Five Who Just Missed?
The AP Poll loves to focus on offensive players that return from the previous season. It helps to becoming off a good season on top of finishing the season strong too. These five have a bunch of talent, but for many reasons could not put it together in 2016. Look for these teams below to perhaps surpass everybody’s expectations as they will likely start the season unranked.
The Hawkeyes clearly will be close to starting out in the AP Poll that comes out in less than two months here. Despite the rough loss against the Gators to close out the season, they did finish strong demolishing Nebraska like they seemingly have done at will and let us not forget the major upset victory over Michigan. Kirk Ferentz is the dean of college football and they should have a solid season coming up.
Arguably the biggest disappointment last season, the Ducks flat out were bad in many facets last season. Defensively, they were a joke and the funny thing is they bring back a ton of talent offensively. Royce Freeman will become the greatest statistical runner in Ducks history, so I anticipate them to at least double their win total from last season.
Losing Josh Dobbs will be key depending on how well Quinten Dormady and Jarrett Guarantano perform. The schedule is fairly brutal as usual, which may not mean good things are ahead due to their miserable record against ranked foes as of late (6-20 last five years against AP Top 25).
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The Golden Domers don’t deserve a ton of hype going into the season after an absolute disaster of a 4-8 season where some thought they were a lock for eight or more wins.
Look for a turnaround from what has been a productive head coach in Brian Kelly.
TCU Horned Frogs
I have a bit of a ‘crush’ on this team heading into the year. I love the talent returning and feel that QB Kenny Hill has all the weapons at his disposal to put up legit numbers. Nearly the entire defense returns as well, which will be very good for Big 12 standards. Don’t be shocked if they either play for the Big 12 crown and or get to ten wins this season.