They Aren't Who We Thought They Were: Five Surprise Teams So Far This Season
No, it's not about Ole Miss's inability to surprise us like they did last year, but it is about some teams that have surprised us with their effort, and might continue to do so.
So buckle your seat belts and get ready to for a ride. Just kidding.
But in my opinion these teams have the ability to surprise everyone by year's end.
5. South Florida
I would have put Houston here, but their recent beat down at the hands of UTEP ended that charade.
However, a team that has gone 5-0 is at the bottom of my list. The South Florida Bulls were supposed to be dead after Grothe left, but has promptly won two games against the likes of Florida State and Syracuse.
While the Florida State win is looking less and less impressive with each passing week. We will be able to see if USF is contender or a pretender in the Big East soon enough.
The team may be perfect in their record, but two games against FCS opponents in Wofford and Charleston Southern and another against Western Kentucky, a team in their first FBS full season is less than impressive.
In fact, it's downright embarrassing. But if the Bulls can get through the gauntlet of Big East giants unscathed the nation will be forced to admit they are for real.
Cincinnati comes to town this week, then they get Pittsburgh away and West Virginia at home respectively. Two wins in these three games and the Bulls may have a shot at their first ever Big East Title.
4. Iowa Hawkeyes
Hawkeye fans were less than convinced that their team was a top-five caliber team coming into the season.
And in the first game of the season, they were two blocked field goals away from confirming those fears.
The crazy thing about Iowa is they keep finding ways to win. Whether it is away from home in Happy Valley or against a team like Arkansas State or an upstart Michigan program one thing is for sure.
Kirk Ferentz's team is for real.
This team could be anything from 2-4 to 6-0, but because of clutch coaching, and clutch performances by the offense, defense and special teams they have achieved the unblemished mark of 6-0.
Each time the media sees a chance to pick against them, they do. And each time, Iowa somehow responds.
This week Wisconsin invites the Hawkeyes into town. If Stanzi and the rest can pull off a win in Wisconsin, watch out officially Big 10 because this year this team is for real.
Believe it or not this may come down to a Nov. 14 showdown against Iowa and Ohio State for all the marbles. And don't be fooled, the Hawkeyes are ready.
3. Oregon Ducks
In the beginning of the season the Oregon program looked to be in turmoil. Head Coach to Athletic Director and an ill-advised Home at Home against Boise State turned brutal as Oregon not only looked horrible, but undisciplined with their best running back, LaGarrette Blount getting suspended indefinitely (apparently).
But the Ducks have come quacking back with a vengeance.
Not only has their offense come alive, but their special teams and their defense are swinging out of the gates as well. The Ducks look back to 2008 form after six games and five straight wins.
Some may have thought the season was dead, but not the Oregon players, fans, or coaches.
With five straight wins and a game at home against the Trojans of USC. The Ducks look ready to claim the PAC-10 as their own. But they must get bast the Huskies and Trojans first.
Then we can see if all their progress has shown their true colors or not.
2. Idaho Vandals
That's right. I said it. The Idaho Vandals.
The once laughable program out of Moscow, Idaho has surged into respectability this season with an unbelievable 5-1 record.
Robb Akey has this team headed in the right direction and receiving one vote to be put into the top 25 in the AP poll this week (putting them technically at fortieth).
The Vandals have surged to a 5-1 start behind the arm Nathan Enderle and even more impressively behind the legs of two break out running backs, both with over a six yard per carry average: DeMaundray Woolridge and Princeton McCarty.
Both backs combined for over 700 yards in six games with 10 touchdowns. Launching the Vandals to the top of the WAC for the first time in a long time.
If the Vandals pull off another win at home against the Hawaii Warriors this weekend they will travel to Reno for an all important game against the Wolfpack of Nevada at an impressive, bowl eligible record of 6-1.
1. Virginia Tech
With an opening weekend loss to Alabama the Hokies looked like they would have another ho-hum BCS year... maybe.
But a miraculous finish against Nebraska in week three sent the Virginia Tech squad sky-rocketing to the elite five in the football standings.
No longer is Virginia Tech hampered by the loss of prolific running back Darren Evans and the passing inability of Tyrod Taylor.
The non-existent passing game of Virginia Tech is officially a myth as Tyrod Taylor is five yards away from 1,000 on the year and has eight touchdowns compared to one interception.
The Hokies have fought their way back from ACC obscurity to national relevance with impressive wins over Miami and Boston College.
If the Hokies beat an impressive Georgia Tech team this weekend national championship hopes can burn bright. A loss for Texas and Alabama and maybe Florida (two of the three) and the Hokies can genuinely dream of a shot at the BCS national championship.
Not exactly where we pictured this team without Darren Evans or a passing game. Ryan Williams has done nicely, no, superbly in his stead. Get ready Hokie nation, because this could be an unforgettable year.
Teams barely not making the top five (Nebraska, Houston, Miami and Cincinnati).