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10 College Football Teams Most Likely to Underachieve in 2013

Randy ChambersAnalyst IJune 29, 2013

10 College Football Teams Most Likely to Underachieve in 2013

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    The hype continues to build for college football teams as we inch closer to the season. Unfortunately, some of the teams that are talked about the most  will underachieve and be considered big disappointments. 

    It happens every season.

    Last year, it was USC, West Virginia and Virginia Tech that held the crown. This year, a number of teams could fail to show up for various reasons. Injuries and tough schedules are two factors that play into an underachieving season. Other times, it has to do with a team just being grossly overrated and not nearly as talented as once thought.

    The SEC will feature several underachieving teams, including one that has produced a few national championships. The Pac-12, Big 12 and one independent powerhouse will also fail to deliver.

Oregon State

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    Did you expect Oregon State to win nine games last season? You're a liar if you said yes. So what makes you believe similar results will take place this season? Usually, teams that overachieve one year are due for a letdown the next.

    Oregon State returns 15 starters, but there are questions offensively. The running game ranked 101st in the country, which was 10th in the Pac-12. Colorado and Washington State were the only Pac-12 teams that had a worse running game. Their combined record last season? A pathetic 4-20. It's hard to win in this conference if you don't have a balanced offense.

    The schedule is what really does it for the Beavers. Their last five games are against Stanford, USC, Arizona State, Washington and Oregon. The Sun Devils and Ducks are on the road. This team must have lost a bet or something.

South Carolina

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    Unless Jadeveon Clowney can play quarterback, receiver, kick the ball and play linebacker, it's tough to see South Carolina fulfilling expectations.

    Expectations are higher than they have ever been after the Gamecocks won 11 games for the second straight season. Sadly, a lot of people actually believe that this team can reach the moon and win the SEC.

    The SEC is much more than a defense-first league that features an old-school, run-the-ball-down-your-throat offense. Quarterbacks are beginning to pop up left and right, and the offenses are beginning to balance out. South Carolina is stuck with the same combination of Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson, quarterbacks who are inconsistent and injury prone.

    South Carolina also has concerns at linebacker, as all three of its starters must be replaced. Clowney won't be able to do it all himself.

    The Gamecocks will be tested early against North Carolina and Georgia. Don't be surprised if a major letdown takes place.

Notre Dame

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    It's tough to get a feel on what folks expect from Notre Dame this season. Surely, it won't be another trip to the national championship. But this team may be even better than it was last year. So, why not?

    The reasons are the same as last year: There is no legitimate difference-maker at quarterback, and the schedule is tough.

    Tommy Rees has shown he can be an effective game manager, but that usually leads to close games. Close games usually lead to needing somebody the coaching staff can rely on to close the deal. Notre Dame doesn't have that guy offensively.

    The schedule is brutal and includes Michigan, Arizona State, Oklahoma, USC and Stanford. It's safe to expect the magic carpet ride to come to an end for Irish fans.

    Don't hold your breath on Notre Dame fulfilling expectations. Whatever they may be.

Florida State

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    The hype about quarterback Jameis Winston hasn't helped quiet expectations for Florida State. He is considered to be the next great quarterback and has given the Seminoles a fighting chance to compete for an ACC title.

    But when was the last time Florida State actually showed up for a complete season? Even last year's squad that won the ACC lost to North Carolina State and Florida. The team lacks the killer instinct it had with Bobby Bowden and usually loses at least one game it isn't supposed to lose.

    Add that to a young defense that only returns four starters and a tough road schedule (Clemson and Florida), and the Seminoles have their work cut out for them. Florida State is a better bet to do damage beginning in 2014.

Oklahoma

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    Another team that hasn't quite met expectations over the years is Oklahoma. Bob Stoops' team began the last two seasons in the Top Five of the preseason AP poll. Those seasons ended with trips to the     Insight and Cotton Bowls.

    Now, the Sooners have questions at quarterback for the first time in what seems like forever. Blake Bell is a terrific runner, but he has yet to prove he can get the job done with his arm. Oklahoma has produced countless elite passers, but Bell is a unique player, which could be be a good or a bad thing.

    Oklahoma also has concerns on defense. Allowing nearly 400 yards a game isn't exactly championship-caliber. It makes it worse when only four starters from that unit return.

    There will be a lot of disappointment if Oklahoma can't score consistently or stop the other team from scoring.

Florida

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    Florida is once again one of the popular picks to come out of the SEC East.

    The defense is on board, but that offense has to improve a lot before you should feel confident in such a prediction. Yes, the lack of scoring has been harped on relentlessly, but it's for good reason. The Gators only scored 14 points against Missouri last season, which is fewer than UCF, Vanderbilt and Syracuse scored against the Tigers.

    The Gators once again have a tough schedule that includes Miami, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida State. They won't come close to matching last year's success if they continue to struggle to score.

Louisville

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    Louisville is expected to win its conference and return to a BCS bowl. There isn't much competition in the AAC, and none of the teams on the schedule can match a playmaker like quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. But the same high expectations are the reason this team has a true shot at falling flat on its face.

    The Cardinals lost last season to Syracuse and Connecticut. Games against Rutgers, Cincinnati, Southern Miss, South Florida, Florida International and North Carolina were decided by one possession. Winning close games is a sign of being a good team, but playing so many questionable opponents down to the wire is a bad sign. 

    Louisville's running game was ranked 105th in the country, and the defense allowed 340 yards per game.

    It only takes a couple of losses for this season to be considered a failure. And once you add in Bridgewater's injury history, the odds are certainly against the Cardinals.

USC

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    Believe it or not, some folks actually believe USC can win 10 games. That would make appearing in the Pac-12 title game a realistic possibility.

    With concerns at quarterback, on the offensive line and in the secondary, you can bet the Trojans will underachieve. And that doesn't include having Lane Kiffin as a head coach—a guy who has quickly become the Tony Romo of college football Nobody trusts the guy with less than five minutes remaining in a game.

    Then there is the team's tough schedule, which includes games at Notre Dame, at Arizona State, at Oregon State and at home against Stanford and UCLA.

    For USC, setting the bar high after last season should be against NCAA rules.

Texas A&M

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    It's amazing how many people have jumped on the Texas A&M bandwagon.

    Oh, boy, Johnny Manziel is the quarterback! That's cool, but Manziel can't play defense. The Aggies allowed more than 400 yards in six games last season. No matter how awesome the quarterback, you don't win many games in the SEC without having a quality defense.

    Speaking of Manziel, it would be insane to expect a performance similar to the one he had last season. Defenses have had a whole offseason to design a game plan, and he will have many different looks thrown at him. Performances like his last year don't come around in this conference too often.

    Texas A&M has become one of the favorites in the SEC and has been considered top competition for Alabama. If that is the case, its defense had better drastically improve.

Alabama

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    It's amazing how many people have jumped on the Texas A&M bandwagon.

    Oh, boy, Johnny Manziel is the quarterback! That's cool, but Manziel can't play defense. The Aggies allowed more than 400 yards in six games last season. No matter how awesome the quarterback, you don't win many games in the SEC without having a quality defense.

    Speaking of Manziel, it would be insane to expect a performance similar to the one he had last season. Defenses have had a whole offseason to design a game plan, and he will have many different looks thrown at him. Performances like his last year don't come around in this conference too often.

    Texas A&M has become one of the favorites in the SEC and has been considered top competition for Alabama. If that is the case, its defense had better drastically improve.

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