VSI's 2007 Surprise College Football Teams
by Vegas Sports Informer - 08/20/2007
Every year there are one or two college football programs that leap out of the shadows and shock the national betting public. Last year it was Rutgers and BYU, who went a combined 18-5-1 against the spread while dazzling and surprising college football fans across the country. Being able to spot these teams before the books is a key to being a successful college football bettor.
So who will be this year's surprise teams? Well, everyone has his or her list and I'm here to share mine with you. These clubs should put some extra cash in your wallet and could end up crashing a BCS Bowl or two. Narrowing this group down to just five teams wasn't easy. But after studying last year's films, reading a ton of newspapers and online reports, and crunching a ton of numbers this is what I could come up with as Vegas Sports Informer's 2007-08 Surprise College Football Teams:
SOUTH FLORIDA BULLS
When you think of Big East teams you probably think Louisville, West Virginia and last year's surprise team Rutgers. But there is a new surprise team in the Big East: the South Florida Bulls! Some experts think that USF can win the Big East, and if they play their cards right they could. USF has an outstanding defense with seven starters returning and this year they should have a 100 percent healthy QB Matt Grothe. The Bulls have tough road games with Auburn and Rutgers and two very tough home games with West Virginia and Louisville. If South Florida can win three out of these four games then they can maybe run the table in the Big East. Regardless, this could be the best USF football team in a long time.
A couple of years ago Iowa was one of the best college football teams in the country. Now they're at the bottom of the mountain trying to work their way back up. Iowa is solid on both sides of the ball, especially on offense. Iowa has a very good set of RB's and the O-Line in one of the best in the country. But the best thing they have going for them is that they don't have to face either Ohio State or Michigan. Instead, their toughest test should be Sept. 22 on the road at Wisconsin.
Last year Missouri had a pair of really tough road losses against Texas A&M and Iowa St. This year the Tigers have 14 returning starters, including one of the best QB's in the Big 12 in Chase Daniel. Besides Oklahoma on the road, Missouri gets Nebraska, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M at home. I will say this now: Missouri will win the Big 12 North and could easily win the Big 12 Title game.
TCU HORNED FROGS
TCU is all about defense this year and we all know defense win championship. The Frogs have the best "D" in the Mountain West and this year their offense will be much more consistent and effective. TCU's biggest game will be against BYU on the road but I don't see BYU beating them. In fact, I will not be surprised if the only loss on the Horned Frogs' schedule ends up being against Texas at Sept. 8.
The Tigers are on the list just because last year they only won two games. Memphis should easily double their win total and I predict that this Tigers team will again be back and bowling. Last year their defense struggled, but this year it should actually end up being a strength. Memphis has 16 returning starters and its toughest game should be against Southern Mississippi on the road in November.