Four college football teams on the RISE

These four college football teams are on the rise. They have had a losing record the last five years. However, with good coaching and an improvement in development and recruiting, expect each one to improve over the next five years and have a winning record.


Record the last 5 years (25-37)

Record in 2018 (8-5)

The Hoos won 8 games last year, including a 28-0 win in the Belk Bowl vs South Carolina. Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall has always been a winner (99-43 @ BYU). Mendenhall does an excellent job at developing players who aren’t highly recruited and turning them into playmakers (e.g., Bryce Hall, Juan Thornhill, & Ziggy Ansah). Last season Bryce Hall, Charles Snowden and Joey Blount all made huge impacts for UVA and all three were low ranking recruits. Hall was a 2-star recruit, and should go in Round 1 in the 2020 NFL Draft. Bronco has also improved the recruiting in Charlottesville over the last few years. The 2019 class for UVA ranked 39th. In the previous four years prior, the UVA Recruiting classes were 63rd, 58th, 63rd and 50th. Bronco landed blue chip DT Jowon Briggs in the 2019 class, the biggest pickup for him at UVA. The 2020 class already has two 4-star recruits committed, including in-state OT Jimmy Christ. 2019 looks like it could be a big year on the field for the Hoos with Bryce Perkins leading the way at QB. A 10-win season and winning the Coastal is realistic for the Hoos in 2019.


Record the last 5 years (25-36)

Record in 2018: 10-3

Dino Babers led the Orange to a great season in 2019, leading them to 10 wins and a bowl victory over West Virginia. During the last couple of years, the Orange have defeated Clemson and gave them a scare last season. QB Eric Dungey is gone, but Babers is known for high powered offenses & developing QBs. Next in line is sophomore Tommy Devito (525 Passing yards in 2018). Syracuse has two elite DEs returning this season with Alton Robinson and Kendall Coleman (20 combined sacks last year). They also have sophomore Safety Andre Cisco back (7 INTs in 2018). With the defensive talent returning and Devito at QB, Dino Babers and the Orange will have another big year in 2019. The future going forward looks bright.

Iowa State

Record the last 5 years: 24-38

Record last season: 8-5

Head coach Matt Campbell is 19-19 in four years at Iowa State. The five years before he arrived, the Cyclones went 22-40, including 2-10 in the season prior. Iowa State has gone  8-5 the last two years, and Matt Campbell finally has his guys in the starting rotation. Campbell has his QB of the future in Brock Purdy, who’s just a sophomore (16 Passing TDs in 2018). He also landed two 4-star RBs in the 2019 class in Jirehl Brock and Breece Hall. They will replace David Montgomery, who was drafted by the Chicago Bears. Iowa State will contend for the Big 12 in 2019, and should continue to contend for the Big 12 for years to come.


Record the last 5 years: 21-41

Record last year: 6-7

Jeff Brohm is 13-13 in two seasons in West Lafayette. Yes, that’s a .500 winning %, but that’s really good considering what he had to work with. The three years prior to Brohm becoming head coach, the Boilermakers went 8-28. Brohm has brought his extraordinary playcalling and high powered offense to West Lafayette, and WR Rondale Moore is reaping the benefits (1,258 receiving yards 12 rec TDs in 2018 as a true freshman). Rondale Moore was the first big recruiting win for Brohm in 2018, and he paved the way for an excellent 2019 class that ranked 25th in the Nation. The 2019 class was led by blue chip recruits DE George Karlaftis and WR David Bell. The future for the Boilermakers looks bright.