Where the Experts Are Wrong: College Football’s Most Overrated Teams
A couple weeks back we did a breakdown of the experts' preseason rankings and one thing was abundantly clear after looking at their picks:
After the first three or four teams, the experts don't really agree on anything.
While there were a ton of teams that have good arguments for being ranked higher than they were on ESPN's list or got snubbed on Rivals' list, Phil Steele's rankings, or Sporting News', there were also a good deal of expert picks that really just didn't add up.
Lets look back at the experts' picks and pick out a list of our own.
The 10 most overrated teams in college football.
We'll re-examine the expert picks and chose the 10 teams from ESPN, Rivals, Athlon Sports, Sporting News, and Phil Steele's lists that one expert or another has given far too much credit.
No. 10 Sporting News' Wisconsin at No. 8 Pick
Wisconsin finished the 2009 season with a 10-3 record and a solid win over Miami in the Citrus Bowl.
The Badgers return most of their starters and don't have too challenging a schedule outside of Ohio State and Iowa, but the No. 8 spot still seems too high for the third or fourth best team in the Big Ten.
There are a number of teams with just as much talent that will play significantly harder schedules and finish the year with an equal record.
No. 9 ESPN's Navy at No. 25 Pick
OK, the Midshipmen had an impressive 10-win season in 2009, but besides Ohio State, Pitt, and Notre Dame, they played second-tier teams and weren't really challenged.
Well in 2010, they play an even easier schedule.
Besides Notre Dame, Duke and Maryland are the toughest games on the schedule.
If you don't play anyone you shouldn't be ranked.
No. 8 Sporting News' FSU at No. 14 Pick
FSU fans will disagree, but there's no way this team deserves to be ranked as the 14th best in the nation.
Yes, Chris Ponder has the potential to really explode next season, but that defense is a real question mark and while the Seminoles had a solid recruiting class that should make a big impact next season, all of their problems aren't going to disappear overnight.
FSU gave up a ton of points in 2009, and if that doesn't change they aren't going to do much better than their 7-6 mark from a year ago.
No. 7 Phil Steele's North Carolina at No. 12 Pick
North Carolina finished last season on a down note, losing to NC State and Pittsburgh in brutal fashion by a combined three points.
Before then they pulled off major upsets over Virginia Tech and Miami, and that should get you wondering what the Tar Heels are capable of doing in 2010.
They're a darkhorse team to win the ACC, but exactly how good are they?
You have to think it's somewhere between their win over VT and their loss to Pitt, and that isn't at No. 12.
No. 6 Rivals' USC at No. 5 Pick
USC is a tough team to figure out. They're definitely better than last season's record would indicate and with their No. 1 recruiting class in 2010 things were looking up for the Trojans' offense this season.
But NCAA sanctions have cast a shadow over the program that could ruin their recruiting class over the next few months.
Will their top recruits stay or will they go?
How will the team be perceived nationally when they aren't postseason eligible?
To be fair, Rivals gave them the No. 5 ranking before the sanctions were announced, but still, even then it was a stretch.
No. 5 Rivals' Oregon at No. 4 Pick
With the suspension and then dismissal of Jeremiah Masoli and the expected increase in competition from the likes of USC, UCLA, Oregon State, and Stanford, the Ducks are going to have a difficult time winning the Pac-10 for a second straight season.
They're still the team to beat out West, but their schedule is no joke and there are questions that need to be answered on both sides of the ball.
Oregon is a top 10 team, that's a fair statement.
Oregon is the No. 4 team in the nation is not.
No. 4 Athlon Sports' Florida at No. 3 Pick
There were a couple of reaches at the No. 3 spot, but we'll get to the second one in a little while.
For now, its time to pick on Florida for a little.
The Gators are stacked with talent on both sides of the ball and while John Brantley should do a great job leading the offense next season, he's no Tim Tebow.
And Brantley isn't the only player with some big shoes to fill in Florida.
No. 3 Phil Steele's Notre Dame at No. 16 Pick
After losing Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate, Notre Dame's two best offensive weapons, and seeing the number of holes in their defense, you have to think Brian Kelly has his work cut out for him.
Kelly will make a big difference for the Irish and there's a good chance they'll return to relevance sooner rather than later, but it would be surprising to see them spend too much time, if any, in the Top 25 next season.
They have some serious question marks and teams don't normally jump from .500 to ranked in one year.
No. 2 Sporting News' Miami at No. 3 Pick
Miami has a ton of firepower on offense and bring back almost all of their top weapons on that side of the ball. Jacory Harris and Co. should be in line for a very successful season.
But it's not all good in the U.
The secondary is a mess and the defensive line is inexperienced.
Don't be surprised if UM wins their first ACC title, but it won't come with a No. 3 overall ranking.
That's seriously, seriously pushing it.
No. 1 Phil Steele's Oklahoma at No. 1 Pick
Oklahoma was unlucky last season. Losing Sam Bradford for pretty much his entire senior season was a tough blow for a program with high expectations entering the season.
But at least his loss gave Landry Jones the experience he'll need to take over the starting quarterback job full-time in 2010.
The Sooners will definitely improve on their 8-5 mark from a year ago, but the No. 1 team in the country?