This college football season has had a ton of surprises which makes it fun for us the viewers. Here is a list of 5 college football teams defying preseason expectations.
This is probably the most obvious team on the list of 5 college football teams defying preseason expectations. Tennessee finds itself in the top 5 after big wins against Alabama, LSU, Florida, and Kentucky. Heisman candidate Hendon Hooker leads a high-powered Tennessee offense with the help of Jalin Hyatt who already has 14 receiving touchdowns this season. In the preseason top 25, they received the most votes for a team that didn’t crack the list. People expected them to be good but no one expected this good. The last real test is at Georgia. If the Volunteers can get past the Bulldogs, they have a great chance of punching a ticket to the College Football Playoff.
UCLA received a total of 2 votes in the preseason AP Top 25 poll. It is safe to say that they are on the list of 5 college football teams defying preseason expectations. UCLA is currently in the top 10 of the AP Top 25 with the only loss coming to higher-ranked Oregon. They are averaging 38.9 points per game which is good for 9th in the nation. Even in their lone loss against the Ducks, they still scored 30 points. Their matchup against USC in a couple of weeks is a must-win if the Bruins hope to keep their playoff chances alive.
It seems weird to have the LSU Tigers on the list of 5 college football teams defying preseason expectations. However, LSU is making more noise in the SEC than people thought they would. LSU did receive 55 votes in the initial top 25 poll. It didn’t look good for LSU after losing to Florida State in the first game of the season. They have rebounded well and while they lost to Tennessee, they have good victories over Florida, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss. Alabama comes to Death Valley and if LSU can pick up a win, it would propel them into the New Years Six bowl conversation. Regardless, this season has already been a success for them.
Kansas State Wildcats
Kansas State is the next team to make the list of 5 college football teams defying preseason expectations. Kansas State received only 14 votes in the preseason top 25. Kansas State is right in the thick of the Big 12 race after dismantling Oklahoma State on Saturday. Their two losses are not horrible. The Tulane loss looks a lot better now and TCU is most likely going to debut in the top 6 in the College Football Playoff rankings. If the Wildcats can win the Big 12, they will most likely be in the mix for a New Years Six bowl.
Illinois Fighting Illini
This is the most shocking addition to the list of 5 college football teams defying preseason expectations. No one saw this coming. One preseason prediction had them finishing 6th in the Big Ten West behind Nebraska, Purdue, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. This prediction looks laughable now as the Fighting Illini sits at no. 14 in the nation. They do have a game against Michigan and if they can win that, they have a legit shot at a New Years Six bowl game. This would have been unheard of in the preseason but Illinois is proving everyone wrong. This is my favorite addition to the list of 5 college football teams defying preseason expectations.
There are many more teams that could be on the list of 5 college football teams defying preseason expectations. Tulane is another team that has found itself in the top 25 which no one thought possible. All of these teams have a shot to be in a New Years Six bowl game if they continue their success. The back half of the college season is going to be wild and full of big matchups. We are the lucky ones that can sit back and watch the fun.
For More Great Football Content
Follow us on Twitter at @GridironHeroics for more great content. We appreciate you taking time to read our articles. To interact more with our community and keep up to date on the latest in Football news, JOIN OUR FREE FACEBOOK GROUP by CLICKING HERE