Top programs of the Decade

This list is according to ESPN college football writers. Also, Id like to apologize for posting those long Blue Ribbon posts each day, I have been real busy so I have been posting those, also for those who enjoy the podcast I am having some laptop recording problems and hope to start my preview shows tomorrow. Back to the list… here are teams in reverse order.

104unlv.gif UNLV 35-80 .304 0 conference titles 1-0 bowl record

The John Robinson Era was supposed to bring the Rebels out of obscurity. It didn’t. Replacement Mike Sanford, hired off Urban Meyer’s hot-shot staff at Utah, is 4-19. And Vegas still hasn’t produced back-to-back winning seasons since 1983-84.

100sdstate.gif San Diego State 45-72 .384 0 conference titles 0-1 bowl record

Long gone are the days of head coach Al Luginbill and star running back Marshall Faulk. In fact, the Aztecs have enjoyed only one winning record (2004) the past four seasons. Chuck Long took over this downtrodden program a year ago and finished with a 3-9 record in 2006. In order to right the ship this fall, Long and his staff need to get offensive with 10 returning starters on that side of the ball.

T-91wyoming1.gif Wyoming 49-67 .422 0 conference titles 1-0 bowl record

Coach Joe Glenn injected some much needed life into this program when he took over four seasons ago. Wyoming peaked with an upset victory over UCLA in the 2004 Las Vegas Bowl. Sustaining that success has proven to be a much tougher task, as the Cowboys have sputtered to a 10-13 record the past two seasons.

72unm.gif New Mexico 61-61 .500 0 conference titles 0-5 bowl record

The Lobos are 61-61 in the past 10 years. They are best known for producing Brian Urlacher, who was a great player, hammering ball carriers and catching TDs in the red zone for New Mexico. Rocky Long’s team also acquitted itself well with wins at Mizzou and against Texas Tech in the past three seasons. One trend worth watching: Last season, attendance for UNM was down almost 10,000 fans per game.

T-56airforce.gif Air Force 71-49 .592 1 conference title 2-2 bowl record

The Falcons were a very solid 71-49 the past 10 years under Fisher DeBerry, and they were always among the leaders in graduation rate. It is worth noting the Falcons played only five ranked teams in the past four years and lost all five games. Under DeBerry, they had been sliding the past five or six years while Navy continued to surge. It’ll be interesting to see whether new coach Troy Calhoun and his West Coast-based offense can get the Falcons going again.

48 csu.gif Colorado State 76-47 .618 3 conference titles 3-4 bowl record

Coach Sonny Lubick put the Rams on college football’s map, winning 91 games in his first 11 seasons at the school. Colorado State had won only 47 games in the 11 seasons combined before Lubick arrived. He guided Colorado State to six conference titles and nine bowl games from 1994 to 2003. But the Rams have leveled off in each of the past three seasons, winning six games or fewer each year.

44 byu.gif BYU 72-51 .585 3 conference titles 1-4 bowl record

The Cougars fell on hard times following the retirement of legendary coach LaVell Edwards, who led BYU to 20 conference titles and a national championship. After enduring three straight losing seasons under former coach Gary Crowton — the program’s worst streak of futility since six losing seasons in a row from 1959-64 — the Cougars have found success under Bronco Mendenhall. BYU went 6-6 in his first season in 2005, then won the Mountain West and went 11-2 in 2006.

28utah.gif Utah 76-41 .650 3 conference titles 6-0 bowl record

The Utes were the first team from a non-BCS conference to play in a BCS bowl game, finishing 12-0 and beating Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl during the 2004 season. Former coach Urban Meyer parlayed that dream season into a job at Florida. The Utes haven’t had the same success under successor Kyle Whittingham, who is 15-10 in two seasons, but they might be poised for another big season in 2007.

24tcu.gif TCU 80-40 .667 4 conference titles 5-3 Bowl record

The Horned Frogs have come a long way: moving from the WAC to Conference USA to the Mountain West and thriving in all three. Despite playing in a league without a guaranteed BCS berth, Gary Patterson has turned TCU into a perennial threat to grab one.

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