To go along with our post about the most underrated teams this preseason, let’s talk about the most overrated teams. A lot has changed since I wrote about the preseason rankings, so the teams I think have gotten unnecessary hype have changed a bit with that. So without further delay…your top 5 teams most likely to not live up to the hype they are getting this preseason.
5. Ohio State
Preseason top 10 material? Probably. But #2? The only reason they are ranked ahead of Boise State (who lost only one started between both offense and defense) is because they are in the Big Ten, plain and simple. The notorious choke artists from Ohio State are never going to live up to this preseason hype. People are already talking about an Alabama vs. Ohio State title game. Sorry, not happening. In fact, I doubt either team is getting there to be honest. The Buckeyes just buckle under pressure. They can’t win a big game. Tressel has Pryor’s sweater vest on too tight and won’t let him off his leash. If the guy coached his players to their potential, then you have something. But Mr. Conservative will always play conservative, and so unless everyone else bombs, Ohio State will never amount to a championship caliber team.
Maybe they deserve to be the preseason #1. Not that it means much anyway. Alabama going undefeated would be pretty crazy. Penn State in the non-conference and Arkansas, LSU and Auburn in the SEC…I just can’t see it happening. The Tide will roll to 1 or 2 losses, I don’t see an undefeated season here. So the hype is that they are already slated by “experts” to play for the BCS championship. They have one of the hardest schedules to get through first. I don’t see them closing the season in the top 5.
Picked by the media to win the Pac-10? Are you kidding me? Has anyone ever won the Pac-10 with a quarterback who starts the season with 0 snaps of college football? Not happening. No Masoli, no good. Keep in mind, Oregon’s defense didn’t get any better either. They have Washington, Oregon State and Stanford to worry about, not to mention the perennial powerhouse in USC. These guys are not top ten material, barely top 20 if that. They certainly aren’t going to the Rose Bowl. Don’t forget an SEC team on the non-conference schedule, that won’t help any, even if it is Tennessee.
Why are these guys ranked? They lost the best defensive coordinator in college football. They lost the best leader they ever had. They lost a host of talent. Yet experts put them in the top 10? Who are these experts? Do they even watch the draft or follow the news? Florida doesn’t have anything going for them this year except one thing- Alabama, Arkansas, LSU and Auburn are all in the west division. Florida State and maybe even Appalachian State do bring problems in the non-conference schedule. And while the west division is much better and harder to win, the Gators do get Alabama and LSU on the schedule this season. No way these guys win more than 9 games and end ranked in the top 15.
1. Virginia Tech
How many times have they started the season ranked in the top 10? How many times have they won their 10th game in a bowl? They always go through the ACC mostly unharmed and play a pathetic team in their bowl game (Tennessee last year I think?!? Seriously?!?!) No one kicks more field goals than this lot I would think. They squeak out wins, routinely lose big games and are not worthy of a top 10 ranking ever. I can’t believe it…they are the new Notre Dame. At least the Irish have been exposed and no longer rank every preseason because of their name. Why can’t they get it right with the Hokies? They are the very model of above average mediocrity. Always good, never great. This year will be no different. They will drop a game to Boise State and at least 2 conference games, go 9-3 as always, then play a lousy SEC team in a bowl again.
Honorable mention: Iowa (one lucky season does not a good team make), USC (where did all the recruits go?), Cincinnati (we saw them without Brian Kelly in their bowl game, not pretty), Texas (no run game or McCoy, what do they do?), and Florida State (new coach, you can’t expect 10 wins off the bat.) I am betting each of these teams ends the regular season ranked worse than where they start it, but we’ll see.
What do you think?