College Football’s Most Overrated Teams


Jim Harbaugh looks on, baffled, as his team his trounced by Wisconsin.

By Jack Woodard, Sports Editor

The college football season is already 4 weeks in for many teams and it is never too early to start talk of the College Football Playoff. Many teams are already standing out as contenders and while we could look further into these teams, you can find an article on that anywhere. Let’s talk about something more fun that will be very satisfying to write in the case of some teams: college football’s most overrated teams, the pretenders. This article will dive into the most overrated teams for the 2019 college football season and why you should not believe the hype surrounding these teams. Let’s jump right into it and expose the frauds.

The list starts off with a team that may have the most angry fan base in college football right now: Michigan. Michigan is a pretender and they will not make the College Football Playoff this year. I will jump out and say that right off the bat. The Wolverines currently sit at 2-1 with 5 more games against ranked teams still to come. To say that Michigan has underwhelmed thus far, would be an understatement. Jim Harbaugh is now in his 5th year as coach of Michigan and is off to another disappointing season. Harbaugh has not been able to quite make the jump to playoff contender at Michigan and this season already seems lost. After taking control of the game in the second half against Middle Tennessee, Michigan was smacked in the face in the following game by the option offense of Army and needed overtime to sneak out with a 24-21 win in the Big House. This win was very concerning for Michigan but the outcome was a W after all, however, the same cannot be said for their next game. Michigan played Wisconsin on Saturday and got absolutely embarrassed in a 35-14 loss. Wisconsin built a 35-0 lead in the 3rd quarter before Michigan finally showed some sense of pride and fought back. The Wolverines are a demoralized team with a coach who is on the hot seat and that is never a good combination. Jim Harbaugh may possibly be in his last year at Michigan in his 5th season after his highly anticipated arrival. Harbaugh has led Michigan on the road to solid seasons but has never been able to take the team to the next level. Harbaugh has posted some stats that are completely unacceptable, however. Under Harbaugh, Michigan is 1-9 against top 10 teams, 1-6 on the road against ranked teams, and 0-4 against Ohio State (the last state being the most important for Michigan fans). Michigan fans thought this team would take the next step this season with experienced Shea Patterson at quarterback and star receivers Donovan Peoples-Jones and Nico Collins but the Wolverines have not shown any signs of that step yet. Harbaugh is officially on the hot seat and his stats show that Michigan has never truly been a contender during his time coaching there. For all of these reasons, Michigan is a pretender and will not make a run to the College Football Playoff. (At this point they will be lucky if they manage 8 wins).

Our next fraud on this list is a team that is annually grossly overrated. Many people are believing the hype around this team this year, however, but one thing I have learned from experience is that this team is a pretender. This one is even satisfying to put to paper as this team is just always so overrated year in and year out: Notre Dame. Let’s get one thing out of the way, Notre Dame can never be taken seriously for the College Football Playoff until they join a conference! Their fans will advocate that they play “the best from every conference” yet they still consistently schedule teams like Navy, Boston College, Northwestern, Pitt, etc. Those teams are not exactly the cream of the crop in their respective conferences. Notre Dame does not have the consistency of playing teams in a conference or the competitiveness of vying for a spot in a conference title game. They continue to beat up on weak teams and look good in the rankings. Notre Dame has been embarrassed in recent years on the big stage because they are just not an elite team. In 2012 they lost the National Championship 42-14 to Alabama and last year they were embarrassed 30-3 in the semifinal against Clemson. While I do have to give credit to this year’s Notre Dame team as I do believe they are one of the better teams this program has seen in the past decade, Notre Dame cannot be considered a true contender because of their track record in big games and inability to join a conference. They struggled against a mediocre Louisville team in the season opener and lost a hard-fought game to Georgia last week. The Irish only play 3 more ranked teams (one being Michigan, a team on the verge of collapsing, and the other being a USC team with a backup quarterback). Notre Dame once again has a relatively easy schedule and this will come back to hurt them if they are even in the College Football Playoff talk. The Irish may seem different this year but a closer look will show the same problems as in previous years for Notre Dame and for that they are a pretender.

The next team on this list is UCF. The Knights are a very good team but despite what they want to believe, they are not in contention for the College Football Playoff. The self-proclaimed 2018 National Champions have yet again a weak schedule because of their conference. This is not UCF’s fault, however, as they are a Group of 5 team, the best one maybe, and can only play who they are up against. If UCF was to have any chance at the College Football Playoff, they would need an undefeated season (as they did in 2017 and still did not make it) and their chances at that are already gone. UCF lost this past weekend in the last minute to Pitt 35-34 on a trick play. The Knights cannot be taken seriously as a Playoff Contender when they barely beat mediocre Power 5 teams and will not be in the College Football Playoff. If UCF played the likes of Clemson or Alabama they would get exposed and torn apart despite what their fans want to think. UCF is not a serious contender.

The last team on our list is Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are not even a top 25 team as of right now but are still in the conversation with only 1 loss. Nebraska is another perennially overrated team and always disappoint as the season goes on. The Cornhuskers started at 24 in the preseason poll and have since limped their way to a 3-1 record. Scott Frost is in his 2nd year as head coach and the team has shown no step forward from last season. Heisman hopeful Adrian Martinez has been the only bright spot so far at quarterback for the Huskers. Scott Frost has not yet shown his coaching genius that many thought he would at Nebraska and while it may be too early for him to be on the hot seat, it must be considered. Nebraska went 4-8 last year and so far this year has barely survived games against Illinois and South Alabama. Nebraska is once again overrated this year and is not a serious contender.

Every fan is entitled to their own opinion and senior college football fan Aaron Khodarkovsky shared his with me when I talked with him about this subject. “Michigan is overrated as always, they almost lost to Army and their loss to Wisconsin showed us who they really are: an undisciplined team who can never win any big games. Virginia is also overhyped and although they are 4-0, they struggled to beat Old Dominion and Florida State. Texas A&M shouldn’t be ranked in my opinion considering their only 2 wins were against Lamar and Texas State.”

College football is an unpredictable game and many things can happen but these teams seem overrated as of right now. As the season goes on, they may prove me wrong but right now they do not look like contenders. We still have a ton of football to be played and one thing is certain, it will be an exciting season no matter what.