You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

3 college football teams began year in AP Top 25, end season missing bowls: What happened?

FOX News logo FOX News 12/9/2022 Joe Morgan
UP NEXT
UP NEXT

As the college football season reaches its December lull and fans attempt to keep themselves entertained with intriguing bowl game matchups before the College Football Playoff semifinals, it is a good time to take a look back on the regular season. 

The 2022 college football season was fascinating with a dominant team not becoming apparent until the end of the regular season – looking at you Georgia. 

Members of the Georgia Bulldogs hoist the SEC championship trophy after their 50-30 victory over the LSU Tigers in the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Dec. 3, 2022, in Atlanta. Todd Kirkland/Getty Images © Todd Kirkland/Getty Images Members of the Georgia Bulldogs hoist the SEC championship trophy after their 50-30 victory over the LSU Tigers in the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Dec. 3, 2022, in Atlanta. Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

In between, we had a Tennessee program that finally was able to rise from the ashes, voted as the No. 1 team in the country for the first time since winning the national championship in 1998. Under head coach Josh Heupel, Tennessee’s offense soared, taking down Alabama for the first time since 2006. 

CLEMSON VERBAL COMMIT SAYS DEION SANDERS ‘TRYING TO HOLLER AT ME’

While the Vols faltered down the stretch, losing to Georgia and getting smoked by South Carolina, they went from unranked to No. 6 in the country in last week's CFP rankings, returning one of college football’s great programs back to prominence. 

TCU had a similar rise. It started the year unranked but was able to avoid major potholes, going 12-1. It will face No. 2 Michigan in the semifinals of the CFP.

READ ON THE FOX NEWS APP

Those are the feel-good stories of the college football season, but what about the teams that disappointed in a big way? 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

Max Duggan of the TCU Horned Frogs carries the ball against the Kansas State Wildcats in the second half of the Big 12 championship at AT and T Stadium Dec. 3, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. Ron Jenkins/Getty Images © Ron Jenkins/Getty Images Max Duggan of the TCU Horned Frogs carries the ball against the Kansas State Wildcats in the second half of the Big 12 championship at AT and T Stadium Dec. 3, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Notre Dame and Oklahoma were in the top 10 to start the year before quickly dropping off, but both teams managed to get it together and win at least six games. 

Then there are the three teams that will not be competing in a bowl game that were ranked to start the season. The three teams that completely failed to live up to expectations. 

What happened?

It doesn’t get any more disappointing than the Aggies, who began the season with sky-high expectations. 

Head coach Jimbo Fisher was all the rave in the summer, engaging in an offseason war of words with Alabama’s Nick Saban after pulling in the No. 1 recruiting class in 2022.

But no matter the number of five-star recruits, Texas A&M quickly showed its top-10 ranking was a farce. 

Head coach Jimbo Fisher of the Texas A and M Aggies walks off the field after taking on the Arkansas Razorbacks in the first half of the 2022 Southwest Classic at AT and T Stadium Sept. 24, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. Tom Pennington/Getty Images © Tom Pennington/Getty Images Head coach Jimbo Fisher of the Texas A and M Aggies walks off the field after taking on the Arkansas Razorbacks in the first half of the 2022 Southwest Classic at AT and T Stadium Sept. 24, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Against unranked Appalachian State in Week 2, the Aggies gained just 180 yards of offense as quarterback Haynes King threw for a meager 97 yards. 

ALABAMA ASSISTANT TO JOIN DEION SANDERS’ COLORADO STAFF AS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: REPORT

A&M rebounded after the loss, beating two ranked teams in Miami and Arkansas before losing six games in a row, ending any hope for a successful season.

Fisher was never able to find a quarterback, losing Max Johnson for the season after the LSU transfer suffered a broken hand against Mississippi State

Texas A and M Aggies quarterback Max Johnson (14) cuts back during a game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs Oct. 1, 2022, at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss. Chris McDill/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images © Chris McDill/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Texas A and M Aggies quarterback Max Johnson (14) cuts back during a game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs Oct. 1, 2022, at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss. Chris McDill/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The A&M offense struggled, finishing 94th in the country with just 360.7 yards per game and scoring only 22.8 points per game. 

Fisher’s contract runs through 2031, and his buyout is massive – $86 million if fired after the 2022 season – but it’s hard to believe the alumni will remain patient if Texas A&M has a repeat season in 2023. 

Coming off an 11-2 season, culminating in an AP final poll ranking of No. 9, a lot was expected of Mel Tucker’s squad. 

The expectations quickly faded. 

Michigan State Spartans head coach Mel Tucker during a game against the Michigan Wolverines Oct. 29, 2022, at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images © Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Michigan State Spartans head coach Mel Tucker during a game against the Michigan Wolverines Oct. 29, 2022, at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After beating a couple of cupcakes in Western Michigan and Akron, Sparty face-planted, losing four in a row before getting back on the winning track against Wisconsin. 

Michigan State was unable to repeat the success it had against Michigan in 2021, losing 29-7 at the Big House, followed by a couple of Spartans beating up on two players from Michigan in the tunnel after the game. 

The incident led to seven players from Michigan State being charged with assault, and the Spartans lost their final two games to miss out on bowl eligibility.

The Michigan State defense ranked 102nd in the country in yards allowed per game (416.5) and gave up 27.4 points per game (75th in the country). 

A Michigan State Spartans helmet on the field before a game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium Nov. 26, 2022, in State College, Pa. Scott Taetsch/Getty Images © Scott Taetsch/Getty Images A Michigan State Spartans helmet on the field before a game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium Nov. 26, 2022, in State College, Pa. Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

PURDUE’S JEFF BROHM FINALIZING DEAL TO BECOME NEXT HEAD COACH AT LOUISVILLE: REPORT 

The loss of Kenneth Walker III was clearly felt, as the Spartans rushing attack fell from 53rd in 2021 (175.6 yards per game) to 111th (113.0) in 2022. 

Tucker signed a 10-year, $95 million extension at the end of last season.

Rebuilds don’t happen overnight as Mario Cristobal learned in his first year in Coral Gables, Florida.

The hire of Cristobal was a massive move for a program that failed to live up to expectations under Manny Diaz. Cristobal won 10 games at Oregon in 2021 and arrived at his alma mater as the prodigal son returning home.

The first year did not go as planned.

After beating Bethune-Cookman and Southern Miss to start the season, the Hurricanes lost three in a row, including an awful loss to Middle Tennessee State. 

Miami Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal and wide receiver Xavier Restrepo (7) prepare to take the field for the start of a game against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., Sept. 3, 2022. Al Diaz/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images © Al Diaz/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images Miami Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal and wide receiver Xavier Restrepo (7) prepare to take the field for the start of a game against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., Sept. 3, 2022. Al Diaz/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

FORMER COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACH ‘ASKING FOR YOUR PRAYERS’ AS PARKINSON’S TREATMENT BEGINS

Miami then had to stomach Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee State University's head football coach, taking shots in the media

"They ran for 194 yards against Texas A&M, the number whatever team in the country at this point," he said. "They ran for 68 against us. They averaged 1.6 yards per carry. They gave $1.5 million. We gave them 1.6 yards per carry."

Miami’s offense continued to struggle following the three-game skid, scoring 20 points in a game just once the rest of the way. 

The Hurricanes' offense finished the year 98th in points per game (23.4), failing to get a win over a team that finished the year over .500. 

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From FOX News

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon