Most Underrated Teams in NCAA Football Lines
If you look at the top rankings in the college football betting standings, you seem teams like Ohio State, TCU and Alabama at the top. The national champion, the best team left out of the College Football Playoff last year, and the predicted SEC champ are all at the top – as you might expect. However, there are some teams that the pollsters are leaving out of the mix – underrating them a bit. Let’s take a look at the best teams that aren’t getting any respect…yet.
Let’s Take a Look at the Most Underrated Teams in NCAA Football Lines
It hasn’t been that long since the Hokies were a legitimate terror and teams hated to head into Blacksburg. However, coach Frank Beamer’s teams have been underperforming in recent years, coming in with a 7-6 record for the 2014 campaign – while being the only team to beat (wait for it) Ohio State – on the road! The key culprit was a wildly inconsistent offense, but Michael Brewer has quarterbacked impressively in the spring scrimmages, and the backfield has healthy talent. Defensive end Dadi Nicolas and cornerback Kendall Fuller are just two impressive names on the defensive side. This is a team that could easily win 9 or even 10 games, depending on where things fall.
No, this isn’t a basketball column – it’s been a long time since John Chaney patrolled the bench for the Owls. This is about the football team. Last year, Temple improved from 2-10 to 6-6 under head coach Matt Rhule, and the defense ranked in the nation’s Top 15. East Carolina, who scored big on just about everybody last year, only mustered 10 points against the Owls. All 11 starters return on defense for Temple, and it wouldn’t be that surprising to see them win the American Athletic Conference.
The Pac-12 South is a house of horrors this year, almost on the scale of the SEC West. However, the Sun Devils could just win it, especially if USC stumbles at all. Quarterback Mike Bercovici steps into the starting role this year, but you could argue that he was better at the position last year when he had to fill in for starter Taylor Kelly. There are so many talented running backs that coach Todd Graham shifted D.J. Foster to wide receiver. The defense returns basically intact from its strong 2014 as well.
Ever since Johnny Manziel led the Aggies to a road upset of Alabama three years ago, the buzz in College Station has largely quieted. In the SEC last year, Texas A&M was only 3-5, but they could now jump up to the top of the division. Head coach Kevin Sumlin has recruited some big names the past two years, particularly wide receiver Christian Kirk and defensive end Myles Garrett. While the Aggies’ defense has been largely suspect, bringing in LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis and having some more experience on the field should pay dividends.
Last year, Notre Dame was rolling along until they lost to Florida State in overtime, thanks to a phantom pass interference call. After that, the defense collapsed under several injuries and the team finished 8-5. This year’s Fighting Irish return 19 starters and have settled on Malik Zaire as the quarterback. Add a strong running game and you have a possible playoff qualifier.