College Football 2011 Predictions: The 5 Most Overrated Teams
Overrated. It's a term that student sections love to chant and top teams hate to hear. Many teams argue that the overrated chant is a sign of respect, as their opposition realizes that they are the underdog.
The projections are out for college football's preseason top 25, and one thing is clear: too many teams are being given way too much credit.
Whether that high ranking is due to a program's prestige or last year's success, these teams (and their fans) may be in for a wakeup call in 2011.
These are the top five ranked college football teams that are overrated in 2011.
5. Ohio State Buckeyes
When it rains, it pours, and it seemingly has been hurricane season in Columbus, Ohio for months now. Does Luke Fickell know what he has gotten himself into?
No other college in the nation spends more money on their football program each year than Ohio State. Why Terrelle Pryor and Co. needed to sell their equipment for tattoos and other merchandise when the university is investing over $35 million dollars a year in their program is bewildering.
About.com has Ohio State ranked at number 12 in their preseason predictions, and ESPN.com has the Buckeyes ranked at number six.
A top-ten ranking for the Buckeyes is far too high. Pryor is now gone, as he plans to enter the NFL Supplemental Draft, and Ohio State will have to groom a signal-caller on the fly.
RB Dan Herron, WR DeVier Posey, OL Mike Adams and DL Solomon Thomas are all suspended for the first five games of the season. The Buckeyes lost RB Brandon Saine, WR Dane Sanzenbacher, DL Cameron Heyward, CB Chimdi Chekwa, LBs Brian Rolle and Ross Homan, S Jermale Hines and G Justin Boren.
The Big Ten has been dominated by "THE" Ohio State University, as they have won at least a share of the Big Ten title in seven of the past nine seasons.
Only four coaches in Big Ten history have won more conference titles than Jim Tressel (seven), and his leadership will be missed greatly. Whether you like the man or not, he is, quite simply, one of the best coaches in the country.
With teams like Nebraska, Michigan State, Penn State and Wisconsin all loaded with talent, the 2011 season will be one of misery for Buckeye Nation.
4. Oklahoma State Cowboys
The preseason About.com poll has the Oklahoma State Cowboys ranked at number seven for 2011. ESPN.com has the Cowboys ranked at number 10.
Many consider the Cowboys to be the top threat to Oklahoma for the Big 12 Title.
Justin Blackmon is an absolute monster at wide receiver for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, and the potential top-three pick is back with QB Brandon Weeden in 2011.
Is it even possible for Blackmon to improve on his ridiculous 2010 campaign? He had 111 receptions, 1,782 yards receiving, and 20 touchdowns. Video game-type numbers for sure, but that doesn't change the fact that the Cowboys had the 115th-ranked pass defense last season.
The Cowboys went 11-2 last season largely because of their explosive offense, but don't discount the loss of RB Kendall Hunter. Hunter was the dual-threat back that the made Oklahoma State's offense go, as he could do everything well.
Offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen is gone as well. Will the Cowboys put up the same numbers they did in 2010?
If their pass defense does not improve from last season, the offense better.
3. Stanford Cardinal
About.com has the Stanford Cardinal ranked at number five, and ESPN.com has the Cardinal at number seven. The country has certainly bought into the Andrew Luck hype, and for good reason; he has the strength, intelligence, quick release, and athleticism to be a franchise QB in the NFL.
There may be more preseason hype for this Stanford team than any other team in school history.
Don't be surprised if the Cardinal struggle more than they did in 2010. There are a lot of question marks at receiver, as the teams top two receivers, Doug Baldwin and Ryan Whalen, graduated.
Their biggest question marks will be amongst the offensive line. Sure, Andrew Luck is a terrific quarterback, but how effective can he be if he is constantly being pummeled into the turf?
Three of Stanford's five starters at offensive line from 2010 are now gone. Stanford will miss these players almost as much as they miss Jim Harbaugh.
Don't look too much into Stanford's defense (which is returning ten starters), as not one player was an All-Pac-10 selection. With their final five games coming against USC, Oregon State, Oregon, California and Notre Dame, don't be surprised if the Cardinal finish the season with at least four losses.
How will this affect Andrew Luck's draft stock?
2. LSU Tigers
About.com has the LSU Tigers ranked at number four, as does ESPN.com, so 2011 is a "national championship or bust" year for Les Miles and his team.
The team is loaded on offense with 10 starters returning, but who is their quarterback? Jordan Jefferson has shown that he is about as consistent as a craps table, evidenced by his seven TDs and 10 INTs in 2010.
The defense lost top-five pick Patrick Peterson to the NFL Draft, but they return eight starters as well. Can they really run the table in the ultra-competitive SEC West?
If new offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe can get transfer quarterback Zach Mettenberger playing at a high-level, the Tigers may very well be the team to beat.
That's a big if, and excuse me if I don't buy into the hype of a team with a huge question mark at the most important position on the field.
1. Florida State Seminoles
The Jimbo Fisher Era has officially begun in Tallahassee. The Florida State Seminoles burst back onto the national stage in 2010 with a 10-win season.
ESPN.com has the Seminoles ranked at number three, and About.com has them at number 13.
Jimbo Fisher was able to bring in the highest-ranked recruiting class in the country, and has a load of talent returning from last season. They did lose Christian Ponder, but many "experts" obviously do not think that losing the first-round pick will stop the Seminoles.
Even with Ponder, the Seminoles ranked 68th in the country in passing yards and 39th in rushing.
Let's remember that Florida State faced an extremely easy schedule in 2010, and they were only 2-2 against teams in the top 25.
A top-five ranking means that national championship aspirations are back at Florida State, but that will all go down the drain during week three.
Florida State faces the mighty Oklahoma Sooners early in the season, and that test will prove that these rankings greatly overrated the Seminoles.
Jimbo Fisher and his team will be hearing the "overrated" chant a lot in 2011.