8 College Football Teams Doomed to Major Falls in 2013
A fall from grace in college football can come so easily.
All it takes really is a star quarterback leaving. Just look at LSU's situation in 2008. After Matt Flynn led the Tigers to a national championship in 2007, the Tigers lost five games in 2008 because Jarrett Lee couldn't stop throwing pick six's.
It can happen just like that.
So which teams that had great success in 2012 are doomed to have a letdown season in 2013?
Here are some bold predictions.
Ah the Mighty Trojans. Lane Kiffin not what you thought he would be, huh?
It's amazing how one coach can continuously underachieve and somehow, someway, move up in the coaching world. What's next for him? The NFL?
Though USC managed to underachieve dramatically in 2012, the Trojans will suffer multiple losses again in 2013 because of the players departing.
Without Matt Barkley, T.J. McDonald, Robert Woods (assuming he leaves), Khaled Holmes and whichever juniors decide to leave, USC will be entering rebuild mode. The continuous success by Oregon and Stanford won't do the Trojans any favors either.
Defense wins championships, right?
We can all agree with that, at least in terms of college football. So disregard the fact that the Bulldogs have a lot of firepower returning on offense for just a second.
At first glance, that would make Georgia look great on paper. But then look at the defense.
Georgia could lose Bacarri Rambo, John Jenkins, Alec Ogletree, Jarvis Jones and Shawn Williams. In fact, it's almost a guarantee that the Bulldogs will lose all of those superstars on defense.
Meanwhile, Florida and South Carolina are licking their chops in anticipation. With Florida ever-improving and Will Muschamp building a solid foundation, the SEC East is the Gators' to lose next season, and that's not going to make those Gator haters down in Georgia happy.
Alright Northern Illinois, you've had enough BCS-busting fun for a while.
The Huskies' success in 2013 will depend on Jordan Lynch's decision to stay or declare for the 2013 NFL draft. We're talking about a guy who's recorded 43 touchdowns and 4,733 total yards.
The fact that Lynch is a junior and could make the move to the pros is worrisome enough. But even if he stays, it's highly unlikely Northern Illinois will keep up this success without Dave Doeren.
Doeren accepted the job at NC State, and with Northern Illinois overachieving in 2012 under his leadership, the Huskies are sure to fall back to mediocrity in 2013 without him.
Collin Klein was everything for Kansas State.
The Wildcats lived and died with Optimus Klein. And with Klein running, throwing and playing his heart out for Kansas State, the Wildcats earned 11 wins and a spot in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
So what will they do without him?
Kansas State won't fall too far because of the great coaching ability of Bill Snyder. He coaches defense, and he will lean heavily on the running game without Klein at quarterback next year.
But don't expect Kansas State to be anything like it was in 2012. The Wildcats reached their peak in 2012 by winning the Big 12. Expect Oklahoma or Texas to regain that title in 2013.
What? Didn't see this coming?
Johnny Manziel gets a lot of credit for Texas A&M's success (as he should), but with the Aggies potentially losing two premier offensive tackles, Texas A&M fans should worry a little bit.
Manziel will lose one of his favorite targets in Ryan Swope too, but bringing in Ricky Seals-Jones should soften that blow a little bit. Plus, he has Mike Evans returning as well.
But as for Manziel and this offense, don't expect them to have the same type of success in 2013. Should Texas A&M lose its cornerstones on the offensive line, Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews, it's going to make it much easier for SEC defenses to get to Manziel and force him to make costly mistakes in 2013.
Told you these were bold picks.
Michigan without Denard Robinson...It's hard to picture, right?
Losing Robinson will be a big deal for this team, but Michigan lost four games with him this year anyway, so he's not the biggest reason why Michigan will fall back down the ladder in 2013.
The biggest reason is Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes. Stings, doesn't it, Michigan fans?
Let's look at it this way: The Big Ten was the worst it has been in a very long time in 2012, and Michigan still lost four games.
What will Michigan do without Robinson against Ohio State, Nebraska and Penn State in 2013? Back to the drawing board for the Wolverines.
Vanderbilt overachieved in 2012.
James Franklin has done a remarkable job of transforming Vanderbilt into a contender, and the Commodores won eight games this season—a truly magnificent accomplishment.
However, most of Vanderbilt's success was directly affected by a weak SEC schedule. In 2013, the Commodores will play at South Carolina, at Texas A&M, at Florida and at Tennessee (who will be seeking revenge).
It's going to be hard to win six games, let alone eight, playing against that schedule after losing both Jordan Rodgers and Zac Stacy.
Oklahoma fans are going to miss Landry Jones.
Jones is one of the most unappreciated quarterbacks in college football history, and it's a shame too. Just look at what this quarterback has done in his career.
Jones threw for 16,368 yards and 122 touchdowns in his collegiate career. That's insane when you think about it. So having a new quarterback run this offense might not transition so smoothly.
Yes, Blake Bell has a lot of potential. We all know he can run the football and "belldoze" his way into the end zone. But can he be an efficient passer?
This transition could see Oklahoma drop multiple games next season.