This season looks to be one of the best college football season in many years. Ohio State and Alabama return amazing rosters, Oregon still has all its playmakers, but with a new and unproven Quarterback, and Baylor and TCU are just as good as last, and look primed to battle it out in the heart of Texas for a spot in the College Football Playoffs. These teams are known commodities, but their are many great college football teams who do not get the same spotlight. Here are my top 5:
Temple’s defeat of Instate powerhouse Penn State might have just been a fluke, but I believe in miracles. There is no real way for Temple to make it to a BCS bowl, but a successful season for Temple would be 9 wins and a trip to Philadelphia for the AAC championship. If this team plays like they did against Penn State, they will have a devastating pass rush, and run the lights out with Jahad Thomas. This team is full of veteran leadership, and should have a chance in 11 of their 12 games (they play #11 Notre Dame on the road). I do not expect perfection, but I do think Temple has a chance to be very exciting and give some good shows to their fans.
The Duke Blue Devils are a basketball powerhouse. And if I were in charge of Duke Football, I wouldn’t mind Grayson Allen spread out wide, with whichever Plumlee that’s left in Durham at Tight End. But Duke actually has some great talent, but most importantly, some great coaching. David Cutcliffe puts together great offenses every season, and this one is no exception. Thomas Sirk is a great young Quarterback, who should lead this team to some quality wins this year. Duke also benefits from an ACC schedule that does not involve either FSU or Clemson, which means their biggest test will be against Georgia Tech. I’m not sure if Duke can beat GT, but if they show the country that they can, they can jump well into the top 25, and a chance to end the season inside the top 20. If this team really plays their cards right, they could have a face off against Florida State in Charlotte on December 5th.
3. Georgia Tech
The rambling wreck from Georgia Tech is a very fitting name for this team. One of the only teams left in College that exclusively runs the triple option, they are a throwback to the days of old, when running backs were huge and Quarterbacks didn’t really matter. They also happen to have a great Quarterback, who has speed and a pretty good arm when the play calls for it. They have a solid crop of workhorse backs, who fit this system perfectly. This team’s offense should be there the whole season, but they can only go as far as their defense, which is not as proven. They have a loss to Notre Dame and still have Clemson, Florida State, and Georgia on their schedule, so this could be a tough season for the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech does have a small chance to be a contender this season, but only if they can get through this season with no more losses. More likely however, they can end Florida State or Georgia’s chances of being in that Top 4, which would be just as sweet for much of College football fandom.
Oklahoma always has a chance to do big things every College Football season. They always recruit and play well enough to be in contention for something by the end of the season. These past few years however, they have been good, but not at that upper echelon of teams. This season, fresh off 3 solid wins, with one against a ranked Tennessee team, I think they have the ability to eventually sneak into the top 10. They will need to tighten up their offense and defenses, but Baker Mayfield is a gun-slinger that can keep them in any game. They also have a good compliment of defensive lineman, to keep other QBs honest. Their chance is a very small one, but I could see Oklahoma in that final four teams, if all the cards fall into place.
Auburn just about lost all relevancy when they went to overtime to defeat Jacksonville State. Jacksonville who? are they from florida? Nope. They are an FCS college from Alabama who should’ve lost to Auburn by about 50 points, but instead they were leading much of the game, and made Auburn look like a sad sack corpses in the process. They put up 20 points on this brand new Will Muschamp led defense, and Auburn only put up 27, against a defense that is in the Ohio Valley Conference. They already lost a game to LSU, but there is still hope for the Tigers. They are switching QBs, from Jeremy Johnson to redshirt Freshman Sean White. The reason I think Auburn is a sleeper, is because they are not going to be very good this season. That might sound wrong, but them coming in as underdogs, means that they have a chance to upset some teams on their schedule. With Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Georgia, and Bama still on the schedule, they have a chance to ruin a couple contenders seasons. This might not be anything near an Auburn team college football fans are used to, but that doesn’t mean they cannot make a splash once or twice against the cream of the crop in the SEC.