Every season that passes you always see that there is a certain group of schools that always end up in the top of every college football odds experts list. For some it’s come to feel like tradition, or a given to see certain names of schools always be ranked in either the top 20 or top 25 lists of potential candidates for success in the upcoming season. This year the story is no different, and while there are certain schools that do deserve to be there, there are others that just leave fans and analysts thinking and wanting to ask, really?
While there hasn’t been a clearer example of this than the Michigan Wolverines, who behind Jim Harbaugh’s mystique and charisma usually land in all of the contention lists even if the Wolverines don’t really have a competitive team, let’s talk about other schools that just seem to live off the hype but not wins or positive results. Here is our list for the top overly hyped college football teams who could definitely end up struggling this upcoming season.
Let’s start this list off with a team that has all the rights to be considered one of the powerhouse schools when it comes to college football, the USC Trojans. The Trojans have been known to be a school of football tradition and one of the most important, if not the most important college program in the PAC-12 conference. Given that, there’s no real fooling ourselves here. Their last season was not as amazing as one would think. Yes, they went undefeated in their regular season games, but they only played five games, understood that it was because of the global pandemic that struck upon everyone, and out of those 5 wins, three required fourth-quarter comebacks. Afterwards they went on to lose their conference championship match to the Oregon Ducks to close out a season that’s not really worth remembering that much.
They have some very good players to try and take this team back to their old glory, especially QB Kedon Slovis, but their questions in almost every position on offense are far bigger than their answers. Coach Clay Helton needs a winning season and not just that, a convincing winning season but with so many gaps to fill in the offense and defense, it’s not looking like USC’s hype will do them any good when they have to face teams like Utah, UCLA and Arizona State. Sorry Trojans, maybe next year.
So, the Texas Longhorns have been making headlines these past few days with the whole leaving the Big 12 Conference alongside longtime rivals Oklahoma in favor of the SEC. Well, given that that’s still not going to happen for a couple of years, let’s focus on the task at hand, this upcoming season and how the Longhorns might fare. In Texas football, the Longhorns have always reigned supreme, both in their good days and bad days. Now, it’s not too far out there to say that Texas has seen better days, but with new HC and former Alabama OC, Steve Sarkisian taking the helm, a general feeling of promise and optimism has been floating around Longhorn territory. But this might not be the year that Texas once again finds their groove.
First, the Longhorns need to figure out who their next starting QB will be after their four-year starter Sam Ehlinger left for the NFL. While all other BIG 12 powerhouses have their starting QB’s set for the season, Texas will have to pick out between Casey Thompson and Hudson Card, both QBs that have not really seen any action since their arrival to Texas. Add to that the dire need for the Longhorns defense to once again become dominant, a job that new DC Pete Kwiatkowski will surely live, breathe and sleep for and it’s understandable that while the Longhorns are close to NCAA football royalty, this season they might end up getting the axe.
Ole Miss Rebels
You know that saying “offenses win games, defenses win championships”? Well, that saying couldn’t fit any better for any other team than for the Ole Miss Rebels. Mississippi’s offense was one of the best in the country last season and with QB Matt Corral returning, there are glimmers of hope here and there, given of course that Corral works on his interception problem. Apart from that though, replacing a player who caused such an impact to this offense like new NY Jets receiver Elijah Moore will be very hard, but that’s not all.
Given that defenses win championships, Ole Miss’s defense does not seem ready to win much of anything this upcoming season. This defense was close to horrible last season and although many of its starters are returning, if they didn’t magically improve over the offseason that is that really good news? Given that other SEC West rivals like LSU and Auburn will be both looking for 2021 to be their bounce-back seasons, if Ole Miss doesn’t get a move on fixing their defense and tweaking their offense, then all the hype will just be that, hype.