Thursday, February 13, 2014

5 College Football Programs With The Highest Ceilings

Coaches are fired every year because athletic departments perceive those coaches to not be reaching the program's ceiling of which they lead.  To succeed to the highest level in college football you need talent, first and foremost.  

I don't care how good of a coach you are if you don't have talent (either recruited or developed) you simply will not win consistently.  It helps to have a big fan base to help woo top flight talent but location is also a big draw to be able to play in front of friends and family.

These five schools have some combination of fan support and/or rich recruiting base which put them in a category all by themselves in the elite of college football.  One of these five programs has played in 13 of 16 BCS Championship Games.

5. Florida

Located within a talent rich state in the best conference in the country give the Gators great potential.  The advantages are big but so are the expectations. Since Steve Spurrier brought his alma mater to college football's elite and finding a long term program leader has been tougher than other elite programs. 

4. USC

The Trojans are the only historical and modern football program of success west of Texas.  Southern California enjoys a talent base almost as good as South Florida though much more spread out.  When that talent is harnessed this Pac 12 school can compete with anyone the SEC brings on.    

3. FSU

The Seminoles of the 90s were the program the top of the SEC have modeled themselves after in the 2000s.  While they don't have the SEC to sell they do sit in talent rich triangle of Florida, SW Georgia, and SE Alabama.  And playing in the ACC will give FSU more chances to be undefeated and their name will get them in top four on that record.   

2. Miami

It goes back to Howard Schnellenberger and the "State of Miami".  When the Hurricanes have Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties on lock down they are on top of the college football world.  The fan support is certainly not to the level of other elite programs, but when this program is winning the Hurricanes are the hot commodity on South Beach.

1. Alabama

No program enjoys 365 days of fan support like the Tide.  While the in-state isn't enough to dominate on alone it is a very good start and Bama's recruiting reach can be as wide as their fans are rapid.  Add these advantages to playing in the best conference in the country and you can see why the Crimson Tide have the highest ceiling in college football.


  1. Texas has to be in the top 5. Recruiting, fan base, resources, and easier conference to win in than the SEC...they have no excuse not to be in the national championship discussion every year.

    1. Longhorns would be #6 on my list. Texas is like Florida in that on the surface you would think they would be higher on the list but for various reasons they are not (for Gators its on field competition, recruiting in a transient state, program stability). A&M going to the SEC has put a dent in the Texas armor and knocked them down. Texas' perceived advantages are overrated in my opinion.


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