Over the past five years, Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Florida State, and Wisconsin have all turned themselves into college football’s usual suspects, becoming the nation’s only five programs to finish in the Top 25 in consecutive years during that span.
That stat comes from USA Today college football writer Dan Wolken, and it speaks to the cyclical nature of the sport. Certainly, those five teams have been on top at one time or another in the past, but as far as the here and now, these guys are the cream of the crop.
And a look at their resumes should shed some light on how truly dominant these programs have been in the past half decade.
No other program has risen to the level of the Crimson Tide since 2012. In fact, their dominance can be traced back to about one season after Nick Saban took over the program. But we’re only going back five years, so we’ll start with the 2012 season. Since then, Bama has gone 64-7, won four SEC championships and two national championships.
Incidentally, the Buckeyes latest round of success coincides with Urban Meyer’s arrival in Columbus. Since 2012, they’ve gone 61-6, won one Big Ten championship and one national championship.
Head coach Dabo Swinney took over in 2009, but the Tigers really turned it up a notch beginning in 2012. Since then, they’ve won no fewer than 10 games a season, gone 60-13, won two ACC conference titles, and one national championship.
Jimbo Fisher inherited a Seminoles program on the decline in 2010, but the turnaround was immediate. After going 10-4 in his first season, FSU has been back in the national conversation virtually every year since. In the past five years, the Noles have gone 59-17, won three ACC titles, and one national championship.
The Badgers have seen a bit of a coaching carousel situation in Madison, with three different coaches in the past five years, but they’ve always managed to finish strong. Since 2012, they’ve had three seasons with 10 or more wins, gone 49-19 and won one Big Ten championship.