25 Teams, Players and Coaches We Don't Believe in for 2013
Heading into the 2013 college football season there are a number of scenarios that are expected to play out. Alabama should be a stud in the SEC again, and Ohio State should be a title contender from the Big Ten.
There are also teams, coaches and players that are expected to flop this fall. Some have already begun the tumble to the bottom of college football, while others will simply fail to meet expectations this season.
This is a look at the 25 teams, coaches and players that we have lost faith in heading into 2013.
Everett Golson, Notre Dame Quarterback
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The country became enamored with the Irish last fall when they were making the unbelievable undefeated run, and a part of the Cinderella story was quarterback Everett Golson.
Golson was the starter for the majority of the season, and finished the year with his best performance in the national title game.
As the Irish look to the future they expect Golson to be the leader of the offense. He has the skills, but expectations will make him crumble this fall.
It is easy to be the underdog, but this year the Irish will be a frontrunner for a title. Golson has a tendency to force plays, and that will be the downfall of the Irish offense this season.
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Auburn fired Gene Chizik after a terrible 3-9 season in 2012 and brought back offensive guru Gus Malzahn. Malzahn guided the Auburn offense during the amazing 2010 national title run, and looks to tap into the past success this season on the Plains.
Malzahn was a great hire, but the Auburn quarterback situation is a mess. The Tigers return only two scholarship signal-callers this spring and they only combined for 1,473 yards, six touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Over the past seven seasons Malzahn has guided successful offenses with seven different quarterbacks. This year may be the first hiccup on the resume. Unless there is a major turnaround this spring and summer, the Auburn quarterback situation is set to be a major letdown again in 2013.
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During the BCS era non-automatic qualifiers have been consistently brought up as teams that are being overlooked for possible national title runs.
Teams like Boise State and Northern Illinois have shown up in the BCS lineup over the past few years, but never in the title game.
The non-AQ’s have an impressive 4-3 record in BCS games in which three of the wins came against traditional college football powers. These guys tend to win, but last year’s showing by Northern Illinois was disappointing.
This year will be much of the same if a non-AQ hits the BCS. The major conferences are littered with top talent—including the Big East—so the chance of an upset win in the BCS is not looking good.
Mack Brown, Texas Head Coach
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Is anyone else tired of hearing Mack Brown’s name mentioned on the hot seat to start every season?
It seems that the Longhorns have been extremely disappointing over the past three seasons, but Brown continues to have his death grip around the coaching job in Austin. This year will show it is time to cut ties.
There has been too much talent that has come through the Texas program over the past few years for them to be mediocre. With quarterback issues lingering over the offense this will be another down year for Texas.
Mack Brown will be the root of the problems.
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Have you seen the Gators schedule heading into 2013?
If not here is a look at what is to come for this squad.
Florida starts the year with a home game against Toledo, then travels to Miami (Fl.) to take on the Hurricanes. Back to back road trips to LSU and Missouri will be tough, as will the annual matchup with Georgia two weeks later in Jacksonville.
A road game comes to South Carolina, and the Gators close the year hosting Florida State.
There are expectations for this team to be a national title contender, but this schedule is not setup for an easy run. Look for Florida to stumble a bit after an impressive 11 win 2012.
Sonny Dykes, Cal Head Coach
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Sonny Dykes is entering his first year with Cal after Jeff Tedford left a roster full of stars for Dykes to develop.
Tedford was 82-57 overall with the Bears, but he finished last season 3-9 and a new regime was brought in. Dykes exited Louisiana Tech with a great record, but he is setup to be the next mid-major letdown.
Guys have struggled to make the transition in the past to major conferences, and Dykes could be that guy this fall. Cal has games against Ohio State and Northwestern in the first three weeks, as well as conference showdowns against USC, Oregon, UCLA and Washington.
This is going to be a tough year for Dykes, and likely one that fails to meet expectations.
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M Quarterback
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I know what you’re thinking—how can Johnny Manziel be on this list?
He won’t repeat as a Heisman in 2013. Manziel did the impossible winning the award in 2012 as a freshman, but with all the off-season antics and pressure that will fall this season it is hard to believe that he will reach expectations.
Don’t misunderstand, the Aggies will be one of the best teams in the SEC West this fall, but it won’t be because Manziel carries the team.
There is a lot of talent in College Station, and it will take more than one player to win the West. Even matching last year’s numbers will be a tough feat for Johnny Football. Expect it not to happen.
Bo Pelini, Nebraska Head Coach
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In five seasons with the Cornhuskers Bo Pelini has won at least nine games every year. Last season his team finished with 10 wins, but failed to finish with a Big Ten Championship.
This program is on a tear under his leadership, but the constant letdowns in the big games have become a concern. Will this program ever win big under Pelini?
That question needs to be answered this fall, but the expectations are not there. Look for the Cornhuskers to have another strong season, but fall short of winning a title when it counts.
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa Hawkeyes
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Does anyone know what Kirk Ferentz is doing at Iowa?
The program is struggling and there is no end in sight to the problems. The Hawkeyes finished last year 4-8 and struggled to resemble anything worthy of a promising offensive unit.
There are a lot of strides that have to be made for this program this offseason if they want to pull out a winning 2013 campaign in a rising Big Ten conference.
Ferentz is the second highest paid coach in the conference and right now is far from earning it. This season will bring a mark of change whether it is with wins, or Ferentz leaving Iowa.
Iowa State Cyclones
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Iowa State is struggling to find a grip on a winning tradition, but so far Paul Rhoads has built a winning culture for the program.
Last year the Cyclones finished 6-7 with a loss in the Liberty Bowl. The Cyclones are hurting for consistent quarterback play, and will struggle again this year from the position.
The one bright spot for the program was the linebacker position, but the team is losing two stars to the NFL this year leaving a gap in the defense. This will be a long season for the Cyclones, and one that will be a disappointment for its fans after tasting a bit of success.
Non-AQ Heisman Contenders
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Last year the final three in the Heisman balloting were all from major conference schools. Still, there was a lot of discussion behind Jordan Lynch.
There has been a lot of growth for mid-major programs as of late, and that has added to the Heisman talk for the rising stars for those teams.
When the chips fall they always under perform against more talented opponents and end the discussion about being superior players.
This year will bring more mid-major players to the discussion, but by seasons end they will fall out off the radar just as fast as they appeared on it.
Blake Bell, Oklahoma Quarterback
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Oklahoma lost star quarterback Landry Jones after four years of excellent play. This season Blake Bell appears to be the rising starter but he still has a lot to prove this spring.
Bell has been used as a running quarterback over the past year, but stepping into the starting role will not be easy.
There has yet to be a lot of opportunity for Bell to throw, and his ability to guide the Oklahoma offense through the air is still in question.
At this point the expectations have to be tempered for Bell heading into the fall.
Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia Head Coach
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Dana Holgorsen stepped into the head coaching position in Morgantown during 2011 and led the Mountaineers to a 10 win season. 2012 brought a new transition to the Big 12, but West Virginia was expected to do very well as the team was loaded with offensive weapons.
Instead the team finished 7-6 and lost the Pinstripe Bowl in New York.
The team had a terrible defense, but the offensive system has been off the charts. This year Holgorsen loses his starting quarterback and two key receivers.
His team will struggle to find the same offensive success, and unless there is a massive defensive turnaround this team may miss bowl season.
A promising future is now looking hazy for Holgorsen and this year will bring more mediocrity.
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The Oregon Ducks lost head coach Chip Kelly to the NFL this year, and in his place stepped offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.
The Ducks return a lot of offensive talent, but at the coaching change will be a tough thing to overcome for this team. Oregon went on an amazing run with Kelly leading the team, but this will be a hiccup year for the program.
Fans are expecting a seamless transition, but that isn’t how it goes at the major college football level. This will be a good squad, but not the title contender that some want to expect.
Braxton Miller, Ohio State Quarterback
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Maybe it’s just me, but Braxton Miller is a player that I don’t believe in for 2013.
Last year he became a dark horse Heisman candidate because the field was week, but his 58.3 completion percentage is a concern.
He barely passed for over 2,000 yards last year, and he was sacked 28 times—a number of those came from him trying to keep plays alive.
He is a strong runner and finished the year with 1,271 rushing yards, but if he doesn’t become a better passer the Buckeyes will struggle to go undefeated again in 2013.
Dri Archer, Kent State Running Back
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Dri Archer is one of the most explosive running backs in the country. He is returning for his final season with the Kent State Golden Flashes, but he has become the focus of the country after last season.
He led the Golden Flashes in rushing and receiving, but will find it tough to do the same next fall.
He will be a great return man, but teams will key on him from the backfield all season. He will also struggle as he will be tasked with helping usher in a new quarterback.
It will be a moderately good year for Archer, but it will fall short of 2012 totals.
UTSA Road Runners
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The UTSA Road Runners joined FBS last season finishing with a 3-3 conference record in the WAC and an 8-4 overall record.
It was an impressive showing for the team under the leadership of Larry Coker, the former Miami (Fl.) coach that led the Canes to a national title in the early 2000s.
This season the Road Runners enter Conference-USA, and a much tougher schedule awaits. While the folks in San Antonio may have been hoping for a standout season again in 2013, the squad will flop against the tougher competition.
Big East Football
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Just when you thought the Big East was putting together a great run with Louisville, the Cardinals lose a few games and fall into the BCS losers bracket.
The Cardinals did hose Florida in the Sugar Bowl, but the overall performance by the league down the stretch was very disappointing.
This year will bring much of the same for the conference. The Cardinals will be leaders again in the country and may make a run at the BCS, but the overall health of the Big East is not where it needs to be.
Mark 2013 off as another disappointing showing for the struggling conference.
Mike MacIntyre, Colorado Head Coach
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Mike MacIntyre is taking over the Colorado program after the Buffalos put together a terrible 2012 campaign under John Embree.
MacIntyre is coming from San Jose State where he helped turnaround the Spartans program.
He is walking into a tough situation at Colorado as the program has struggled over the past few years to put a winning product on the field. MacIntyre is facing a really tough set of expectations heading into the new season and he won’t be able to meet them.
This program is years away from a major turnaround.
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The Badgers are entering a new era with Gary Andersen taking over the program this season. He is bringing some change to the offense and a continued focus on defense to the Badgers program.
This season Wisconsin is looking to three-peat the Big Ten title, but that will be nearly impossible.
The loss of Montee Ball will be covered by a deep backfield, but the quarterback questions linger from last season and will hurt the progression of the offense this spring and summer.
With a new staff transition and quarterback questions looking, the Badgers are set for a letdown in 2013.
Tommy Tuberville, Cincinnati Head Coach
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It is pretty easy to understand why Cincinnati scooped up Tommy Tuberville from Texas Tech after last season.
Tuberville had won modestly in Lubbock, and he took Auburn to an undefeated run in 2004. He also helped the Tigers program gain national prominence again for 10 years.
He is a winner, but his recent exit from Texas Tech leads to some concern. There was talk of ditching recruits at dinner that leads to major character concerns for the coach.
There will be a lot of high expectations heading into the season for Tuberville, but he will let the Bearcats faithful down with moderate success this fall.
Mike Leach, Washington State Head Coach
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Mike Leach is entering his second season at the helm for the Cougars program and controversy has already sprung up at his new program.
Leach is an edgy guy that brings a lot of fire to a program, but the coach always finds ways to create dissention in the ranks.
Heading into season two with Washington State there is hope that he can help spring a revolution for the program in 2013. Look for those dreams to be shattered in the first week when the program travels to Auburn.
This is a proven coach in a very bad scenario. Winning in Lubbock is one thing; winning in Pullman is a totally different animal.
Ricky Seals-Jones, Texas A&M Receiver
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Ricky Seals-Jones is bringing a lot of fanfare to College Station this year with his 6’5”, 230 pound frame, but as we saw a year ago with Dorial Green-Beckham there is a gap between being a stud big-bodied receiver in high school and becoming a star in college.
Seals-Jones will be a great player for the Aggies in the future, but the expectations heading into the new year need to be tempered.
He will get some snaps for the Texas A&M offense, but there is a lot of experienced talent that will make plays before him.
The Aggies fans want their superstar to perform immediately, but they will have to wait a few seasons.
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USC always enters the year as one of the countries favorite teams. Last season they began the year as No. 1, but they promptly fell apart and finished the year in very disappointing fashion.
This year there are questions looming at quarterback and at key spots on the defense.
This is going to be a tough year for this program to bounce back. Lane Kiffin faces the hot-seat with another bad showing, and his program will reflect that tension.
This is a team that is loaded with talent, but it lacks direction. Look for another mediocre showing this fall.
Lane Kiffin, USC Head Coach
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Lane Kiffin is one of the most hated coaches in college football. He has an attitude that comes off as condescending in most conversations, and has yet to bring a team to the heights that fans have come to expect.
Kiffin is a great recruiter, but he seems to lack the ability to develop talent.
That is a major issue for all the talent that roams the halls of USC’s campus. If he fails to bring about a nine or 10 win season in 2013, Kiffin may be gone from Los Angeles.