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College Football Cinderellas – Contenders or Pretenders?

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It is a roller coaster ride in the few weeks in college football. The pre-season rankings have changed drastically with 11 of the teams ranked in the Top 25 during the pre-season, dropping out of the list. The unranked teams during the pre-season have replaced their spot and these are South Florida Bulls, Kentucky Wildcats, BC Eagles, South Carolina Gamecocks, Oregon Ducks, Missouri Tigers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Cincinnati Bearcats, Purdue Boilermakers, Kansas State Wildcats and Clemson Tigers. As an avid college football fan, I do ask myself who from these teams that entered the Top 25 will stay on the Nation’s top ranked college football teams.

Will they stay on the Top 25 or will they crash out of the ranking? It is too early to say during the first half of the college football season. Nevertheless, the following is an analysis of who among the listed teams that can contend and who are just pretenders.

1. Oregon Ducks – The ducks are truly a contender this year. They come from a conference boasting four teams in the Top 25 (led by UCLA Bruins). Their standing was blemished with their flat play against and losing to Cal Golden Bears.

2. Clemson Tigers – The Tigers are 4-1 at the moment and their loss came from the Georgia Bulldogs squad. They have beaten the powerhouse Florida State Seminoles, but the other teams they beat are considered sub-par opponents. If they can beat the Virgina Tech Hokies this week, they can truly compete.

3. South Carolina Gamecocks – this team are here to stay. Currently, they are 4-1 and their lone loss came from the powerhouse LSU Tigers (who are virtually unstoppable at the moment). They defeated the Georgie Bulldogs at their home floor. They have three teams in the Top 25 on their schedule in the coming weeks.

4. South Florida Bulls – this team can be a sleeper and most likely the pretender on the list. They may have beaten the West Virginia Mountaineers and Auburn Tigers, but their real test lies ahead as they face tougher challenge.

5. Boston College Eagles – this team is off to an impressive start and is undefeated after five weeks.However, it was only Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets as their impressive win as the other four are subpar teams. They acid test will begin as they face ranked teams in the coming weeks.

6. Kentucky Wildcats – the team was not on the radar in preseason and announced their entry to the Top 25 by beating Louisville Cardinals and Arkansas razorbacks. Their next opponents will be LSU, South Carolina and Georgie. With the next few games featuring highly ranked teams, they may drop out of the Top 25.

7. Arizona State Sun Devils – the team is currently enjoying a 5-0 slate, but for me they are not contenders. It will show in the next few weeks as they face Cal, UCLA, Oregon, Washington and USC.

8. Kansas State Wildcats – I consider them as a contender and have proven it by beating Texas Longhorns 41-21. In the following weeks, they tough assignments will only be Nebraska Cornhuskers and Missouri Tigers.

9. Missouri Tigers – is a bit of a toss-up being a contender and pretender and to prove to be a contender, they have to beat Texas A & M, Kansas State and Colorado.

10. Cincinnati Bearcats – I believe they are a major pretender and they have been subpar teams so far. Next up in their schedule are the WVU, USF, Louisville or Rutgers in which, they may have a hard time scoring 46 points a game.

11. Purdue Boilermakers – the team had an easy task for them during the first few weeks of NCAAF. Their next tasks are the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines and I believe that they will have hard time defeating them.

As the college football games continue, it will normalize as the true contenders will rise to the occasion. Some teams get tougher and tougher as the season progress and some lose their touch even if they have a great start.

Prediction: The Oregon and South Carolina will be staying in the Top 25 and Kansas State can stay, but will be difficult. The rest of the teams listed here may drop out in the coming weeks.

Nishan Wilde is VP of Sales for Robbins Sports and Athletics, an online resource for the Seiko S149 Stopwatch and Portable Scoreboards.