Which Program Has Been the Most Overrated Over the Last Dozen Years?
There’s no denying that the two most overrated programs over the last decade have been the Texas Longhorns and the Miami Hurricanes. Texas claiming to “be back” has become a meme at this point given the Longhorns inability to even win a conference championship. The Longhorns haven’t won the Big 12 since 2009, consistently playing second fiddle to Oklahoma.
Meanwhile, Miami’s claim that the ACC would become the ‘All Canes Conference’ upon its arrival has been laughed at by every one of the Hurricanes’ rivals over the last 18 years. The Canes joined the ACC in 2004, yet they didn’t win a division title until 2017. That was their lone division title since joining the conference, and they were smashed 38-3 by Clemson in the ACC Championship Game.
The Case for the Texas Longhorns
It turns out that Mack Brown wasn’t the problem. Brown won 10 or more games at Texas for nine straight seasons from 2001 to 2009. He led the Longhorns to the 2005 BCS National Championship, and they were competitive in the 2009 BCS National Championship Game against Alabama until Colt McCoy was knocked out of the game due to injury. However, the pressure on Brown quickly built up after a disastrous 5-7 season in 2010, and he was pushed out the door three years later despite Texas finishing with eight or more wins in each of those seasons.
Charlie Strong was supposed to be the panacea that fixed Texas’ ills, but Strong was unable to finish with a winning record in any of his three seasons with the program. That led to another heralded messiah in Houston head coach Tom Herman, and the Longhorns’ fans drank all the Kool-Aid after Herman led the Longhorns to a 10-4 record that ended with a Sugar Bowl victory over Georgia. Quarterback Sam Ehlinger famously declared, “We’re baaaaack!” on the podium after the win, but the Longhorns showed the world that wasn’t the case after going 8-5 in 2019. Herman was unceremoniously dismissed after posting a 7-3 record in 2020, yet at least he was able to take Texas to four straight bowl games.
In his first season in charge of Texas, Steve Sarkisian led the Longhorns to their fifth losing season in the last 12 years. The Longhorns started the season ranked No. 21 in the AP Poll and rose to No. 15 in the standings after beating Louisiana-Lafayette in Week 1. They eventually got off to a 4-1 start and were leading Oklahoma by 21 points in the Red River Rivalry before the wheels came off. Texas went on to lose that game and proceeded to lose six straight games in order to miss out on a bowl game. The Longhorns even lost to the lowly Kansas Jayhawks in Austin for the first time ever, providing Kansas its first win over an FBS opponent since October 26, 2019.
It’s head scratching why Texas is regarded so highly ahead of the 2022 season. The Longhorns did manage to bring Quinn Ewers back to the Lone Star State and have a star running back in Bijan Robinson, but they should not be considered co-favorites to win the conference alongside Oklahoma. Fortunately, AP voters have seemed to learn their lesson as the Longhorns are unranked heading into the 2022 campaign. As you can see from the table below, Texas has not outperformed its preseason rankings in 12 years, so it was silly to see the Longhorns start 18th in the Coaches Poll and receive a first-place vote. That continued belief that Texas is better than what we see every year is why the Longhorns are one of the two teams on this list.
|Year||AP Pre||AP High||AP Post|
The Case for the Miami Hurricanes
There’s no doubt that the most talented program in college football during the early 2000s was Miami. The Hurricanes dominated the Big East from 2000 to 2003, and they finished No. 1 or No. 2 in the country for three straight seasons from 2000 to 2002. Miami had dozens of future NFL stars on its roster, and the Hurricanes went a combined 46-4 in that stretch.
They were expected to immediately give rival Florida State a run for its money upon joining the conference in 2004, but the Hurricanes did not win their first ACC Coastal title until 2017. Virginia Tech won the division six times and Georgia Tech won the division four times in that stretch, and even basketball-focused Duke and North Carolina went to the ACC Championship Game before the Hurricanes.
Miami has only won 10 games or more in a season one time since joining the ACC 18 years ago. Randy Shannon, Al Golden, and Manny Diaz all failed to produce the expected turnaround they promised, and Mark Richt retired after just three seasons. Richt was the most successful coach Miami has had since Larry Coker was fired at the end of the 2006 season, but many fans were happy to see him go since he wasn’t emphasizing recruiting the way many fans wanted.
Several quarterbacks were supposed to be the ones to take Miami to the next level. Brock Berlin, Kyle Wright, Jacory Harris, Brad Kaaya, Jarren Williams, N’Kosi Perry, and D’Eriq King were all being held up as the future of the program at one point, but they all failed to deliver when it mattered most.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but this season is supposed to be different. Miami has a talented young quarterback in Tyler van Dyke and a new head coach in Mario Cristobal. The Hurricanes are favored to win the ACC Coastal, and they open the year ranked 16th in the AP Poll. Four of the last five times the Hurricanes were ranked to start the season, they ended the year unranked, so it would be smart to avoid the hype.
What Do You Think?
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