Top 5 Underrated College Football Teams That’ll Surprise
They’re going to be the top 5 underrated college football teams that won’t get a whole lot of early respect, but look out.b
Preview 2017: Top 5 Underrated College Football Teams
Central Michigan Chippewas
Every year there’s a dangerous team from the MAC who turns into a thorn in everyone’s side. Last year it was Western Michigan vs. Illinois and Northwestern, and it was Central Michigan in the win over Oklahoma State. This year, CMU will be just that in an even bigger and better season.
If you’re a fan of returning starters, that’s Central Michigan, with almost everyone back except for QB Cooper Rush. Kansas, Syracuse and Boston College all have to watch out against a team with all of the top receivers returning, six of the top eight tacklers back, a fantastic running back situation, and former Michigan star recruit Shane Morris being just fine in place of Rush.
The Bearcats were talented going into last season, but it didn’t look like it when the team went in the tank late. But new head coach Luke Fickell should bring the energy and stability to work with the great defensive line and dangers passing game to be a real, live threat in the American Athletic West race.
The schedule will be a big help after a rough start. Can Cincy beat Miami University in the rivalry date? It’ll need to with road games at Michigan and Navy to deal with, but then comes the big run – Marshall, UCF, SMU. A road game at South Florida might put a ceiling on just how good the season can be, but it’ll be a huge step forward going into a bigger 2018.
Florida Atlantic Owls
Like it or not, Lane Kiffin really is that good, and he’s about to show it with an FAU team that should be more consistent and far better now that the coaching situation is settled – at least for the next year or so.
Even with a likely rocky start – with losses to Navy, Wisconsin, Middle Tennessee and Old Dominion – after a week off, the Owls will go on a roll to win four of the last six games and go bowling.
17 of the top 19 tacklers are back, Devin Singletary and Greg Howell combined for 25 touchdown runs, and the quarterback situation should be stronger – especially with Kiffin taking control.
No, really, why will Michigan be better after losing so much talent, so many great players, and too many starters? It might not be early on, but it’ll beat Florida to start the season, and that’ll be enough for a 6-0 start before the showdown at Penn State.
But how will that happen? Those new starters aren’t going to be all that bad, either. The defense isn’t going to slip a bit, there’s more athleticism across the board than when Jim Harbaugh took over, and the low expectations will be a plus. If it’s possible, Michigan will fly under the radar.
NC State Wolfpack
It’s too hard for anyone to bust through the brutally-amazing ACC Atlantic – just ask Louisville – but NC State will give it a push thanks to one of the best defensive lines in the country and an efficient offense.
This isn’t necessarily going to be like the Louisville early run of last year – the Wolfpack won’t be as explosive – but they should beat South Carolina on the way to a 3-0 start before going to Florida State, and with Clemson a home game, there’s a shot to do something amazing.