2. Mississippi State
The Bulldogs actually held the distinction of being the nation’s No. 1-ranked team in the AP polls in 2014, when then-head coach Dan Mullen and quarterback Dak Prescott led the squad to an 8-0 start and a four-week stint at No. 1.
Those dreams of a college football national championship came crashing down, however, after a loss to No. 4 Alabama in mid-November. Mississippi State would go on to finish the season 10-3 after two more losses to Egg Bowl rival Ole Miss and to Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl.
The Bulldogs have had three losing seasons in the past seven years and seem stuck in SEC West mediocrity or slightly above-average performances.
The 1960 Orangemen were the defending national champs following an undefeated 1959 campaign and a Cotton Bowl win against Texas. The brief stay at the AP No. 1 spot (the program’s most recent) in Week 3 of the 1960 season came to end after an unconvincing 15-6 win against Holy Cross.
Interestingly enough, Ernie Davis was a part of both the 1959 and 1960 Syracuse teams, but it wasn’t until 1961 that he won the Heisman Trophy following a year in which he accounted for 980 all-purpose yards and 14 touchdowns in just 10 games.
The Orange have only put together two winning records in the past nine seasons. While last year’s 7-6 finish under head coach Dino Babers was the program’s best performance in four seasons, the Orange have a long way to go in contending in the ACC and on the national stage.