New Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre faces a daunting task in rebuilding the Buffaloes' football program.
If history holds true, however, MacIntyre has a good shot at finding success with the Buffs and being in Boulder for a long time.
CU went 1-11 this past season, leading to coach Jon Embree being fired. It was the worst record in Colorado history.
MacIntyre, who has coached at San Jose State the past three years, now joins a select group of coaches who, in the past 20 years, have taken over BCS programs that had similar woeful seasons.
Since 1992, 12 coaches have been hired to rebuild BCS teams that won just one or zero games the year before. Of those 12, 10 eventually led that team to a bowl game and eight of them took their new team to multiple bowl games.
In 1998, Dennis Franchione (TCU) and John L. Smith (Louisville) both took over teams that were 1-10 the previous season. Both coaches led their new squad to a 7-5 record and a bowl game. They are the only two coaches in the group to get to a bowl game in the first year on the job. California's Jeff Tedford was also 7-5 in his first season, but the Bears were not invited to a bowl game.
Six of the 12 coaches got to bowl games within the first three years at their new school. Included in that group is current Washington coach Steve Sarkisian. The Huskies were 0-12 in 2008, the year before he was hired. In their first season under Sarkisian, the Huskies went 5-7, and they've qualified for three consecutive bowl games since.
On average, the 12 coaches had a record of 3.6 wins and 8 losses in the first season on the job. Six of them won at least four games in the first season.
Nine of the 12 coaches stayed on the job for at least five years (assuming Sarkisian doesn't leave the Huskies, 2013 will be his fifth year). Of the three who didn't last that long, two went on to better jobs -- Franchione went to Alabama after three years at TCU and Jim Harbaugh went to the San Francisco 49ers after four years at Stanford.
Washington's Tyrone Willingham, who was fired after going 0-12 in his fourth season, in 2008, was the only other coach who didn't last five years.
Expanding the study further, 56 coaches have taken over teams that won three games or less the previous year. Of those, 13 went to a bowl game in the first year, 32 got to bowl games within the first three seasons and 43 took their team to a bowl game at some point during their tenure.
Among the most successful coaches who took on rebuilding projects: Purdue's Joe Tiller (10 bowls in 12 years), Iowa's Kirk Ferentz (10 bowls in 14 years), California's Jeff Tedford (eight bowls in 11 years), Missouri's Gary Pinkel (eight bowls in 12 years), Rutgers' Greg Schiano (six bowls in 11 years), Iowa State's Dan McCarney (five bowls in 11 years) and Wake Forest's Jim Grobe (five bowls in 12 years).
MacIntyre experienced similar success in his previous job, but was not included in this group since San Jose State is not a BCS team. MacIntyre, however, took over a Spartans team that was 2-10 in 2009. They went 1-12 in MacIntyre's first year, followed by 5-7 last year and 10-2 this year.
The No. 24-ranked Spartans are set to play Bowling Green in the Military Bowl on Dec. 27 as MacIntyre guided San Jose State to just its second bowl game in the past 22 years.
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