Which teams in the Power Five conferences should rise up and be sleepers in 2022? They might not win their respective conferences, but they could make a whole lot of noise.
Did anyone really see Baylor coming as a team that would take the Big 12 Championship and finish in or near the top five?
Who had Pitt winning the ACC title, or Michigan State being a Big Ten power, or Ole Miss finishing 11th in both polls?
We got the Rebels right in last year’s Power Five Sleeper Teams piece. Taking the L on Stanford, squibbed singles on Boston College and Texas Tech, and roped a triple on Purdue.
These teams almost certainly won’t win their respective conference championships, but they should be in for interesting seasons and give their fan bases a good time.
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College Football Power Five Sleeper Teams
ACC: Florida State Seminoles
There was a time not all that long ago when Florida State was automatically considered a national championship contender. It had the talent, the coaching, and everything in place to be special year after year after year.
Jimbo Fisher restored the glory, but it all fell apart in the opener against Alabama to start the 2017 season, and the program never recovered.
The Noles won 78 games, three ACC Championships, and a national title between 2010 to 2016. Since then they’ve gone a putrid 26-33.
Florida State lost 19 games from 1987 to 2000.
Head coach Mike Norvell isn’t going to put the program back into superpower territory just yet, but after years and years and years of painful offensive line play, the Noles might really have a decent front five. At least it’s full of veterans.
The ground attack and the offense should work just fine, the defense is loaded with experience – the starting 11 should be outstanding if the secondary can rise up – and the schedule works okay.
LSU is a problem in Week 2 in New Orleans, and road games against NC State and Miami are scary, but Clemson and Florida have to come to Tallahassee, and the team should be strong enough to pull off several wins in the 50/50 games.
For a proud program that hasn’t had a winning season in four years, this will seem like when it all starts to turn around.