Looking for a Sleeper?

Some nice little pieces have hit the internet today about sleepers and underdogs for the upcoming college football season.

Clemson was one of my “sleeper picks” for the year in November of LAST YEAR. But, far too many folks have caught onto the Tigers ‘set up’ for the season.

This piece suggests that Louisville, Pittburgh, and Tennessee may surprise this year. I actually believe that these are all GREAT picks.

For the sake of being original, please allow me to throw out the names of Arkansas and Nebraska to go with Louisville, Pitt and Tennessee. I don’t think that the Razorbacks will beat USC or Auburn, but they could surprise with an unexpected 9 or 10 win season. Additionally, Bill Callahan has been at Nebraska long enough to gain some traction with his system. The recent issues at Oklahoma certainly do not hurt the situation.

I’ve seen some people try to make a case for Georgia Tech as a big sleeper this year, but I am not buying that a Reggie-Ball-quarterbacked team can consistently succeed despite the presence of Calvin Johnson.

As I am writing this, I have run across this great entry at Sunday Morning Quarterback titled, “Anatomy of an underdog”. (I see that they have my Nebraska pick in their article and my Arkansas pick as an “other considered”) It’s really a great piece.

Any other suggestions out there?

General NCS Football

7 Responses to Looking for a Sleeper?

  1. Micky McCarthy 08/08/2006 at 7:56 PM #

    Yeah, maybe, but the thing about Pittsburgh is that Dave Wannstedt is still the coach.

  2. ncsumatman 08/08/2006 at 8:16 PM #

    I don’t know how Louisville can be considered a sleeper pick with 2 legitimate Heisman candidates in Brohm and Bush. It will be WV or UL from the Big East, but if Pitt slips in, then great sleeper pick.

    Tennessee, I also don’t see how this is a sleeper pick, it’s kind of like picking Kansas in bball. Cutcliffe has returned from Oxford, you know Knoxville still has nasty talent, if they are a sleeper, it is only b/c of last years forgettable season. But hey, I hope they screw up again, I also graduated from Alabama. Roll Tide, Go Pack.

  3. Wolf-n-Atl 08/08/2006 at 10:27 PM #

    How about USC (Carolina Below). Georgia is starting a new QB and Tenn has had some off the field issues so this may be a good time for them to step up. I haven’t looked at their schedule enough to know if they have crucial games at home but this could be another. Florida will be the favorite in the east, but I’m sure Spurrier will have something special for them.

  4. TigerFan 08/08/2006 at 10:40 PM #

    Arkansas returns almost all of its starters, so I agree they are a good pick. I like the Nebraska pick as well. With UT and OU with no QB, someone has to step up in the Big 12. I also like the USC pick, it will be the Cock’s best chance for an SEC East title since they joined the league.

    Now for the opposite of a sleeper, how about West Virginia. This is a team in most people’s top 5 with a “star” quarterback who only passed for over 100 yards twice all season.

  5. bTHEredterror 08/08/2006 at 10:59 PM #

    In the dark horse category, watch Texas A&M, UCLA, and Fresno St. UCLA is deep, and A&M has a talented replacement for Reggie McNeal and he’s a leader with some moxie. They get a lot of weapons back on offense to support him, too. Fresno has a great program and they have always found jewel-in-the-rough QB’s, I expect they have another lined up. They may have the best group of receivers in the nation, and a freshman burner coming in. They got LSU on the schedule, though. I expect LSU (from the list of favorites) to make a run late into the season.

    In reference to Pitt, Micky’s right, Wannstadt is there. No way a team he coaches wins more than 9 games. Maybe the Vols can pull it off, but I think Tennessee will struggle, Cutcliffe included. The quarterbacks he coached were the primary factor in his success before. And I don’t see Ainge as that type of quarterback. Too many hot potato throws to opposing DB’s. Team chemistry is probably getting better with all the suspensions and expulsions, right?

    How many more players must get dumped (a ‘la Belly) before the NCAA steps in?

    If Arkansas’ new QB turns out to be prodigious, I can see your pick. If they do trip up USC first game, look out. They’ve got a good schedule for a run with the exception of an early October trip to “the Plains”. But the game is at a dangerous spot in the season for Auburn, who may still be reeling from the LSU game two weeks earlier.

    How ’bout the Pack as a dark horse? I can dream can’t I, it wasn’t so long ago….

  6. packbackr04 08/09/2006 at 9:17 AM #

    agree with Jeff, Clemson was my sleeper pick in like february but now that seems to be a popular pick. Their schedule and level of talent should carry them far this year, so i am gonna stick with them…. not much of a stretch though

  7. primacyone 08/09/2006 at 7:22 PM #

    Wisconsin, Wisconsin, Wisconsin.

    How they are not pre-season top 15 I don’t know. They return most of the starters that whipped up on Auburn in the bowl last year. And as important, as was mentioned on this site recently; they have momentum in every way, shape, and form – Football, Basketball, and a National Championship in Hockey. Hey, maybe we should try and get their AD to come to State.

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