18 for ’18: 18 key offseason topics: No. 5, which team in each Power Five conference has the potential to be a big surprise?
18 for ’18: No. 5 Possible Surprises In Each Power Five Conference
18 for ’18 Offseason Topics
18: Power 5 Coach Hot Seat Rankings
17: Power 5 Projected Win Totals & Swing Games
16. Best Longshot National Championship Teams
15. Group of 5 vs. Power 5 Upset Alerts
14. Every Power Five Team’s Letdown Game
13. Breakout QBs You Need To Know
12. Already Great Players About To Explode
11. Every Power Five’s Sleeper Team
10. Five Key Returning Injured Stars
9. Top Make Or Break QB Battles
8. Crazy Predictions That Might Be Right
7. Group of Five Teams In CFP Hunt
6. Possible Power Five Disappointments
This is the good part.
It’s never fun when teams disappoint and don’t play as well as expected, or have years that get coaches fired and make fan bases feel all sad inside. But the teams that rise up, shock and rock make seasons memorable.
How about Iowa State beating Oklahoma and TCU last year?
Purdue fans had a blast, Boston College went from doing nothing to a stunning second half turnaround, and absolutely no one thought Virginia would end up in a bowl game.
These aren’t the sleeper teams in the respective conference races; these are the teams that nobody will care about and everyone will dismiss, but … be careful.
And the Power Five programs that could and should be the biggest surprises are …
At some point this whole thing is going to work.
At least, at some point, this whole thing should work.
Head coach Dino Babers has done what Dino Babers was supposed to do after taking over. Lots of offense, lots of shootouts, lots of fun, and absolutely no defense whatsoever.
However, the Orange were able to rise up and stun Clemson in the middle of the year, and then went on to lose their last five games for a fourth straight losing season.
But as long as QB Eric Dungey can stay in one piece – hardly a given – and if the top receivers from last year can quickly be replaced in the fantastic offensive system, everything else is there.
Four starters return on the O line, and even though the defense won’t be confused with Alabama’s, seven starters are back with hope for an improve front four.
There’s always going to be a problem in the ACC Atlantic with Clemson and Florida State to deal with, but the Noles have to come to the Carrier Dome to kick off the ACC season, and NC State and Louisville have to make the trip, too.
With winnable non-conference games against Western Michigan, Wagner and UConn, there should be a nice base of victories, and then it’s up to the Orange to finally start winning more in the ACC.
Can they get by Louisville at home? Win at Pitt, or at Boston College, or in the Dome against North Carolina? At least seven wins and a bowl season isn’t asking for the world.