The 10 Most Overrated Teams from the AP Preseason Poll
With every college football season, there are several teams that are ranked highly but once they play, they struggle to live up to the hype. And this season is certainly no different.
In this slideshow, I will take a look at the 10 most overrated teams from the preseason AP poll.
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
AP Preseason Rank: 23
With the Florida Gators sans Tim Tebow, the Georgia Bulldogs hoped to be a contender for the SEC East crown.
They did not look like one Saturday in Columbia, South Carolina. Behind freshman running back Marcus Lattimore, the Gamecocks ran all over the Bulldog defense. The Bulldogs and quarterback Aaron Murray struggled to move the ball without star receiver A.J. Green, who is currently under suspension.
If the Bulldogs want to be a contender in the SEC East, they certainly have to improve their play, as they looked like an unranked team yesterday.
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AP Preseason Rank: 21
Going into the season opener vs. North Carolina, a team without 13 regulars, including its entire secondary, LSU should have beat down UNC. And at halftime they were up 30-10, and it looked like they would roll over the Tar Heels.
But they let the Tar Heels come back and they had the ball at LSU's six before running out of time. They were six yards from defeating a team, despite having a lot of reserves play, especially on their defense.
The Tigers showed their usual inconsistency that has been prevalent the last few years in Baton Rouge. Quarterback Jordan Jefferson played very well at times, but also made some bonehead mistakes, one involving a throwaway pass while scrambling that was ultimately intercepted. And their defense allowed UNC quarterback T.J. Yates, who played mediocre at best last season, to throw for 416 yards and three touchdowns.
To allow a team missing important players come within six yards of winning the game shows once again that LSU is not anywhere close to as good as they were in the early years of the Les Miles regime.
8. Florida State
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AP Preseason Rank: 20
Hope was eternal as the Jimbo Fisher era began. The Seminoles looked to be nearly back on the national scene with Heisman contender Christian Ponder at quarterback, and a new defensive coordinator in the highly regarded Mark Stoops era. Demolishing Samford had the Seminoles riding high heading into Norman, Oklahoma the other day to play the Sooners.
And it all came crashing down.
The Seminoles were absolutely destroyed by the Sooners. The game was tied at seven with 5:25 left in the first quarter. Florida State did not score again until the beginning of the fourth quarter while Oklahoma was up 44-7.
Ponder looked awful, completing only 11 of his 28 passes. Their defense was carved by Landry Jones, who played fantastic. He was the one that looked like a Heisman contender, not Ponder.
The Seminoles were spanked by the Sooners, and showed just how far they had to go to be back with the elite in college football.
7. Penn State
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
AP Preseason Rank: 19
I understand that going into Tuscaloosa with a true freshman quarterback in Rob Boldin is not exactly an ideal situation. However, the Nittany Lions were in position to make it a game, but their three best scoring opportunities ended with two interceptions and a fumble.
Meanwhile, Alabama was able to run all over Penn State's defense behind budding star Trent Richardson, who led them to a nice victory.
While Penn State showed some promise in this game, they need to finish their drives if they want to compete with Ohio State in the Big Ten.
Joe Paterno perhaps said it best, "I think we've got a long ways to go to be a good football team."
6. North Carolina
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
AP Preseason Rank: 18
Thanks to all of the suspensions that have decimated the Tar Heel defense, North Carolina does look to fulfill the promise they had before the season began.
The Tar Heels did play well against the LSU Tigers, but it is looking like this season could be a struggle for Butch Davis and his squad.
5. Georgia Tech
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AP Preseason Rank: 16
Coming off an ACC Championship and with Josh Nesbitt returning at quarterback, the Yellow Jackets looked like they would compete for a repeat crown this season.
However, they did not look like an ACC championship caliber team yesterday at Kansas.
Kansas was coming off an ugly 6-3 loss to North Dakota State, and did not look like they would give Georgia Tech much trouble. But Paul Johnson's squad must have thought they could pull a Tyler Perry and "do all bad by myself." The Yellow Jackets dropped multiple passes (very critical in an offense that passes sparingly), had a punt go 13 yards, committed a roughing the passer penalty, kicked off out of bounds, and to top it all off, on a 4th-and-3 that would decide the game, committed a false start penalty.
The Yellow Jackets did not play well at all yesterday, and have to work on the mental errors before ACC play starts.
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AP Preseason Rank: 15
Every year there are high hopes for the Pittsburgh Panthers, but it seems that they are never able to fulfill them. This year is no different.
Yes Rice-Eccles Stadium is a difficult place to play, but this is not the same Utah team that was competing for BCS bowls. Panthers quarterback Tino Sunseri struggled quite a bit and Dion Lewis did not look great on the ground (rushing 37 times for 102 yards).
It seems as if Dave Wannstedt's team once again will not meet the expectations placed upon them this season.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
AP Preseason Rank: 14
Ever since the Trojans were dominating the 2000s, there have been extremely high expectations for the men of Troy. Despite NCAA sanctions, the Trojans were supposed to be pretty good with Matt Barkley playing under the tutelage of Lane Kiffin and Monte Kiffin leading the USC defense. But they have not looked great in their first two games against middling opponents.
Against Hawaii in the opener, they scored 48 points but barely won because they allowed Hawaii's offense to rack up 588 yards and 36 points.
Against Virginia, their defense smothered the Cavaliers, while their offense struggled greatly against one of the more feeble BCS teams. USC escaped 17-14 at home.
Even with the sanctions, these are teams that USC should have blown out, but both games were close. If USC can't blow out these teams, how will they look against the elite of the Pac-10?
2. Virginia Tech
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AP Preseason Rank: 10
The Hokies losing in a nailbiter to Boise State on Labor Day was not a shock. They made plenty of mental mistakes, but were still in the game with one of the elite teams this season.
Losing to FCS James Madison is a major shock and shows how the Hokies were not at all deserving of a top 10 ranking, as they will now fall out of the top 25.
The Hokies failed to put James Madison away with three giveaways, and only scoring one touchdown despite every drive crossing into JMU territory.
It's back to the drawing board for Frank Beamer and his team.
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
AP Preseason Rank: 5
Wait, how could Florida be overrated? They've won both of their games rather handily.
However, they have struggled quite a bit in these two games.
Against Miami (OH), one of the worst teams in the Bowl Subdivision, their offense handed the ball to the RedHawks multiple times via fumbles. John Brantley, the quarterback, did not play well at all. Luckily their defense was extremely opportunistic and was able to put the RedHawks away.
Pretty similar story against an average South Florida team. The game was pretty close and even until USF quarterback B.J. Daniels fell apart as all of his four interceptions resulted in great field position for the UF offense or points.
Besides Jeff Demps, who played excellent and extremely fast yesterday rushing for 139 yards on 11 carries, the Florida offense has struggled mightily. Playing in the tough SEC, those struggles will be magnified.
And this was a team that was ranked in the Top Five? The Gators have gotten extremely lucky thus far due to turnovers, but these are weak opponents. Against the elite of the SEC, they look like they will struggle greatly. This is not a team that should be anywhere close to the top of the polls.