College Football News: 10 College Football Teams with Something to Prove in 2014
Mitch Looks at 10 College Teams that have Big Question Marks.
College Football 2014 Season
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The 2013-2014 College Football season left us with some big question marks heading to this season and while replacing players is part of the game, some times came undone last year at some point. The question is who bounces back and who makes a stand. Here are teams that have something to prove this season.
1) Alabama Crimson Tide – You can call Nick Saban’s choice to kick away to Auburn a bad choice but the reality of it is, in good kick coverage, the ball carrier is tackled and that has to have been what Saban was thinking. What some will already forget is the Tide came out in their next game and lost to Oklahoma who was a big underdog. A.J. McCarron is gone as are many Tide starters, they aren’t a given to make the playoffs.
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2) Ohio State Buckeyes – Ohio State was on an epic winning streak but it all came to a crashing halt in Indianapolis against Michigan State. It only got worse for the Buckeyes in the Bowls as Clemson passed on them at will. Urban Meyer doesn’t look like the genius he looked like a few games back and at Florida he had a rap of uncontrollable derelict players off the field and winning on the field with previous coaches players, we’ll get some questions answered this season.
3) Florida Gators– The wheels came off the cart in Gainesville last season with a home loss to Georgia Southern that seems bad enough but Gator fans had to live with losses to Miami, Florida State, and Georgia on top of that. The expectation is higher for Florida than what they delivered last season as they always have one of the top recruiting classes in the nation.
4) Texas Longhorns – Texas always has a top recruiting class but that hasn’t translated into championships and that was enough to get Mack Brown run out of Austin. In comes Charlie Strong who righted Louisville in a hurry and who is one of the great college defensive coaches of all time. Texas’ offense will have speed as always but the defense is going to hit like we haven’t seen from Texas in a while.
5) Oregon Ducks – Oregon tanked it after losing for the second year in a row to Stanford and while I can see a team not caring if they got the shaft, Oregon wasn’t good enough to beat Stanford on that day last year and didn’t tackle well enough. It’s tough to turn it on and turn it off, but maybe the Ducks code has been cracked.
6) Miami Hurricanes– Last year Miami started the season unbeaten and were ranked for the first time in a while until they lost in Tallahassee to Florida State and it all kind of came undone after that. Expectations are high the Canes will climb another rung but the old great Miami teams were built on defense and only Denzel Perryman has proved he can be a star, we will see if others raise their play.
7) Oklahoma State Cowboys - Oklahoma State has been one of the best teams in the nation the past several years and they always seem to play like they have something to prove, so why not add them to this list for that reason alone. I am sure they are thinking playoffs.
8) USC Trojans – The proud USC program has been not playing too proud of late as the Lane Kiffin era ended sadly and the Trojans just aren’t competing for the Pac-12 title and to make matters worse, UCLA appears to be on the rise. With Steve Sarkesian in the fold, who also has some things to prove, USC is a big question mark.
9) Arkansas Razorbacks– When Arkansas wooed Brett Bielema they though the whole John L. Smith experience would be wiped from their memories, but the nightmare continued last season in Fayetteville. The Hogs simply stunk up the joint and while Bielema didn’t have “his guys” in pace as far as players, Arkansas was a bad football team. The expectation is much higher.
10) Notre Dame Fighting Irish – After going to the National Championship Game two years ago, ND ended up in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl last season beating a bad Rutgers team. With Brian Kelly on the sidelines the expectations for the Irish are just higher than spending bowl season in the Bronx and the Irish hope to prove that it was all part of the building process.