For those of you that missed our 2016 college football playoff predictions, shame. To catch you up, we predicted that Tennessee, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Washington would make the 2016 playoff. Those predictions are completely different than how we would actually rank the top teams in the country. Those predictions are based not only on the team, but the schedule they play over the course of the season.
When you talk overrated/underrated in a preseason poll, you have to look at each team in a bubble. Preseason rankings have to ignore schedule, and focus on talent, returning starters, overall experience, system, coaching staff, last season’s record, etc. Looking at these factors, here are a handful of teams we think are overrated and underrated in this initial coaches poll.
Most Underrated Teams in 2016 Preseason Coaches Poll
Let’s get started with one of our four picks to make the 2016 college football playoff. The Huskies have everything you look for in our team. They return a talented QB, game changing running back, and the top defense in their conference, and are coached by one of the best coaches in the game in Chris Petersen.
If you don’t think bringing in Mark Richt is an instant impact game changer you’re crazy. Richt absolutely dominated the SEC East, winning 6 titles in his 14 years. He inherits one of the better rosters in the ACC, one of the best QBs in the country, and a team built to play Mark Richt football. Miami brings back all 5 offensive linemen and a stud RB in Joseph Yearby, expect them to run over the ACC Coastal in 2016.
Washington State Cougars
We get that not every team can make the top 25, but just 47 points for a WSU team that returns the nation’s best passing attack, and 14 of 22 starters from a team that went 9-4 including a 7-2 finish and bowl win over Miami.
Most Overrated Teams in 2016 Preseason Coaches Poll
As fun as it was to watch Oklahoma make their run last season, this feels like the Sooners team that lets us down this year. They lost a ton of production and leadership in Sterling Sheperd, Eric Striker, Charles Tapper, and Dominique Alexander. The defense just isn’t good enough to merit a top 3 ranking and their non conference schedule does them no favors with games against Houston and Ohio State.
Michigan State Spartans
We aren’t buying this Michigan State team for a second. The Spartans are replacing their All American QB, leading receiver, and 3 of 5 starters on the offensive line. The biggest issue is how uncomfortable and inaccurate Tyler O’Connor looked when forced into action last season. Put the player we saw behind an inexperienced offensive line, with the youngest group of receivers in the conference and there is just no way MSU finishes this season in the top 11.
Ole Miss Rebels
Chad Kelly lit the SEC on fire last season, and we can understand the urge to put his Ole Miss team back in the top 12 based on his play alone, but this roster was shredded in the NFL draft. They didn’t just lose players, they lost their best players. They start this year without their 2 leading receivers, leading rusher, 4 of 6 leading tacklers, and 3 of 5 offensive linemen. The latter is the most concerning… Without a run game or experience on the offensive line, and no Treadwell on the outside, Kelly is going to have to have an unbelievable season for the Rebels to live up to their preseason #12 ranking.
TCU Horned Frogs
This high of a ranking for TCU was one of the biggest surprises we took away from the preseason poll. The Horned Frogs lost 11 of 22 starters including their All American QB/WR combo Boykin/Doctson and leading rusher Aaron Green. We get that Patterson is a great defensive coach, but how fast can he turn around a defense that allowed over 27 PPG, and if the defense isn’t great can they get enough points from Kenny Hill and company to hang with Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State?