The 2022 college football season is rapidly approaching, and fans are starting to get excited. Traditional powerhouses like Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and reigning champions Georgia are all ranked among the top five in the preseason AP poll, and ready to compete for a championship.
AP voters generally have a good idea of which teams will play well in the upcoming season – but not always. There are a number of notable instances throughout college football history in which teams that were thought to be legitimate title contenders turned in a dud of a season.
To determine the most overrated college football teams in history, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data from Associated Press, College Poll Archive, and Sports Reference to compile a list of teams that in the preseason ranked in the top 10 but that finished with a losing record. Only teams that played after the 1978 split between divisions I-A and I-AA were considered.
Many of the most overrated college football teams of all time are blue blood programs. Teams like Texas, LSU, or Alabama are expected to compete for championships every year, so voters may just assume they will play well, even if the team lacks talent. (This is America’s most valuable college football team.)
It can also be difficult to gauge a college football team’s potential success, given the turnover on the roster as players graduate. If a team had a particularly talented crop of seniors, it may be difficult to replace their contributions in the next season, especially if those players were good enough to play in the NFL. These are the colleges that produce the best NFL players.
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