Longtime college football recruiting analyst and writer Mike Farrell named the Miami football program in his top five among "The Most Embarrassing Title Droughts Left." Florida, Ohio State, Texas and USC were the other four programs that Farrell stated have embarrassing title droughts.
Miami has the longest title drought of the five programs mentioned by Farrell. Miami is ranked first followed by Texas, USC, Florida and Ohio State. In addition to the 2001 Miami title, the longest title drought by the other four teams was USC in 2004.
The other droughts are Texas, who beat USC for the National Championship in 2005 at the Rose Bowl, Florida with their most recent title in 2008 and Ohio State in 2014. Texas is the only one of the five programs mentioned by Farrell to qualify for the College Football Playoff. Texas lost to Washington in the 2023 Sugar Bowl.
The 2023 College Football Playoff berth for Texas was the only one during the four-team College Football Playoff era by the five programs Farrell listed. With the expansion of the College Football Playoff to four teams, Ohio State and Texas should be perennial contenders.
"1. Miami- Mike Farrell
— With such an amazing home recruiting territory and so much history, it’s amazing Miami hasn’t won it all since 2001. And they joined the ACC, which has been a cakewalk for years"
Florida, Miami and USC have futher to go than Ohio State and Texas to build their programs into College Football Playoff contenders. USC head coach Lincoln Riley led Oklahoma to appearance in the College Football Playoff from 2017 through 2019. The Sooners lost in the Semifinals in all three seasons.
Ohio State qualified for the College Football Playoff in 2020 and 2022 under current head coach Ryan Day. Mario Cristobal got close during the 2019 season when he led Oregon to an 11-2 record, including a Pac-12 championship and Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin.
All five programs listed by Farrell have had dominant stretches. Miami won four titles between 1983 and 1991. Those were followed up by three years of finishing in the top two from 2000 through 2002. Texas has only two 10-win seasons since finishing 13-1 and losing in the 2009 National Championship Game to Alabama.
Florida has been more consistent. The Gators also won the 2006 National Championship. Dan Mullen led the Gators to New Year's Six bowl game in each of his first three seasons before being fired after a 6-7 record in 2021. Mullen was 25-16 in four seasons with Florida. Billy Napier replaced Mullen and has gone 11-14 in two seasons.
USC finished in the top four nationally under Pete Carroll from 2004 through 2008. The Trojans have finished the season ranked in the top five nationally only twice since Carroll left following the 2009 season. USC won the Pac 12 regular season title and finished 12th nationally in the first season under Riley in 2022.
Florida, Oklahoma and Texas all have difficult grinds in the SEC and USC is entering new territory in the Big 10 in 2024. Miami appears to have the clearest path to a College Football Playoff berth in the ACC. The 2024 season will be critical for Mario Cristobal after a 12-13 record in his first two seasons with Miami.