NCAA Football Preseason Rankings 2012: Low Rated Teams That Will Be in BCS Bowls
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College football rankings are out. However, there are a couple teams rated too low. The teams that will end up in BCS bowl games after being either rated low, or not even rated are the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (No. 24)
Key Players: RB Cierre Wood, TE Tyler Eifert, LB Manti Te'o, CB Bennett Jackson
On offense, the Irish run game goes through Cierre Wood and George Atkinson this year. They will enjoy a solid left side of the line that returns three starters. Tyler Eifert is a top round prospect at tight end, and whoever wins the quarterback job will be relying on him as their safety valve and primary receiver.
On defense, the Irish run a solid 3-4 defense that is headed up by the unflappable Manti Te'o. He is a true manimal that has top 10 talent and a Ray Lewis type effect on that Notre Dame defense. The secondary for the Irish is very inexperienced, but Bennett Jackson has the potential to turn into a top flight cornerback.
As a whole, the Fighting Irish are a well coached group. Brian Kelly does a great job and should have Notre Dame in competition for the spot that the Big East Champion used to get in the BCS. They're a very well rounded team and play a schedule this year that will be very favorable to their possible title hopes.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Others receiving votes)
Key Players: QB Tevin Washington, RB Orwin Smith, DT T.J. Barnes, OLB Jeremiah Attaochu
The triple option offense that head coach Paul Johnson loves to run is completely outdated and shouldn't work at all. For some reason, it seems to work pretty well. Tevin Washington and Orwin Smith will be the keys to the rushing game, but if he can develop more as a passer, the Yellow Jackets could be much more competitive on offense.
On Defense, Al Groh's 3-4 alignment is in it's second year and has a lot of natural talent on it. Izaan Cross (6'4" 300 lbs), T.J. Barnes (6'7" 345 lbs) and Emmanuel Dieke (6'6" 270 lbs) are all NFL sized players who can protect the linebackers in the run game. Jeremiah Attaochu is the name to watch in the linebacking corps as he is the only legitimate All-American candidate on the defense.
The Yellow Jackets should be able to break out this year and have a much better season than they did last year. They are returning 15 of their 22 starters this year and will be able to use the team chemistry developed last year on one of the NCAA's oldest squads to compete for the ACC championship.
The college football season is almost upon us. It's time to see what these teams are made of. However, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame are going to break out this year and earn their spots in a BCS Bowl. And who knows, they might just face each other.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist and Trends and Traffic Writer for Bleacher Report. As a Featured Columnist, he covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek and runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.
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