There look to be plenty of teams not living up to their preseason hype this year, including my very own Tennessee Vols. Clemson, Auburn, Wisconsin, and Arizona State are all having seasons to forget.
This made me think.
Which teams of the past decade (BCS era) were the most overrated? I determined a ranking based on a team’s preseason AP rank and their finishing record, as well as eye-opening failures throughout the season.
To my disliking, SEC teams made quite an appearance on this list.
10. 2001 Notre Dame Preseason Rank: 17; Final Record: 5-6
Coming into the 2001 season, Notre Dame was the winner of seven of their last eight and had a top 20 ranking. They left with a 5-6 record and sent Bob Davie packing. They averaged 11 points in six losses. Good job, pollsters.
9. 1999 UCLA Preseason Rank: 16; Final Record: 4-7
Following back-to-back 10-2 seasons, UCLA came crashing down in 1999. They were outscored by 81 points, won zero road games, and got shutout by a 4-7 California team.
8. 2002 Nebraska Preseason Rank: 10; Final Record: 7-7
After a fine 11-2 campaign in 2001, Nebraska reeked it up in 2002. They peaked in August, as their best win was against a six-loss Arizona State team in the first game of the year. They finished outside the top 25 for the first time in 34 years.
7. 1999 Ohio State Preseason Rank: 9; Final Record: 6-6
After an 11-1 season in 1998, Ohio State had a stellar 3-5 record in the Big Ten in 1999. They lost their last three, and John Cooper was gone the following season. Oh, and they lost to Michigan again.
6. 1999 Arizona Preseason Rank: 4; Final Record: 6-6
Following a great 12-1 campaign in 1998, Arizona laid eggs all over the 1999 season. Their best win was against a team also on this list (UCLA). Their football team has not been seen since.
5. 1998 Arizona State Preseason Rank: 8; Final Record: 5-6
With a Top 10 preseason ranking after a successful 9-3 season in 1997, the Sun Devils became known as a baseball school again in 1998. Arizona put up half a hundred on them. Best win was against a 5-6 Cal team.
4. 2004 Kansas State Preseason Rank: 12; Final Record: 4-7
The end of the Bill Snyder era was rocky as the Wildcats plummeted after a Fiesta Bowl performance the year before. The defense allowed more than 30 points a game. They did not defeat a team with a winning record, and they have since fallen off the face of the Earth.
3. 2005 Tennessee Preseason Rank: 3; Final Record: 5-6
After a very successful 10-3 campaign in ‘04, the 2005 Vols got caught looking ahead…just about every game. They lost to Vanderbilt. They won one division game. They lost to Vanderbilt. They lost to Notre Dame. Did I mention they lost to Vanderbilt?
2. 1998 LSU Preseason Rank: 9; Final Record: 4-7
Coming off back-to-back division titles, LSU choked the whole 1998 season away. They lost seven of their last eight. They did beat Auburn, who that year was, oh...3-8.
1. 2000 Alabama Preseason Rank: 3; Final Record: 3-8
Coming off a 10-3 season in 1999, Mike Debose’s final year was a disaster. Alabama lost all three non-conference games. They lost to their three biggest rivals (Auburn, Tennessee, and LSU) and they lost to a PAC-10 team (UCLA).