Some schools do more with less, these ones do less with more.
9-FSU: It seems like a shocker to see the Seminoles on this list after three conference titles and a 5-4 bowl record, but when you finish in the top 25 all nine years with an average ranking of nine, you should produce better than a 64-42 record. Three BCS bowls……three losses. When they are bringing in the same quality of recruits as Texas, USC, Oklahoma and Florida and playing in a weaker conference to boot, one would expect much better results.
8-So Miss: USM is not a regular top 25 team in recruiting, but they have the number 2 ranked recruiting class in CUSA year in and year out. Their record is 68-48. In that time, they have one outright title and one other title game appearance. Their 4-5 bowl record says that while they manage to qualify for a bowl each year, they are not as dominant as they should be.
7-Pitt: While not a perennial top 25 team in recruiting, the Panthers have averaged a second place finish in their conference over the past nine years. You would think that would equate to more than a 68-44 record. They have turned out top flight talent at running back, wide receiver, defensive end and linebacker and yet that hasn’t translated onto the field. They have won a share of the Big East title twice over the last nine years and in neither case did they field a dominant team.
6-Clemson: The Tigers come in 69-46 on the heels of 6 top 25 finishes with an average rank of 17. They are well known for turning out top flight defensive ends, defensive backs and running backs. They have even stolen blue chippers from bigger schools in the SEC and ACC. Over the last nine years, they have won several games vs traditional powers (FSU and Miami) and then lost to mediocre schools (Maryland and BC). They did manage to make the ACC title game in 2009 before falling to GT. They are also 3-5 in bowls over that period.
5-SC: SC has the placed in the top 25 recruiting rankings eight out of nine years with an average rank of 16. Spurrier has had some SEC championship caliber defenses and has upgraded the talent on offense and yet has found getting to the championship game elusive until this year. Then they managed to play worse on a neutral site against Auburn than they did on the road against them weeks earlier. They are 1-4 in bowls over that span and 0-4 vs BCS schools.
4-Miami: With a 76-38 record and double OT loss in the national title game after the 2002 season, you might think that the Hurricanes don’t deserve to be on here, but the numbers say otherwise. Nine times in the last nine years they have finished in the top 25 of the recruiting rankings with an average finish of #10. That kind of talent has equated to zero conference titles since joining the ACC and a 3-5 bowl record with four of those losses in the last five bowls.
3-Texas A&M: With seven finishes in nine years and an average ranking of #16, you would think that the Aggies would have better than a 57-54 record……even having to play in the Big 12 South. They still haven’t managed to play for a conference title since 1998 and have lost all five bowl games they have played in that span by an average of 22 points.
2-Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish has finished in the top 25 of the recruiting rankings seven of the last nine years and has averaged #13. In the four losses of their six bowl games during that span, they were defeated by an average margin of 20 points. Compounding matters are the losses to UConn and to Navy in three of the last four in that series, and an overall record of 64-48.
1-UCLA: Despite finishing in the top 25 recruiting rankings six of the past nine years and averaging #15, the Bruins have gone 58-55 with no conference titles and a 3-4 bowl record that includes defeats to non-BCS schools Fresno State and Wyoming.
Talent is certainly not the problem with these schools, so it’s not surprising that they have all gone through coaching changes at least once……and in some cases twice in the last nine years.