Who is the next Boise State? Powerhouse Programs in the Making

The landscape of college football is changing. The details are still unknown, but the time of super-conferences and a national title playoff will soon come. Super-conferences will make conference play even more difficult, and a playoff will give mid-majors and middle conference teams the ability to make a title run.

In recent memory, Maryland, Wake Forest, Missouri, and Hawaii have posted great seasons only to follow their success with mediocre records. In 2010, Boise State is considered a national title contender after years of crying of national disrespect. The past decade has seen Virginia Tech, Oregon, and West Virginia become perennial power programs. We have put together nine programs that have consistently won over the past five years and have the resources to contend for a national title within the next ten years.

Boston College – Over the past five years the Golden Eagles have posted a 47-19 record and a 3-2 bowl record coming out of the ACC.  Boston College posted 10 wins in 2007, and 11 in 2008. With the departure of Tom O’Brien, time will tell if new coach Frank Spaziani can continue the winning trend.  Along with Rutgers and Penn State, Spaziani has close access to recruiting grounds of the Northeast.

Brigham Young – Four consecutive ten plus winning seasons and five straight bowl appearances should help the Cougars receive more attention.  At 49-15 over the past five years, Bronco Mendenhall has led BYU to a 3-2 bowl record and has been successful in landing blue chip prospects the past few years.  With the history of the LaVell Edwards era, BYU has enough prestige and name recognition to continue the programs recent success.

Rutgers – It’s easy to forget the dismal past of Rutgers football before Greg Schiano. Since 2005  the Scarlet Knights ave gone 43-21 with five straight bowl appearances. The Big East squad from Piscataway, New Jersey has won four of their last five bowl games and the consistency of Schiano leads fans to believe there winning trends won’t change. Do not expect Rutgers to be playing the Big East within the next few years, giving them a better chance to earn national recognition.

South Florida – The Bulls of Tampa are directly in the middle of a recruiting hotbed. The recently departed Jim Leavitt built the South Florida program into a winning program with winning expectations.  Skip Holtz will look to continue the trend after the Bulls have gone 40-24 with a 3-2 bowl record over the past five years.

Utah – The U of U dominated Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl, and coach Kyle Whittingham has proceeded to continue what former coach Urban Meyer began. The Utes have gone 47-17 over the past five years with victories in all of their bowl appearances. Utah has done a great job of fighting for in-state talent, and landing the prospects that get overlooked by the Pac-10, Big 12, and Big Ten.

Wisconsin – In the Big Ten, Michigan is a decade away from title contention, Penn State s looking at the transition of the post Paterno era which leaves Ohio State as the only other legitimate competition. Historically, the Badgers seem to always go overlooked in the Big Ten.  Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State seem to dominate the national attention while Wisconsin has posted a 48-16 record since 2005.  Coach Bret Bielema took over for Barry Alvarez in 2006 and has continued the tradition of Badger dominance.

TCU – Respected as a legitimate top 25 team, the Horned Frogs have the resources and ability to make a run at a national title in the near future.  TCU along with Utah and BYU have elevated the Mountain West as the most underrated mid-major conference. At 53-11 since 2005, coach Gary Patterson has led the squad to the 2010 Fiesta Bowl, and a 4-1 record in bowls during the past five years.  The wealth of talent in Texas and the presence of Patterson have transformed the program into a potential powerhouse.

Houston – The Cougars of Conference USA have reached five consecutive bowl games since 2005 and posted a 42-24 record. Kevin Sumlin has an 18-9 record since taking over for Art Briles in 2008.  Much like TCU, Houston sits in the middle of a recruiting hotbed and gives local talent the ability to stay closer to home and the chance to play earlier in contrast to Texas, Texas Tech, or Texas A&M.

Central Michigan – The Chippewas are well-known as a coaching pipeline as Brian Kelly and Butch Jones combined to go 44-22 since 2005.  New coach, Dan Enos will look to build upon the teams recent success in Mount Pleasant.  As Michigan State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Indiana, Illinois, and Purdue continue to be inconsistent, the northern Midwest talent is looking for great coaching, earlier playing time, and the chance to win. The biggest long shot of this group, the Chippewas are 2-2 in four bowl appearances since 2005.

~ by philip d. on June 4, 2010.

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