College football season is here. With it comes arguments about rankings, standings, and who belongs on top. Unlike other sports, college football depends in large part on subjective rankings — try as they may to make them accurate. Accordingly, the rankings will always receive criticism. These are the most underrated and overrated teams.
Underrated: Ohio State Buckeyes
People may read too much into Urban Meyer’s departure, but the team performed well under new coach Ryan Day during Meyers’s suspension last season. As one of the most stacked rosters in college football, Ohio State has some new talent that could push them toward success.
The key to the Buckeyes’ success may be quarterback Justin Fields. He spent last year on the bench, but he seems ready to take over at quarterback. This could go either way, but if Fields is as good as people think, this fifth-seed may look crazy. Being ranked fifth isn’t bad by any means, but with all things considered the Buckeyes may be underrated.
Overrated: University of Central Florida Knights
UCF impressed last year, going 12-0 in the regular season before falling to LSU. However, some believe young coach Josh Heupel inherited success and with a new quarterback, he’ll have a bit more growth to achieve the success they had last year. Last year, UCF worked off lower expectations, but it may be the opposite this year.
Brandon Wimbush, their quarterback who transferred from Notre Dame, will likely dictate the team’s success. On the other side of the field, only five starters will return. So Heupel will face major challenges if he wants to recreate UCF’s success.
Underrated: University of Missouri Tigers
While the Buckeyes can take issue with being low ranked, Mizzou may have the most to prove. After all, they weren’t even ranked in the AP top 25. Perhaps they didn’t schedule well. The first part of the season is filled with teams that voters may see as unimpressive even if they win every game.
Barry Odom will have a chip on his shoulder. Perhaps he can pass it down to his team as they enter the season. If Mizzou can win all the games they are supposed to, as well as build the success when they start playing better opponents during the late season, perhaps they’ll turn some heads come bowl season.
Overrated: Auburn Tigers
The SEC got favorable treatment from the AP. Unlike Mizzou, Auburn will have a tough schedule from the get-go. Competing within that conference means they have no margin for error. With so many SEC teams ranking well, the smart money is on at least one underperforming by season’s end.
Add to the fact that they didn’t even know who would start at quarterback until the end of the season, and it could go both ways for them. If Bo Nix leads the team, the No. 16 ranking may look good. If he struggles, however, the team may need to call on Joey Gatewood. This move may bode better for the next year than a midseason change.