Probably the most recent situation of this was when Charley Bailey had built an upper-classman football program, then retired and left replacement Gary Nord with a good team. Nord went 8-4 (including Humanitarian Bowl) in 2000.
All along it was known, buy Nord and all, that he'd have nobody left in 2001. Nord said he was on a four-year rebuilding program. Then after years of 2-9 and 2-10 he changed that to a five-year rebuilding program. Then, after a 2-11, he thought he could get away with saying he was on a six-year rebuilding program.
He was fired after a 2-11 in 2003, and the truth is, he WAS building.
Nord got canned, Mike Price inherited some of Nord's rebuilding (from bottom up with freshmen) and went 8-4 and 8-4 — two bowl years.
Price didn't do a good job of continuing to build from the bottom up — have a big senior class always at hand. Now he's rebulding.
This will be 2009, and it looks like Price will be so-so, just OK. Then, finally, he'll have the best team HE built in 2010 when QB Trevor Vittatoe is a senior.
If Barbee's roster of mercenaries does real well next season, and he gets a bigger coaching job, then his replacement will be left, as was Nord. Or, if these transfers (who generally quit or were kicked off bigger-school teams) don't pan out, then Utepia is in for some hard times right now.