19 for ’19: 19 key offseason topics: No. 9. Every Power Five league’s sleeper team.
Sorry, but there’s no way you saw Kentucky coming last season.
No, you didn’t have Pitt in the ACC Championship or Syracuse winning ten games, and no way, no how did you predict that Northwestern would play for the Big Ten title.
But that’s what makes this whole thing fun. Of course the Alabamas, Clemsons and Ohio States of the world would do what they’re going to do, but other Power Five fan bases want to have some fun, too.
Which five Power Five teams this college football season have the best potential to rise up and rock?
ACC: Virginia Cavaliers
It might be hard to call Virginia too much of a sleeper considering what Bronco Mendenhall put together over the last two seasons – including an impressive bowl win over South Carolina to close out last year.
This team should be stronger than the eight-win squad of 2018.
Bryce Perkins is a terrific quarterback to work around, the receiving corps is solid, the lines are good, and the defensive back eight is full of veterans. Best of all, there’s no such thing as a sure-thing loss on the schedule – there’s no Clemson.
Pitt was able to get to the ACC title game last year by winning at the right time in Coastal play. This year, the Cavaliers have to beat the Panthers right out of the gate in the season opener.
They don’t leave Charlottesville after November 2nd, and there’s a week off to prepare for the road game at Miami. The Hurricanes will be coming off a date against a Virginia Tech team that has to go to Virginia in the regular season finale. Eventually, the Cavs are going to beat their rivals.
Asking for a ten-win season isn’t crazy.
– Virginia Schedule & Analysis