The 5 Most Overrated Teams In The 2019 Preseason Coaches Poll

first_img Still, there are some definite red flags here.As we move toward Week 1 at the end of the month, here are the five most overrated teams in this initial coaches pollNo. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes Ohio State coach Ryan Day celebrating during a football game.(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)On paper, Ohio State has a ton going for it. Come November, few will balk at the idea of the Buckeyes making yet another run to the Big Ten title game, and potentially the College Football Playoff. The Big Ten would certainly welcome it, given the conference’s recent struggles to get into the playoff picture.The No. 5 ranking is just too high given the questions the off-season presents, even if the answers may be compelling. It is far too easy to assume that Ryan Day will step right in and pick up where Urban Meyer left off. Lincoln Riley may have done just that at Oklahoma, but he has proven to be a rare offensive mind. If Day is Meyer from day one, or better, even, lightning will have struck twice in three years in college football.The Buckeyes also lose a Heisman-caliber quarterback in Dwayne Haskins, who may in fact be underrated in the college football world since he wasn’t quite Kyler Murray, Tua Tagovailoa, or Trevor Lawrence. Haskins put together a statistically historic season in his one year as Buckeye starter. Former No. 2 recruit Justin Fields may very well be a Haskins-level player, but like Day and Meyer, it is hard to just pencil that in. Fields has the pedigree, but he has very little game experience from his brief Georgia tenure.The Buckeyes may wind up being the fifth, or even the first, ranked team in the country. At this juncture, that kind of praise feels premature though.No. 6 LSU Tigers LSU quarterback Joe Burrow warms up before the Fiesta Bowl.(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)It is hard to look past Alabama’s dominance of the SEC West, but LSU took a nice step forward last year. Ed Orgeron has started to finally move the Tigers past the issues of the Les Miles era. Ending UCF’s undefeated streak in last year’s Fiesta Bowl was a solid capper to the 2018 season.Entering 2019, Orgeron has done some very nice things to try and complete this transition. His biggest splash may be bringing on New Orleans Saints assistant Joe Brady in as passing game coordinator, to try and revamp a passing game that has lacked explosion.He’ll work with second year starter Joe Burrow, who is a.) probably the best LSU quarterback in some time, and b.) part of the problem with that lack of explosion. While Burrow was an effective leader last season after transferring in from Ohio State, he completed a pretty mediocre 57.6-percent of his throws for a decent if unspectacular 7.6 yards per attempt. Burrow is better than what LSU has had, but he’ll need to take a big step forward himself for the Tigers to come anywhere close to breaking into college football’s top tier, even with a defense on the other side that is as stacked as ever.No. 14 Penn State Nittany Lions Penn State's Sean Clifford throws a pass during warm-ups.(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)The end of the first great era of Penn State football under James Franklin may be upon us. If that’s the case, it came in two years.The first saw the departure of Saquon Barkley, one of the most dynamic running backs in program history, who is now dazzling in the NFL. Perhaps more impactfully, Joe Moorhead, who helped change the fortunes of Franklin’s program when he came over from Fordham, left to take over as Mississippi State head coach after the 2017 season.After last season, Penn State lost Trace McSorley, who is one of the best quarterbacks in program history, Barkley’s understudy Miles Sanders who was a very capable starting back, and a slew of others. Five starters departed for the NFL, and the team lost a bunch of depth with 11 players transferring. That includes some that would’ve played pretty big roles in 2019.Franklin is recruiting very well, and has Penn State rolling along. The team will probably be solid this year, with Sean Clifford stepping in at quarterback, and some dynamic running backs continuing that proud PSU tradition.Will PSU be a Big Ten East contender again? That seems doubtful. With Michigan tabbed to make a step forward, and Ohio State as talented as ever, the Nittany Lions seem set for a step back. The back end of the Top 25 may be more appropriate for this group.No. 16 Auburn Tigers A closeup of Auburn coach Gus Malzahn.(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Gus Malzahn has bounced between the hottest hot seats and contract extensions for what feels like three decades now. As much of the already brutal SEC West improves around him, this season may finally be the one that does his tenure in.Auburn will always be measured against Alabama, which is quite unfair, but is reality with how heated that rivalry is. LSU has stabilized, even if I’m not sold on LSU stepping into the realm of the elite (see above), Texas A&M seems to be moving forward under Jimbo Fisher, and the two Mississippi schools seem to be on the upswing.Meanwhile, Auburn is spinning its wheels, on paper at least, and will need to rely on a very unproven quarterback. Redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood and true freshman Bo Nix, a former five-star, are both very talented prospects, but are quite unproven.Whomever wins the job will be behind what was a very shaky offensive line last season, which returns three of five starters. The experience with those three may help them take a step forward, but the SEC West is unrelenting up front. The running back corps has talent, but struggled to really get things going behind that line last year.Malzahn has the reputation as an offensive guru and mastermind, but the team racked up less than 400 yards per game last season, in a sport where top offenses regularly top 500 on a weekly basis. The defense is very talented, although there is a big hole at linebacker.The young quarterbacks could help Malzahn save his job for another year if they show a lot, but that is a lot to ask.No. 25 Northwestern Wildcats Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald reacting during a game.(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)In a preseason that has thrown hype all over Nebraska, with stalwarts Wisconsin and Iowa (who are both Top 25 squads as well) also receiving attention, it is hard to not see Northwestern’s inclusion as a nod to the 2018 season.The Wildcats emerged out of nowhere to capture the Big Ten West last fall. It was an impressive season, considering improving depth in that division. Statistically, it also looks a bit fluky.Over the last few years, Northwestern has been one of the least explosive offenses in the entire country. Four-year starting quarterback Clayton Thorson, perhaps the team’s biggest departure, was a steadying influence, but didn’t provide the big plays that usually help teams win Power Five divisions. His replacement may have a higher ceiling, as former five-star Hunter Johnson gains eligibility after sitting out following a transfer from Clemson. Still, he is unproven.The advanced numbers really don’t like Northwestern as a Top 25 team. ESPN’s Football Power Index has the Wildcats at No. 52. Bill Connelly, formerly of SB Nation and now ESPN, has the S&P+ model based on a number of key metrics. That ranks Northwestern 57th.Obviously none of that matters if the Wildcats thrive, but it will be hard to repeat last year’s success if Johnson doesn’t make a difference in Northwestern’s big play ability, especially as basically every other team in the division, led by Nebraska, continues to improve. 2018 was a big year for Fitzgerald’s club, but it can’t just bet on repeating that success with the same model. Two Ohio State football helmetsNEW ORLEANS, LA – JANUARY 01: Ezekiel Elliott #15 of the Ohio State Buckeye helmet is seen on the sidelines prior to the start of the game during the All State Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)For those who are eagerly counting down the days until college football is truly back, today was a big step forward. The 2019 preseason coaches poll is officially here.The very top of this first Top 25 probably doesn’t surprise too much. Clemson, for the first time in program history, will open the year at No. 1, in this one poll at least.They’re followed by quickly developing rival Alabama, the Tigers’ three-time national title game foe. SEC East power Georgia comes in at No. 3, followed by Big 12 power Oklahoma.It is hard to argue much there, but as we work down the preseason coaches poll, there are some programs that seem to be a bit higher than you might expect.A number of schools seem to be riding on reputation, or their success from 2018. To be fair, coaches have plenty to concentrate on before they deal with ranking other teams, so not everyone may be aware of the particular comings and goings from all of these rosters.last_img read more