I'm not ready to kick them out of the polls just yet, but let's be honest, some teams have looked a lot worse than we thought they'd be so far this season. Although there hasn't been an "App State"-like game, there have been surprising losses and alarming nail biters.
So without further ado, here are five schools that I feel are much weaker then their preseason hype.
-Clemson Tigers (Started #9, Currently Unranked)
After a stunningly terrible loss to Alabama in the first week, Clemson was able to "bounce back" against the Citadel. Not exactly tough competition, especially considering the fact that they were up only 7-0 in the second quarter.
Tommy Bowden is probably going to be on the hotseat unless he can lead this team to a triumphant season in the weak ACC, but it seems obvious that he'll never be an elite coach. He has two of the best running backs in the country, and a talented quarterback in Cullen Harper, but this team just doesn't seem to have the "it" factor.
With a relatively soft schedule the rest of the way, Clemson could potentially finish with only one or two losses, but national title hopes are definitely out of the question for a team that was once considered a dark horse candidate.
-Virginia Tech Hokies (Started #17, Currently Unranked)
Although it looks like the East Carolina loss isn't as bad as previously thought, they looked absolutely terrible against Furman. I mean really, a 24-7 win over Furman? 68 yards passing total against Furman?
Va Tech doesn't look like a Top 25 team even in a weak ACC. With tough games on the road against North Carolina, Nebraska, Boston College, and Miami, the Hokies could have their worst season in a long while. Sean Glennon can't graduate soon enough.
-West Virginia Mountaineers (Started #8, Currently #25)
I think I can speak for the entire nation when I say I was shocked by how terrible WVU looked against East Carolina. As great as Pat White looked against Villanova, he looked like a scrub against Skip Holtz' Pirates, passing for only 72 yards on 11 completions.
Are they that bad against a real opponent, or did they simply have a bad game? Regardless, head coach Bill Stewart has been thrown into the fire now, and how he responds and gets his team to perform for the rest of the year is crucial.
Will White and company step up and run the table for the rest of the season? I think anything worse then a two-loss season is a disappointment for a squad that looked great in a BCS bowl game and returned a lot of talent. Games at Colorado, against Auburn, at UConn, at Pitt, and at USF make their road back to the top of the polls a tough one.
-Kansas Jayhawks (Started #14, Currently #13)
Yes, I'm biased, but only because I am actually watching the Jayhawks. Because I'm a Missouri fan and native, I can watch the Jayhawks on local TV, and I can't begin to describe how unimpressed I am. Pay attention here KU fans, and argue with me if you like, but I have respectable reasons for why I'm surprised by the Jayhawks thus far.
First of all, they have played truly two of the worst teams in FBS football, in FIU and Louisiana Tech. They are 2-0 and have won by an average of 29 points, but again, their opponents are horrendous. Their running game, a staple of their offense last year, has been literally non-existent, averaging only 3.68 yds/carry thus far.
For a team that is looking to repeat a BCS bid, they have at least five potential losses (at USF and Oklahoma, VS Texas Tech and Texas, and a neutral game against Missouri), plus the Jayhawks will have a huge target on their back in Big 12 play.
If they lose four or five games, KU won't even be ranked by the end of the year. And if they average only 3.68 yards against their better opponents, putting a ton of pressure on Todd Reesing, that future is very possible.
-Ohio State Buckeyes (Started #2, Currently #5)
The Buckeyes missed Beanie Wells a lot against Ohio University, but Maurice Wells and the other backups are pretty darn good too, so that's no excuse. Going into the Coliseum is tough enough, but if the Buckeyes lose, or even get blown out, the allegations that the Buckeyes are as soft as my pillow will drown out a talented football team and ruin what is their best shot at a national title in a long time.
The Buckeyes have too much returning talent from a repeat title contender to NOT contend again, but games after the USC game include at Wisconsin, at Michigan State, at Illinois and against Penn State will certainly demand a better effort then we saw this last Saturday.
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