Expert College Football Predictions: High-Profile Teams That Could Disappoint
Fall camps are about to get underway in college football, which means that hope springs eternal. Every fanbase believes that this is the year that everything will go their way and that the media will have to take back all of their negative words after their team shocks the world. And then the games will begin, and for most of those teams it won't turn out that way at all. Here are five high-profile fanbases coming into the season with high expectations that should perhaps brace themselves for some disappointment:
Ohio State: As I write this all I know is that Urban Meyer has been put on administrative leave while the issues surrounding him are investigated. Now, I'm no lawyer, but it seems tough to draw up a situation where he is back coaching this team by the start of the season - or ever again, for that matter. Shifting to an interim after a wildly-successful coach is extremely tough. Ohio State proved it themselves with Luke Fickell. Baylor struggled badly replacing Art Briles recently. And John L. Smith was lousy when he replaced Bobby Petrino - and he had much more time to get acclimatized. Ohio State has plenty of talent and on paper is a playoff team. But with all of this going on, the chances of us seeing their best feels very low - and falling.
Michigan: I bleed maize and blue, so putting them here pains me. But I have to. The defense will be potent, they have their best quarterback in a long while, and the offensive line may not be hot trash as it has been. But this team is not one that has risen to the occasion in crunch time over the last decade, and with games at Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State, and home games against Wisconsin and Penn State, there are plenty of opportunities for this team to go full Michigan and step on their own feet. I am generally optimistic about them, but it is fair that many people aren't.
Texas: Tom Herman is a great coach who will do big things at Texas - or maybe at Ohio State, as things play out. But the high expectations on him this year in Year 2 are just silly. He went 7-6 last year, has had to rebuild this team from the ground up in many ways, and still doesn't have truly inspiring answers to many questions - who will be his quarterback being chief among them. They lost close at times last year, and they should be improved. But the difference between being improved and justifying the betting love the team is getting - they are just +650 to make the playoff this year at Bovada - is a wide gap.
Notre Dame: Notre Dame being overrated going into a season is more certain than your inevitable death. This year they lost their two best offensive linemen to the draft, the defensive coordinator that turned things around in a big way bolted for Texas A&M after just one year, and the schedule is absolutely brutal. The polls suggest that this is a Top 15 team. I suggest that they are going to start the season with a loss and then add at least two more. They made huge upward strides from two years ago to last year, but expecting the upward trajectory to continue is, at best, naive.
Oklahoma: We know how this is going to go if you are an Oklahoma fan. I will say that replacing Baker Mayfield is not going to be easy and that teams very often have issues for at least a year when replacing a guy who was, in every way, the driving force of the team. You'll tell me I'm an idiot and that Clemson won a title the year after Deshaun Watson went to the NFL. Am I saying that Watson sucked, you'll ask? And I'll say no, but that Clemson's defining characteristic during their title run was that defense - from the line on back. Oklahoma, on the other hand, is about offense, and that offense has been all about Mayfield for a long while. Then you'll say that you don't care what I think because I'm just a stupid Canadian who couldn't find Oklahoma on a map. Then I'll say I actually lived there for a couple of years when I was young while my dad was in school. Then you'll be so mad and unable to say anything, so I'll say that I actually respect your program and the direction a lot but that expectations should be a bit moderate this year - like conference title instead of national title. That's all. And then maybe we'll hug it out.
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