25 Youngest Teams in College Football
Youth plays a large part in a lot of sports today. College football is not exactly one of them. When it comes to the 25 youngest teams in the country, there are squads of various talent levels.
In a lot of other sports, such as college basketball, the younger teams are generally near the top of the country. That is not necessarily the case when it comes to college football.
It oftentimes takes a player a few years to develop physically in order to compete at a high level.
With that being said, the oldest teams are not always the best. Georgia State is the newest FBS member and also has some of the most experience with 14 seniors and five sophomores starting. Florida Atlantic has 16 senior starters, and South Alabama has 15 seniors and seven sophomores starting.
There are a lot of ways to go about finding the youngest teams in the country for this upcoming college football season.
The following list is based on starters only. Freshman starters are given one point, sophomore starters are given two, junior starters three and senior starters four. The team with the lowest point total is at the top of this list.
There are teams from all over the country, but very few squads have more underclassmen starting than upperclassmen.
Do some of the top teams in the country make the list, or is it a bunch of no-name schools?
Read on to find out.
*Special teams are not included.
*Depth charts are according to Scout.com.
Here are five teams that just missed making the list. There is still a lot of youth on these squads, however.
Minnesota Golden Gophers: With 11 juniors and six sophomores, this is one of the younger teams in the Big Ten.
Memphis Tigers: Memphis is a team that has struggled in recent years. The Tigers have 10 juniors, five sophomores and a freshman in the starting lineup.
Nebraska Cornhuskers: Nebraska only has seven senior starters. There are also nine juniors, four sophomores and two freshmen.
TCU Horned Frogs: TCU had a ton of youth last season. This year, there is balance in the classes with six seniors, nine juniors and seven sophomores in the starting lineup.
Cincinnati Bearcats: There is also a lot of balance in this Cincinnati class with seven seniors, eight juniors, six sophomores and a freshman.
No. 25 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Starting off the list is the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at No. 25. There are seven underclassmen listed as starters on the depth chart, including two freshmen and five sophomores.
There are also seven juniors and eight seniors in the starting mix.
Throw in the fact that this is a very talented squad, and there is a bright future in Conference USA for this team.
No. 24 Toledo Rockets
Toledo is the first MAC team on the list. The Rockets have eight underclassmen, including seven sophomores and a freshman in the starting lineup.
Along with that youth is a little bit of experience, including eight seniors and six juniors.
Among that experience is senior quarterback Terrance Owens and senior running back David Fluellen. This team could be a force in the MAC this year.
No. 23 Temple Owls
Temple does start nine seniors, but there is balance throughout every class. Along with those seniors are five juniors, six sophomores and two freshmen.
The Owls did not have the season they wanted in the Big East last year, but there are a lot of positives surrounding the program.
There is plenty of youth on this squad for years to come.
No. 22 Wyoming Cowboys
Even though there is not a lot of underclassmen on the Wyoming roster, the fact that there are 12 juniors in the starting lineup puts the Cowboys on the list.
Along with those 12 juniors are only five seniors, with three sophomores and two freshmen.
The Cowboys now have to find a way to turn that youth into some victories on the field.
No. 21 South Carolina Gamecocks
Next on the list is South Carolina. The Gamecocks do start 17 upperclassmen, but only four of them are seniors.
With 13 junior starters, the Gamecocks have a bright future if most of those players decide to stay around. Good luck with Jadeveon Clowney.
There are only five underclassmen listed as starters on the depth chart, including one freshman.
No. 20 Maryland Terrapins
Next up on the list is Maryland. The Terrapins have six sophomore starters. That is a lot more than most other teams across the country. Throw in one freshman and this team makes the list.
Leading the way among that talented sophomore class is star wide receiver Stefon Diggs. If Maryland can get some health and production out of the quarterback position, Diggs will be one of the best receivers in the country.
With six seniors and nine juniors, the Terrapins have both youth and experience.
No. 19 Miami Hurricanes
Miami has depth in each class on the roster. The Hurricanes have seven starters listed from each of the senior, junior and sophomore classes. Throw in one freshman and Miami is on the list.
There is a very talented sophomore class, similar to Maryland. That group is led by star running back Duke Johnson.
The Hurricanes have a very bright future. The 2014 season could have them back in the national spotlight. With a few emerging players, they could be right back there this season.
No. 18 Washington Huskies
When it comes to sophomore classes, Washington is near the top of the list as far as the number of starters. The Huskies have nine sophomore starters listed on the depth chart.
There are 13 upperclassmen, including seven seniors and six juniors. Even though there are no freshmen listed, this group has plenty of youth.
A lot of the top talent is more experienced, including quarterback Keith Price and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
No. 17 Georgia Bulldogs
Among the top 11 names on the list are some of the best teams in the country. Starting off those 11 is Georgia.
The Bulldogs only feature six senior starters, along with seven juniors, eight sophomores and a freshman.
That sophomore class is extremely gifted, led by running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. Expect good things in coming years for Georgia with the talented youth in the program.
No. 16 West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia lost a ton of experienced players from last season. With that being said, it will be one of the youngest teams in the country in 2013.
The Mountaineers have a talented sophomore class with 10 starters listed on the depth chart.
There are also four juniors and only eight seniors.
It might be a year or two, but this team should be back to its winning ways sooner rather than later.
No. 15 Auburn Tigers
Unlike the other teams on the list with talented sophomore classes, most of the starters for Auburn reside in the junior class.
There are 12 junior starters to go along with four seniors. The Tigers also have five sophomores and a freshman.
The 2014 season could be the actual bounce-back year for Auburn. It appears the Tigers will need another year of experience before they are ready to hang with the big boys in the SEC.
No. 14 UNLV Rebels
UNLV was one of the worst teams in the country last season. While there are a lot of players coming back, that might not necessarily be a good thing.
The Rebels have 10 junior starters and five seniors. There are six sophomores and a freshman also in the starting lineup.
This team needs a lot of improvement from its core to have any success in 2013.
No. 13 Indiana Hoosiers
When it comes to age, the Indiana starting lineup is exactly the same as UNLV. The Hoosiers also have five seniors, 10 juniors, six sophomores and a freshman in the starting lineup.
Indiana has started to show some progress in recent years. The junior class has come a long way. This could be the year where the Hoosiers get over the hump and play for a bowl game.
Odds are the team is still a year or two away from that, however.
No. 12 Miami RedHawks
Miami is easily the youngest team in the MAC. The RedHawks only have six senior starters, which is a lot less than most teams across the country.
The RedHawks lost a lot of senior talent from a year ago, including quarterback Zac Dysert and wide receiver Nick Harwell.
Some of the youth will get a chance this season with eight juniors, seven sophomores and a freshman in the starting lineup.
No. 11 Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M had one of the best freshman classes last season, led by Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
His biggest target was another freshman in wide receiver Mike Evans.
Overall, the Aggies have nine sophomores starting, with eight juniors and five seniors. A top-10 team like the Aggies with only five senior starters could mean a very bright future in College Station for head coach Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies.
No. 10 Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech has a lot of balance throughout each class. The Red Raiders have seven senior starters, six juniors, eight sophomores and a freshman.
Nine underclassmen is a lot this day and age.
The Red Raiders qualified for a bowl game last season, but with a lot of youth, it might not be as easy to reach the six-win plateau in the Big 12 this year.
No. 9 UCLA Bruins
The UCLA program is led by a stud sophomore in quarterback Brett Hundley. He is one of nine sophomore starters listed on the depth chart.
There are eight seniors and four juniors, along with one freshman.
UCLA had a very successful season in 2013, but the Bruins have a few talented players to replace, including running back Johnathan Franklin.
Still, the Bruins will be very good in 2013 and beyond.
No. 8 Army Black Knights
The Army Black Knights only start three seniors. That is reason enough why they are in the top 10 nationally when it comes to youngest teams.
There are 12 junior starters on the roster, but also seven sophomores.
The Black Knights have struggled in recent years, but with the talented junior class, that might not be the case a year or two from now.
No. 7 North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina is another squad that does not have a lot of senior starters. The Tar Heels have six seniors listed on the depth chart.
There are also eight juniors and six sophomores. While that does not seem like a lot of youth, the Tar Heels have one of the youngest starting squads in the nation.
There is one experienced player in quarterback Bryn Renner. The senior returns for his third season as the starter. He will have to lead a relatively young North Carolina squad.
No. 6 Nevada Wolf Pack
With only five senior starters, Nevada is extremely young in college football terms. The Wolf Pack also have nine juniors, seven sophomores and a freshman on the depth chart.
The Wolf Pack have been very consistent over the past few years, and that is likely to continue for years to come.
With a good mixture of youth and experience, the Wolf Pack will once again be a factor in the Mountain West Conference.
No. 5 Michigan Wolverines
Michigan is another high-level team on the list. The Wolverines have three freshmen starters listed on the depth chart. That is more than nearly every other team in the country.
To go along with those three freshmen starters, the Wolverines also features five sophomores, four juniors and nine seniors.
For a team as competitive as Michigan, having eight underclassmen listed as starters is something to take notice of.
No. 4 Kentucky Wildcats
Kentucky is another SEC team that makes the list. The Wildcats not only have a new head coach, but a lot of youth to go along with it.
The Wildcats have six seniors and six juniors in the starting lineup. What puts Kentucky so high on the list are the nine sophomores and freshman in the starting lineup.
It might be a few years, but with the recruiting classes coming in, Kentucky could be out of the bottom of the SEC in no time.
No. 3 Colorado Buffaloes
Colorado is another team on the list that was downright awful last season. The Buffaloes will once again be one of the youngest teams in the nation this season.
There are only five senior starters on the Buffaloes' roster. Along with those five seniors are seven juniors, nine sophomores and a freshman.
That youth might not be a good thing, however, as Colorado has struggled mightily in recent years.
No. 2 Houston Cougars
Houston lost a lot of talent from the 2012 team. That is part of the reason why the Cougars struggled last season.
There are two freshman starters on the Houston roster along with eight sophomores. The Cougars also have six juniors and six seniors.
They will be playing in the American Athletic Conference, so the wins might not be easy to come by in a more challenging league than Conference USA.
No. 1 UAB Blazers
Topping the list are the Blazers from UAB.
UAB was another team on the list that did not win many games last season. The youth of this team can be found in its sophomore class.
The Blazers have 10 sophomore starters listed on the depth chart. To go along with those 10 sophomores are four juniors, seven seniors and a freshman.
That is not a lot of experience. With 11 underclassmen, there is only one team in the country with more youth in the freshman and sophomore classes than UAB.
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