKED TEAMS 2000-2009
2000 - 0-2; lost to #1 Oklahoma and #7 Oregon
2001 - 2-2; beat Colorado (reg season) and Washington; lost to Oklahoma and Colorado (B12 title game)
2002 - 1-1; beat Texas Tech, lost to Oklahoma
2003 - 2-2; beat K State, Nebraska; lost to OU and Wazzu
2004 - 2-1; beat Texas Tech, Michigan (Rose); lost to Oklahoma
2005 - 4-0; beat Ohio State, #22 Oklahoma, Texas Tech, #1 USC (BCSNCG)
2006 - 1-1; beat Oklahoma, lost to Ohio St
2007 - 2-1; beat Texas Tech, Arizona St; lost to Oklahoma
2008 - 4-1; beat Oklahoma, Missouri, Okie St, Ohio St (bowl); lost to Texas Tech
2009 - 2-1; beat Texas Tech, Nebraska; lost to Alabama

Overall record: 20-12

Certainly more successful than their predecessors in the 70s and 80s, at least we can say Texas did NOT underachieve on the decade; they lost JUST ENOUGH big games to keep them from being a very big deal. If Lindale White makes the first down, Texas's entire decade is viewed quite differently and less flatteringly.

Oklahoma played 11 more ranked teams than Texas did and went 4-7 against those teams, but the cold hard reality is that Oklahoma played more big games, won more big games, and was 6-4 against Texas, including two wins by scores of 65-13 and 63-14. The Sooners' decade was better than the Longhorns' was.
 

selmaborntidefan

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LSU TIGERS RECORD VS END OF YEAR RANKED OPPONENTS 2000-2009
Nick Saban

2000 - 2-2; beat MSU, Ga Tech; lost to Auburn, Florida
2001 - 2-2; beat Tennessee (SECCG), Illinois (Sugar); lost to Tenn (reg season), Florida
2002 - 0-4; lost to Va Tech, Auburn, Alabama, Texas (Cotton)
2003 - 4-1; beat Ole Miss, Georgia (twice), Oklahoma (BCS); lost to Florida
2004 - 0-3; lost to Auburn, UGA, Iowa (Cap One bowl)
Ernest T. Bass
2005 - 4-1; beat Florida, Auburn, Alabama, Miami (bowl); lost to Tenn
2006 - 3-2; beat Tenn, Arky, N Dame; lost to Auburn, Florida
2007 - 5-0; beat Va Tech, Florida, Tenn, Auburn, Ohio State (BCS)
2008 - 1-4; beat Ga Tech; lost to Florida, UGA, Alabama, Ole Miss
2009 - 0-4; lost to Florida, Alabama, Ole Miss, Penn St (bowl)

Overall record: 21-23

Saban - 8-12
Miles - 13-11


Assessment:
The difference between "very good" and "dynasty" is oh so close - just one win per season. LSU may exemplify how close close really is with their first decade of the 21st century showing wild extremes - THREE winless years against the good teams, two absolutely phenomenal years that resulted in 2 national titles. Subsequent events - Saban's success at Alabama and Miles's failures at LSU - suggest the tentative conclusion that LSU's best teams were the direct result of Saban's recruiting, culminating in the second national championship in 2007.

Saban inherited a program that had gone through a lost decade with very small sparks of hope. The DiNardo seniors were the 2002 class that beat Kentucky on a Bluegrass Miracle yet lost to every decent team they played, some by blowouts. Saban's first seniors won the national title while his second seniors went 0-3 against the cream of the crop. But the record is slightly misleading as 2 of LSU's 3 losses were on the final play of the game, although there's no excuse losing to Georgia by nearly 30 points. Saban's first haul after the 2003 title went 12-6 against the good teams, with only 2 of those six losses by more than one score - so they were competitive.

The overall record may be shocking, but it's clear LSU hit a peak between 2003 and 2007 and was anything from average to mediocre on either side.

How close was LSU to greatness? They won as many national titles as anyone in the decade (tying Florida and USC), but what might have been?

LSU lost the 2005 game to Tennessee - in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, no less - by a field goal when they collapsed late. A win in that game creates a huge controversy (yet again!) with USC and Texas as LSU enters the SECCG undefeated. In 2006, LSU lost to Auburn, 7-3, in a game LSU probably should have won. ONE PLAY in that game gives LSU a rematch with Florida (who beat LSU, 23-10), and a win there makes the controversial 2006 end of season even more of a train wreck.

A few results in the other direction and LSU wins 3-4 national titles, with or without Saban at the helm. And it's a safe bet to assume given subsequent events that the loss of Saban to the Miami Dolphins may well be the difference between LSU being a good team and being a dynasty.

Their record overall is somewhat less than stellar, but it helps to remember they were playing in the most competitive college football league the game has ever known for half that decade, too.
 
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selmaborntidefan

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THE BARN RECORD VS END OF YEAR RANKED TEAMS 2000-2009
I Like Pine Boxes

2000 - 2-4; beat UGA, LSU; lost to Florida twice, MSU, Michigan (bowl)
2001 - 2-2; beat Florida, UGA; lost to Syracuse, LSU
2002 - 2-2; beat Alabama, Penn St (bowl); lost to USC, UGA
2003 - 1-4; beat Tenn; lost to USC, LSU, Ole Miss, UGA
2004 - 5-0; beat LSU, UGA, Tenn twice, Va Tech (Sugar)
2005 - 2-2; beat Alabama, UGA; lost to LSU, Wisky (bowl)
2006 - 2-2; beat LSU, Florida; lost to Arky, UGA
2007 - 2-2; beat Florida, Clemson; lost to LSU, UGA
2008 - 0-4; lost to WVA, Ole Miss, UGA, Alabama
I Like Cheeze-It
2009 - 2-2; beat WVA, Ole Miss; lost to Alabama, UGA

Overall record: 20-22


Assessment:
Once again, Auburn is the Roger Maris of college football.

In another post assessing where the programs rank in the SEC, I ranked Auburn fifth as one of those teams that's basically in the same core group that includes MSU, Missouri, S Carolina, and Texas A/M, but I ranked Auburn at the top of that group. And we again see why.

LSU 21-23
Auburn 20-22

You can't get any closer between two teams without them having the same record yet LSU won 2 titles and Auburn won none, although I do empathize with Auburn and agree they at least deserved a chance in 2004. Keep in mind that if you just slip the stats ONE YEAR and go from 2001-10, Auburn wins a title.

2001-2010 records
LSU 102-29, 2 national titles
Auburn 93-35, 1 national title, 2 undefeated seasons

LSU 6 wins, Auburn 4 wins

We'll agree that LSU is just a hair better, although let's be honest and admit LUCK played a role in both of LSU's titles and Auburn not getting the first shot. They're close to even - and yet nobody outside of Opelika would ever think of Auburn in the same category as LSU. Generally speaking, they're slightly below that.


But why is it that Auburn is "the little engine that could" as far as their overall picture? Why Auburn over ATM, which is an apt parallel given we're talking #2 state programs that are agricultural schools (or at least best known for such)?

The answer is found in Roger Maris, the late baseball player, and most notably his insanely high Hall of Fame vote totals. Roger Maris wasn't a HOF baseball player on the best day of his life (Jim Rice has no business there, either, but I digress). But after Maris died in 1985, he went through a three-year period in voting where he averaged 180 HOF votes per year.

Why? Aside from his death from cancer at 51, Maris was a symbol of a time when baseball was the national game and....oh yeah, he was the one who hit 61 home runs and broke Babe Ruth's season record. Maris never had another year like that his entire career. But he had "THE BIG YEAR," and it overshadowed the rest of his average career enough (plus he played with the Yankees) that Maris got support for the Hall that he never gets without the 61 home run season.


There was a contemporary of Maris named Bob Allison, an outfielder with the Twins, who most fans nowadays have never even heard of. Both guys played 12 years. Allison played about 80 more games for a lesser team and had about 15 fewer runs, 40 fewer hits, and 19 fewer home runs with a batting average five points lower - but he also had more doubles and triples and his slugging pct was five points lower in a more difficult hitter's park than the short right field at Yankee Stadium when Maris played there. He was also a better outfielder and base runner by far.

Bob Allison didn't get a single vote for the HOF when his name hit the ballot despite being about the same level of player as Maris.

WHY NOT? Because Maris had the dramatic moment and Allison was just steady. (Neither should be in the Hall but Maris was not 180 times the player Allison was, either).


Auburn really does belong in the Ole Miss/ATM category of 8-4 teams annually, but Auburn accomplishes this in a completely different manner than any other team in the SEC. Ole Miss - when they're cruising along normal - goes 8-4 every year for a decade or so kinda like Arkansas (when they're decent) or ATM.

Auburn - by stark contrast - has a horrific 3-9 season and follows it up with a 12-2 season where they nearly win the national championship. The END RESULT is still the same - a team that on average is 8-4 every year, but the effect is much more dramatic and lends itself to the idea Auburn is a special team.

DRAMA lends itself to endless media hype and interpretation. It's why they have insane love affairs with teams that punch in 50-plus point per game offenses while dismissing 9.0 per game defenses as relics and boring. It's why people actually believe Ken Griffey Jr (a very good ballplayer) was better than Craig Biggio, when the only thing Griffey did better than Biggio was the dramatic thing - hit a ton of home runs. (Biggio was better than Griffey at everything else - hits, runs, steals, not grounding into double plays and - oh yes - he also played a more important defensive position).

Because drama sells on TV, Auburn is likely to remain up there because they've provided just enough moments to remain in the public eye. The hard reality is that they're in that mid-level SEC category overall, but they do just enough to create the illusion of deserving a higher ranking than they probably should get.
 

selmaborntidefan

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OHIO STATE B1Gs RECORD VS END OF YEAR RANKED OPPONENTS 2000-2009
Can't Win the Big One

2000 -1-3; beat #23 Wisky; lost to Purdue, Michigan, S Carolina (bowl)
Senator Tattoo
2001 - 1-2; beat Michigan; lost to Illinois, S Carolina (bowl)
2002 - 4-0; beat Wazzu, Penn St, Michigan, Miami (BCSNCG) - and Texas Tech, who fell out of final poll
2003 - 3-1; beat Iowa, Purdue, K-State; lost to Michigan
2004 - 1-2; beat Michigan; lost to Wisky, Iowa
2005 - 1-2; beat N Dame; lost to Texas, Penn St
2006 - 3-1; beat Texas, Penn St, Michigan; lost to Florida (BCSNCG)
2007 - 2-2; beat Michigan, Wisky; lost to Illinois
2008 - 1-3; beat Sparty; lost to USC, Penn St, Texas
2009 - 4-1; beat Wisky, Iowa, Penn St, Oregon (Rose); lost to USC

Overall record: 21-16

Assessment:
It is unfortunate for Ohio State that their three well-publicized failures - 2006 Florida, 2007 LSU, and 2008 USC - were watched by so many people that otherwise did not tune in Ohio State football because the Buckeyes were one of the best teams of the first decade of the century. They played an effective though relatively straightforward (almost boring) type of old school football, particularly when compared to the flash and dash of Vince Young or Reggie Bush and their national title teams.

The urban legend suggests Ohio State was a lucky national title winner in 2002 and that the rest of the decade validated such, but the pundits who allege this never deal with the fact that Ohio St slugged it out with one of the alleged all-time great teams toe to toe despite being huge underdogs, and they ultimately prevailed. They are the mirror image of Oklahoma: one national title, a mammoth blowout to lose another title, and five games over .500. Unlike Oklahoma, though, Ohio State actually beat Kansas St in 2003.

The Buckeyes were NOT the team of the decade, but they were one of the most consistent ones and analysis treats them much kinder than pundits whose bottom line is "national championships." The line between "very good" and "great" shines yet again here - just a few plays in their direction in the 2008 BCSNCG and maybe one in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl, and we might well view Ohio State as the equal of USC.
 

selmaborntidefan

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MICHIGAN WOLVERINES RECORD VS END OF YEAR RANKED TEAMS
Lloyd Carr

2000 - 3-1; beat Wisky, Ohio St, Auburn; lost to Purdue (and to Northwestern, who fell out of final poll)
2001 - 1-2; beat Illinois; lost to Washington, Tennessee
2002 - 2-3; beat Florida, Penn St; lost to N Dame, Penn St, Ohio St
2003 - 3-2; beat Minnesota, Purdue, Ohio St; lost to Iowa, USC (Rose Bowl)
2004 - 1-2; beat Iowa; lost to Ohio St, Texas (Rose Bowl)
2005 - 1-4; beat Penn St; lost to N Dame, Wisky, Ohio St, Nebraska
2006 - 3-2; beat N Dame, Wisky, Penn St; lost to Ohio St, USC (Rose Bowl)
2007 - 2-3; beat Illinois, Florida; lost to Oregon, Wisky, Ohio St
Not Les Miles
2008 - 0-4; lost to Utah, Penn St, Michigan St, Ohio St (and to Northwestern, who fell out in final poll)
2009 - 0-4; lost to Iowa, Penn St, Wisky, Ohio St

Overall record: 16-27

There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and Michigan compiling the worst record of the decade against GOOD teams. The Aughts were no exception. As a reminder, here is what we have:

1970s: 8-10-1
1980s: 14-18
1990s: 21-22-2
2000s: 16-27

MICHIGAN VS END OF YEAR RANKED TEAMS 1970-2010: 59-77-3 (.435 winning pct)

I mean, can we PLEASE put Michigan in the Nebraska "Jeopardy" category of, "Teams That Used to Be A Big Deal Through Historical Anomalies That Will Never Again Let It Happen"?

Keep in mind, this is one of the Big Ten's TWO "flagship programs," one that is the benchmark for the schools not named Ohio State and Penn State. If you beat Michigan, well, you've done something and had a great year or something like that. But the reality is that if you have a good team, you're going to beat Michigan 56% of the time anyway.

Of course, the Michigan partisan registers an immediate objection: "But that number is skewed by Rich Rod going 0-8." Yes, it is - but you still have a losing record of 16-19 in an eight-year span if we play it that way.

Wanna know how many teams historically have lost 3 Rose Bowls in 4 years?

Cal 1949-50-51
Ohio State 1973-75-76 (but they did win one in 1974)
Michigan 1977-78-79
Michigan 2004-05-07
Wisconsin 2011-12-13

Michigan is the only school to pull this off twice.
 

selmaborntidefan

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FLORIDA STATE CRIMINOLES RECORD VS END OF YEAR RANKED TEAMS
2000 - 3-2; beat Clemson, Ga Tech, Florida; lost to Miami, Oklahoma (BCSNCG)
2001 - 3-2; beat Maryland, Ga Tech, Va Tech; lost to Miami, Florida
2002 - 2-4; beat UVA, Maryland; lost to Miami, N Dame, NC State, UGA
2003 - 2-3 ; beat Maryland, Florida; lost to Miami twice and Clemson
2004 -2-1; beat UVA, WVA; lost to Miami
2005 -3-3; beat Clemson, Boston College, Miami; lost to Florida, Va Tech, Penn St (bowl)
2006 - 0-3; lost to Boston College, Florida, Wake Forest
2007 - 1-3; beat Boston College; lost to Florida, Va Tech, Clemson
2008 - 1-2; beat Va Tech; lost to Ga Tech, Florida
2009 - 2-4; beat BYU, WVA; lost to Miami, Ga Tech, Clemson, Florida

Overall record: 19-27
Began the decade at 3-1

On January 4, 2000, Florida State reached their final high water mark under Bobby Bowden, with an exciting win over Michael Vick's Va Tech squad in a battle of the unbeatens. It was the only time as a college head coach that Bowden ever finished a season unbeaten - and it apparently must have taken everything he had.

Beginning in 2001, FSU lost AT LEAST 3 games per year for the next 11 seasons. This is a team that had not lost more than 2 games in a season every year 1987-2000, which included six one-loss years and the unbeaten 1999 national champions.

This is not to say Florida State was bad. Indeed, their drop paralleled the drop that Alabama experienced in the 1980s:

Alabama 1970-79 23-14-1
FSU 1990-99 29-11-1

Alabama 1980-89 13-21-1
FSU 2000-2009: 19-27

FSU's 1990s good run looks more impressive, but there are a few caveats:

1) Alabama's 1970 (0-5-1) falls into the period of time and lowers the record. Drop that one year and Alabama's 23-9 record (1971-79) compares favorably.

2) Because of the expansion to Top 25 teams, FSU potentially had 50 more ranked opponents in a decade they could face. Who knows what the record might show if teams right outside the Top 20 in the 70s were actually ranked?

3) Florida State did not begin playing an assigned conference schedule until 1992. Alabama, by contrast, was stuck with the games the SEC gave them. Florida State was still on the rise and playing every big name opponent they possibly could; Alabama had the luxury of not having to do so.

4) The college game was much more "regional" in the 1970s prior to big money payouts that began in earnest starting in 1990. The incoming money and ability to travel opened more doors for FSU than for Alabama.

5) Remember, too, that the FSU teams of 2000-09 played 12-14 games per season; the 1980s Alabama teams played 12 games per year (except in 1984, when they only played 11 and 1986, when they played 13). Playing those extra games is more opportunities for more ranked opponents.


The similarities, though, are beyond fascinating:

1) Both were "team of the decade" and then compiled records that were basically 9 games below .500. Again - FSU had more options because of the additional five teams per year that were ranked.

2) Bobby Bowden turned 70 in 1999 and went down the slope when he was 71. Paul Bryant's team won their final title for him when he was 66 and began down the slope when he was 69. Considering advances in medical technology during that 20 years, and the fact Bowden took much better care of himself, it's not unreasonable to compare 69 in 1982 with 71 in 2001 - the year both coaches lost four games for the first time in 12 years (Bryant) and 15 years (Bowden).

3) Both lost single games that would have won national titles three times during their "Team of the Decade" years (and Bowden added one more in 2000).

4) Both were involved in disputed voting controversies with Notre Dame in 1977 and 1993 (Bowden won his).

5) Both ended the decade with an unbeaten national championship season and followed it to start the new decade with a two-loss season, both losing by 3 points on the road to end their unbeaten streaks (1980 MSU, 2000 Miami).

6) During the 1980s, Alabama had one losing season; in the 2000s, FSU did not have any losing seasons, but they made up for it by having THREE six-loss seasons, which would have been a losing season in 1984.
 

selmaborntidefan

Hall of Fame
Mar 31, 2000
21,773
2,037
273
50
Wishing I was somewhere close to Duluth with a sli
NEBRASKA CORN SHUCKERS RECORD VS END OF YEAR RANKED TEAMS 2000-2009
Frank Soulless

2000 - 1-2; beat Notre Dame; lost to Oklahoma, K-State (routed then ranked Northwestern in bowl game)
2001 - 1-2; beat #2 Oklahoma; lost to Colorado, Miami (BCSNCG - Rose Bowl)
2002 - 0-4; lost to Penn St, Texas, K-State, Colorado
2003 - 0-2; lost to Texas, lost to K-State
Jon Gruden's Shadow
2004 - 1-2; beat #25 Pitt; lost to Texas Tech, #2 Oklahoma
2005 - 0-2; lost to Texas Tech, #22 Oklahoma
2006 - 0-4; lost to USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Auburn (Cotton Bowl)
2007 - 0-4; lost to USC, Missouri, Texas, Kansas
Bo Knows Pelini
2008 - 0-4; lost to Va Tech, Missouri, Texas Tech, Oklahoma
2009 - 0-3; lost to Va Tech, Texas Tech, Texas

Overall record: 3-29

I'm sure Nebraska football likes to muse to themselves that they can beat Colorado at anything. As amazing as this one may seem, Nebraska actually managed to exceed Colorado's 16 straight losses against end of year Top 25 foes by losing 19 games in a row, starting on October 9, 2004.

On October 23, 2010, Nebraska FINALLY beat a decent team that proved by the end of the year to be decent when they toppled Gundy's 11-2 Okie State team that ended the year at 13. Of course - in typical Nebraska fashion - they did it by scoring 51 points while surrendering 41 points in a game that likely made Bob Devaney go into high rotation in his grave.

This also elucidates how poor of a recruiter of talent Bill Callahan truly was. He snagged an early win with Solich's final recruits and didn't beat another good team in 12 chances. Pelini couldn't do much with Callahan's leftovers, either.

There is almost no doubt - a little but very little - that if Nebraska had simply allowed Frank Solich to remain the head coach then they very probably would have remained better than they plummeted later in the decade although not at the presumed high level of the Devaney-Osborne years.

1970s (starting with Osborne): 13-13
1980s: 18-18
1990s: 26-15-1
2000s: 3-29
Overall: 60-75-1 (.444)

Osborne compiled .500 records in the 70s and 80s. Yeah, he was better in the 90s, but if you take away his three title years, he was STILL a .500 coach against the ranked teams, which REINFORCES my point: the difference between great teams and good teams, the difference between a dynasty and just a very good team is two things: 1) win more than 1/2 your games against the best teams; 2) one win per season. IT IS A VERY NARROW LINE.

Frank Solich, whatever his negatives, would have offered Nebraska continuity and firsthand knowledge of both the fan base AND the recruiting terrain as the world shifted outside of Lincoln. It is no accident that Nebraska's demise coincides with:
a) the expansion of the Internet (I saw my first web page on a military base in the fall of 1996)
b) the greater availability of televised games through such concepts as ESPN2 and Game Plan
c) the rise of small programs such as Marshall, Boise St, and USF - replete with NFL superstars such as Randy Moss or Terrell Owens (UTC) or Steve McNair (Alcorn St) and later guys like Carson Wentz (the Bison) - has come at direct cost to periphery great/good teams like Nebraska
d) the concurrent rise of Kansas St in the 1990s (as well as Kansas at times) robbed Nebraska of recruits that once had been easy pickings for the Huskers (would a Brook Berringer stay at Nebraska in 2002 behind Tommie Frazier? Probably not)

In all honesty, Solich's fate was sealed by two problems:
1) he was 2-4 against a Kansas St that had been the doormat of the Big 8 for decades
2) Oklahoma was putting #1 teams on the field and Nebraska's fan base at the time erroneously equated the two programs because of the recent past.


Frank Solich would not have been Bob Devaney; he probably wouldn't have come close to a national title. But he also would not have lost 19 games in a row against ranked foes, either.
 

FaninLA

Bamanation Citizen
Jul 9, 2019
60
27
33
Mobile, AL
NEBRASKA CORN SHUCKERS RECORD VS END OF YEAR RANKED TEAMS 2000-2009
Frank Soulless

2000 - 1-2; beat Notre Dame; lost to Oklahoma, K-State (routed then ranked Northwestern in bowl game)
2001 - 1-2; beat #2 Oklahoma; lost to Colorado, Miami (BCSNCG - Rose Bowl)
2002 - 0-4; lost to Penn St, Texas, K-State, Colorado
2003 - 0-2; lost to Texas, lost to K-State
Jon Gruden's Shadow
2004 - 1-2; beat #25 Pitt; lost to Texas Tech, #2 Oklahoma
2005 - 0-2; lost to Texas Tech, #22 Oklahoma
2006 - 0-4; lost to USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Auburn (Cotton Bowl)
2007 - 0-4; lost to USC, Missouri, Texas, Kansas
Bo Knows Pelini
2008 - 0-4; lost to Va Tech, Missouri, Texas Tech, Oklahoma
2009 - 0-3; lost to Va Tech, Texas Tech, Texas

Overall record: 3-29

I'm sure Nebraska football likes to muse to themselves that they can beat Colorado at anything. As amazing as this one may seem, Nebraska actually managed to exceed Colorado's 16 straight losses against end of year Top 25 foes by losing 19 games in a row, starting on October 9, 2004.

On October 23, 2010, Nebraska FINALLY beat a decent team that proved by the end of the year to be decent when they toppled Gundy's 11-2 Okie State team that ended the year at 13. Of course - in typical Nebraska fashion - they did it by scoring 51 points while surrendering 41 points in a game that likely made Bob Devaney go into high rotation in his grave.

This also elucidates how poor of a recruiter of talent Bill Callahan truly was. He snagged an early win with Solich's final recruits and didn't beat another good team in 12 chances. Pelini couldn't do much with Callahan's leftovers, either.

There is almost no doubt - a little but very little - that if Nebraska had simply allowed Frank Solich to remain the head coach then they very probably would have remained better than they plummeted later in the decade although not at the presumed high level of the Devaney-Osborne years.

1970s (starting with Osborne): 13-13
1980s: 18-18
1990s: 26-15-1
2000s: 3-29
Overall: 60-75-1 (.444)

Osborne compiled .500 records in the 70s and 80s. Yeah, he was better in the 90s, but if you take away his three title years, he was STILL a .500 coach against the ranked teams, which REINFORCES my point: the difference between great teams and good teams, the difference between a dynasty and just a very good team is two things: 1) win more than 1/2 your games against the best teams; 2) one win per season. IT IS A VERY NARROW LINE.

Frank Solich, whatever his negatives, would have offered Nebraska continuity and firsthand knowledge of both the fan base AND the recruiting terrain as the world shifted outside of Lincoln. It is no accident that Nebraska's demise coincides with:
a) the expansion of the Internet (I saw my first web page on a military base in the fall of 1996)
b) the greater availability of televised games through such concepts as ESPN2 and Game Plan
c) the rise of small programs such as Marshall, Boise St, and USF - replete with NFL superstars such as Randy Moss or Terrell Owens (UTC) or Steve McNair (Alcorn St) and later guys like Carson Wentz (the Bison) - has come at direct cost to periphery great/good teams like Nebraska
d) the concurrent rise of Kansas St in the 1990s (as well as Kansas at times) robbed Nebraska of recruits that once had been easy pickings for the Huskers (would a Brook Berringer stay at Nebraska in 2002 behind Tommie Frazier? Probably not)

In all honesty, Solich's fate was sealed by two problems:
1) he was 2-4 against a Kansas St that had been the doormat of the Big 8 for decades
2) Oklahoma was putting #1 teams on the field and Nebraska's fan base at the time erroneously equated the two programs because of the recent past.


Frank Solich would not have been Bob Devaney; he probably wouldn't have come close to a national title. But he also would not have lost 19 games in a row against ranked foes, either.
I always thought Nebraska made a grave error when they got rid of Solich. I thought he was a good fit for the “reasonable” expectations that should be associated with the Cornhuskers. As borne out by your data and insightful analysis.
 

81usaf92

Hall of Fame
Apr 26, 2008
15,017
3,834
178
Sylacauga,AL
I always thought Nebraska made a grave error when they got rid of Solich. I thought he was a good fit for the “reasonable” expectations that should be associated with the Cornhuskers. As borne out by your data and insightful analysis.
Well its what happens when the fans basically run the program. They ran off two coaches that had them respectable and hired 2 get rich quick salesmen and one Reilly to replace them.
 

FaninLA

Bamanation Citizen
Jul 9, 2019
60
27
33
Mobile, AL
Well its what happens when the fans basically run the program. They ran off two coaches that had them respectable and hired 2 get rich quick salesmen and one Reilly to replace them.
Was Osborne responsible for any of those hires? Wasn’t he the AD there for a period of time?
 

selmaborntidefan

Hall of Fame
Mar 31, 2000
21,773
2,037
273
50
Wishing I was somewhere close to Duluth with a sli
BOISE STATE BCS BUSTERS RECORD VS END OF YEAR RANKED TEAMS
2000 - 0-0
2001 - 0-1; lost to Wazzu by 21 points
2002 - 0-1; lost to Arky by 27 points
2003 - 1-0; beat TCU by 3 points
2004 - 0-1; lost to Louisville by 4 points
2005 - 0-2; lost to UGA by 35 points, Boston College by 6
2006 - 2-0; beat Oregon St by 28, Oklahoma by 1
2007 - 0-0
2008 - 1-1; beat Oregon by 5, lost to TCU by 1
2009 - 2-0; beat Oregon by 11, TCU by 7

Overall record: 6-6

No team ever got more undeserved praise as suddenly being a big deal than Boise State did for their one-point win over Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Keep in mind that Boise State blew an 18-point lead in that game, a fact that gets missed during the hyperbolic discussions lifting them up as some sort of "threat" for the national championship. Keep in mind also that ONE-FOURTH of Boise's games against ranked competition (and 1/3 of their wins) are against the same team, TCU, who was hardly a power through those years. What's amusing is that Boise hasn't even been remotely in the hunt since they fluffed away a national title chance in 2011 with horrific kicking against....wait for it.....TCU.

In short, Boise State was a blue flash in the pan much as a cooked Smurf would be.
 

DanoCanuck

New Member
Feb 5, 2020
9
10
3
Congrats Selmabornfidefan. Your threads are fun and interesting reads.

Couple observations:

- Shula was terrible. Nice guy but bloody awful.
- Awbarn is the epitome of dysfunction.
- LSU can win no matter who the coach is. Miles, meh..The Ogre, what a meathead. Need closed caption to understand the guy.
- Florida was built with criminals hence da Urban should be viewed as a dirty ragamuffin.
- Tennersee is puke orange.
- Mississippi exists for teams to have rent o wins.
- USC condoms should be playing girls ringette
- Meeshagan are legends in their own minds
- da state Ohio sucks.

That is all...
 

DzynKingRTR

Hall of Fame
Dec 17, 2003
23,757
2,589
178
Vinings, ga., usa
BOISE STATE BCS BUSTERS RECORD VS END OF YEAR RANKED TEAMS
2000 - 0-0
2001 - 0-1; lost to Wazzu by 21 points
2002 - 0-1; lost to Arky by 27 points
2003 - 1-0; beat TCU by 3 points
2004 - 0-1; lost to Louisville by 4 points
2005 - 0-2; lost to UGA by 35 points, Boston College by 6
2006 - 2-0; beat Oregon St by 28, Oklahoma by 1
2007 - 0-0
2008 - 1-1; beat Oregon by 5, lost to TCU by 1
2009 - 2-0; beat Oregon by 11, TCU by 7

Overall record: 6-6

No team ever got more undeserved praise as suddenly being a big deal than Boise State did for their one-point win over Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Keep in mind that Boise State blew an 18-point lead in that game, a fact that gets missed during the hyperbolic discussions lifting them up as some sort of "threat" for the national championship. Keep in mind also that ONE-FOURTH of Boise's games against ranked competition (and 1/3 of their wins) are against the same team, TCU, who was hardly a power through those years. What's amusing is that Boise hasn't even been remotely in the hunt since they fluffed away a national title chance in 2011 with horrific kicking against....wait for it.....TCU.

In short, Boise State was a blue flash in the pan much as a cooked Smurf would be.
The fact that it was only 12 ranked teams in a decade is very telling.
 
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