Greatest Turnarounds in CFB History
It's no secret that up until three years ago – when Greg Schiano arrived in Piscataway -- the Scarlet Knights football program wasn't exactly setting the world on fire. Since joining the Big East in 1991, they are 49-106-1 with only two winning seasons. As little as five years ago, the team was 2-9 including blowout losses of 61-0 (Miami), 50-0 (Virginia Tech), 80-7 (West Virginia) and 42-0 (Pitt). But the team has steadily improved through Schiano's six years – including last year's 7-5 record and Insight Bowl appearance – and culminating in last night's triumph.
The only other turnaround we can think of that matches the Scarlet Knights is Kansas State, which was one of the worst programs in the NCAA until 1989, when Bill Synder took over and led the team to back to prominence. His arrival at Florida State may predate most of our births, but Bobby Bowden deserves mention, as he took over the Seminoles in 1976 – at which time the team had won four games in the previous three seasons – and turned them into the powerhouse they are now. In 31 years at the helm, Bowden is 289-77-4, including two national championships (1993, 1999) and 12 ACC titles.
You tell us if Greg Schiano has pulled off the greatest rebuilding job in college football history. If not, whose was better?
Preseason All-American Team - Sound Off!
F - Joakim Noah, Florida, Sr.
F - Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina, Soph.
C – Glen Davis, LSU, Jr.
G - Brandon Rush, Kansas, Soph.
G – Ronald Steele, Alabama, Jr.
We can't argue with Hansbrough, who averaged 19 points and 8 rebounds per game as a freshman and would've been a lottery pick had he entered the NBA Draft after last season. Same with Steele, whose stats may not jump off the page (14 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists last season), but he is solid in all facets of the game. After last season's NCAA championship run, Noah is a no-brainer and should secure a top-three spot in the draft next June.
Davis and Rush, however, we are not sold on. If we had a vote, we'd choose UCLA's Arron Afflalo over Rush. The 6-5 junior does everything well and he averaged 16 ppg last season for a Bruins squad that went to the finals of the NCAA Tournament. As for Big Baby, we're on the fence. He's an undersized center with limited mobility who averaged only one blocked shot per game last season, but he did average 19 points and 10 rebounds for a Tigers team that made it all the way to the Final Four. The problem with removing Davis from the All-America team is that there's nobody to replace him. Duke's Josh McRoberts isn't quite there yet, and Florida's Al Horford is surrounded by too much talent to break out on his own. Texas freshman Kevin Durant may be the best choice to fill out the frontcourt -- he has size (6-9), a sweet shooting stroke, and has gained 20 pounds of muscle since he arrived in Austin. However, we just can't put a freshman above Davis until we see whether he’s all hype or he can play.
So, our only changes to the squad would be to replace Rush with Affalo. What changes would you make?
Preseason Hoops Top 25 - Sound Off!
2. North Carolina
7. Ohio State
Among my initial thoughts are that Ohio State is ranked too high. Greg Oden may be better than Shaquille O'Neal and Bill Russell combined, but he won't be back from a wrist injury until January and even when he does come back, he'll need time to adjust to the college game. I'd put Ohio State around No. 15. Same with Georgetown, which may have the best big man combo in college hoops (Roy Hibbert and Jeff Green), but the team's perimeter players are suspect. I also would move up Georgia Tech from No. 23 to somewhere in the Top 15 and swap UCLA and Kansas (so the Bruins are No. 3 and the Jayhawks are No. 6).
Those are my suggestions. What are yours?
Who's Your Heisman Winner?
Troy Smith, Ohio State, QB – 2,006 yards passing, 22 TD, 3 INT: The leader, but others are coming on strong.
Brady Quinn, Notre Dame, QB – 2,579 yards passing, 25 TD, 4 INT: After some early season struggles, Quinn is back in the race.
Steve Slaton, West Virginia, RB – 1,215 yards rushing, 10 TD: Stock is falling after two costly fumbles in the season's biggest game.
Mike Hart, Michigan, RB – 1,281 yards rushing, 10 TDs: Not as flashy as some other runners, but continues to get the job done for the nation's No. 2 team.
Ray Rice, Rutgers, RB – 1,203 yards rushing, 13 TDs: He's been the best player on the nation's most improved team. His performance Thursday against Louisville will go a long way toward deciding his Heisman fate.
Colt McCoy, Texas, QB – 2,051 yards passing, 27 TDs, 4 INT: Why not? The 20-year-old freshman has been magnificent all season and is already sixth all-time in career TD passes at Texas.
After much evaluation, SIOC predicts Smith will struggle against Michigan and Quinn will swoop in and grab the prize. What's your prediction?
Do you have a topic worth venting about? Send your suggestions here.