Texas: Five. Texas’ preseason AP ranking and the number of games they won. Texas should have been decent. They had an average offense buoyed by a top ten defense by yardage. The trouble was turnovers. Thirty of them! Had the Longhorns held onto the ball, they would be playing in a bowl game. Mack Brown likely would not be replacing his entire staff less than a year after playing for the BCS Title.
Florida: The Gators were top five pre-season and barely scraped together seven wins against outclassed teams. They had talent, but were foiled by their offensive coaching. Urban Meyer is so much of an offensive guru calling plays is beneath him. Steve Addazio made a mess of it. Problems that were masked by Tebow came rudely to the forefront.
Iowa: Iowa was expected to compete for the Big Ten. They finished 7-5. The Hawkeyes did everything well, except the little things required to win at the end of games. They lost four games (including their final three) in the Big Ten by a combined 11 points. Unfortunately, the season’s cataclysmic end isn’t the program’s most pressing issue.
Georgia Tech: They ran the ball well. They didn’t do much else. The Yellow Jackets were supposed to compete again following an 11-win, ACC Title season. They ended up 6-6, padded with wins against South Carolina State, Wake Forest, Virginia, Middle Tennessee State and Duke. They were one of the three in “3-9 Kansas.”
Pittsburgh: NFL-level talent returning to a terrible conference. Pitt were clear favorites. They finished 7-5. Dave Wannstedt was fired. Out of the Big East, they blew a lead at Utah, lost a close one to Notre Dame and were eviscerated 31-3 at home by Miami. With the conference title at state, the Panthers lost to rivals West Virginia by 25 at home. Inconsistent offensive line play led to Dion Lewis being below 700 yards heading into the season’s final game and to Tino Sunseri being sacked 21 times.