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TEAMS that turned around

August 30, 2002|By Christian Ewell

Several schools have enjoyed unexpected success similar to Maryland's in 2001. Here's what has happened to those programs since.

2000: Oregon State (11-1)

With the return of star tailback Ken Simonton, the Beavers were picked to be No. 1 by Sports Illustrated in 2001. However, Oregon State suffered a season-opening road loss to Fresno State and dropped four of its first six games on the way to a 5-6 finish. This year's team is expected to rebound, with 15 starters returning.

1995:

Northwestern

(10-2)

Gary Barnett became the nation's most coveted head coach after that season, when one of college football's most ridiculed programs got the last laugh. Since then, losing seasons have outnumbered winning ones, 4-2, but the Wildcats -- co-Big Ten champs in 2000 under Randy Walker -- have seemingly moved past the point of being the easy win its league opponents had traditionally expected.

1993: Wisconsin (11-1)

The Badgers had gone 13-22 over Barry Alvarez's first three seasons before breaking through and ending the season ranked No. 5 in the coaches poll. In the nine years since, Wisconsin has become the model of consistency among programs that have experienced sudden, remarkable success, winning 64 percent of its games (63-32-3).

1990: Georgia Tech (11-0-1)

After earning a share of the national championship, led by quarterback Shawn Jones, the Yellow Jackets underachieved with an 8-5 mark the next season. Then, head coach Bobby Ross left for the NFL and the program floundered under Bill Lewis, bottoming out with a 1-10 season in 1994. Tech didn't become a Top 25 presence again until the last four seasons of George O'Leary's tenure.

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